Over forty years ago, I voted to make Dianne Feinstein a Senator. Multiple news outlets report that she has passed away, a Senator to the end.
I was only her constituent for a matter of months before I left the state. But her influence on US policy — good and bad — has been national in scope.
Amid what are sure to be many tributes, one part of her legacy deserves close focus: the SSCI Torture Report.
The US has still not fully atoned for the crimes it committed as part of an effort to gin up war on terror scares. It was just over a month ago, after all, that a judge threw out the post-torture confession of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. It was just days ago that a different judge ruled Ramzi bin al-Shibh incompetent to stand trial. We’re still discovering that even after the torture, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was deprived of legal counsel.
America’s crimes of torture remain very much unresolved, much less punished.
Dianne Feinstein wasn’t always right. But she used her tenure as SSCI Chair to ensure there was a document of the torture done in our name. That legacy deserves respect.