CIA report sparks prosecution calls; action unlikely

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Dec 11, 2014 01:15 IST

CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques were wrong, a mistake, amoral and won’t ever be used again. But the US is unlikely to prosecute those responsible.

Senate intelligence committee’s stinging denunciation of the spy agency’s use of torture has raised fresh demands of fixing responsibility, at home and abroad.

Ben Emmerson, UN’s special rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights, said in Geneva that all US officials who authorised and used torture must be prosecuted. “There was a clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush administration, which allowed to commit systematic crimes and gross violations of international human rights law.”

Civil rights activists in the US have also demanded accountability, but the administration has showed no inclination yet to prosecute anyone in and out of CIA.

While supporting the release of the report and reiterating decision to end the programme, President Barack Obama has made sure CIA didn’t feel abandoned.

Past and present CIA officers have strenuously disputed the senate report. Former CIA operatives set up a website to counter the narrative created by the report of an agency that misled the country, its people and leaders.

Without taking sides, the president has signaled it’s time to move on. “Rather than another reason to refight old arguments, I hope the report can help us leave these techniques where they belong—in the past.” (with agency inputs)

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