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Republican Sen. John McCain, who was tortured and spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, said the Senate report on CIA interrogation practices proves what he knows from “personal experience” -- that prisoner abuse is ineffective and greatly damaging to America.
“The use of torture compromises that which most distinguishes us from our enemies -- our belief that all people, even captured enemies, possess basic human rights which are protected by international conventions the United State not only joined, but for the most part authored,” McCain said Tuesday on the Senate floor.
McCain thanked Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein for her work making the report public, saying the American people “have a right, indeed the responsibility, to know what was done in their name.”
The 500-page document reveals the CIA used interrogation techniques that were far harsher than the spy agency has previously made public. Those techniques, used to gather intelligence following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, often produced little or no good information, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee report.
But McCain, one of the GOP’s most outspoken war hawks, is not supported by all in his party. Six Republican senators presented a minority response that questions both the findings of the report and the decision to release information that could put American lives in danger overseas.
“The one-sided report that will be released by Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence cost U.S. taxpayers over $40 million dollars to produce, and its authors never interviewed a single CIA official,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said in a statement.
Rubio, along with GOP Sens. Burr, Risch, Coats and Coburn, were represented in the 167-page minority view. But they were not the only conservatives who took issue with the report.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters the report “serves no purpose whatsoever other than to endanger Americans around the world at a time of growing concern about the rise of terrorism.”
Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said the report “will only inflame our enemies, risk the lives of those who continue to sacrifice on our behalf, and undermine the very organization we continuously ask to do the hardest jobs in the toughest places.”