John McCain just released a very strong statement on the torture report–which is below. Of particular note, he called to declassify the report.
Will McCain’s call to declassify it provide the moral weight–and political cover, for the Administration–to do so?
I commend the members and staff of the Committee who have worked tirelessly over many years to produce the comprehensive study that you meet to discuss today. At a moment when our country is once again debating the efficacy and morality of so-called “enhanced interrogation” practices, this report has the potential to set the record straight once and for all. What I have learned confirms for me what I have always believed and insisted to be true – that the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of prisoners is not only wrong in principle and a stain on our country’s conscience, but also an ineffective and unreliable means of gathering intelligence.
It is my sincerest hope that we Americans, for all of our many disagreements, can nonetheless manage to agree that torture of the kind described in this report is unworthy of our national honor and should no longer be a matter for discussion. It is my hope that we can reach a consensus in this country that we will never again engage in these horrific abuses, and that the mere suggestion of doing so should be ruled out of our political discourse, regardless of which party holds power. It is therefore my hope that this Committee will take whatever steps necessary to finalize and declassify this report, so that all Americans can see the record for themselves, which I believe will finally close this painful chapter for our country.
Our enemies may act without conscience, but we do not. It is indispensable to our success in this war that those we ask to fight it know that, in the discharge of their dangerous responsibilities to our country, they are never expected to forget that they are Americans, and the valiant defenders of a sacred idea of how nations should be governed and conduct their relations with others – even our enemies.
Those of us who have given our protectors this onerous duty are obliged by our history, and the many terrible sacrifices made on our nation’s behalf, to make clear that we need not risk our country’s honor to prevail – that through the violence and chaos and heartache of war, through deprivation and cruelty and loss, we are always Americans, and different, stronger and better than those who would destroy us.
Update: DiFi has released a statement, along with announcing a 9-6 vote (meaning one Republican–though it could be McCain by proxy–voted for it). She says she’s not going to release it until the Executive Branch gets to review it.
Following the committee’s vote today, I will provide the report to President Obama and key executive branch officials for their review and comment. The report will remain classified and is not being released in whole or in part at this time. The committee will make those decisions after receiving the executive branch comments.
She says this in a statement that suggests this report should settle the debate about torture.
I also believe this report will settle the debate once and for all over whether our nation should ever employ coercive interrogation techniques such as those detailed in this report.