Press Releases

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on media reports that a draft presidential executive order would suggest restarting the CIA detention and interrogation program:

“Before President Trump takes any actions related to torture and secret overseas detention sites, I implore him to read the 6,700-page, classified version of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA detention and interrogation. The report lays out in stark detail how this program was ineffective.

“Capturing terrorist suspects and torturing them in secret facilities failed. Period. The classified version of the report details how the program failed and how the CIA provided false information to Congress, the White House, the Department of Justice and the public. The tactics used by the CIA were not only more brutal than was known, but they also did not produce actionable intelligence.

“The 500-page, declassified summary of the report lays all of this out, and none of its details have been refuted. The 6,700-page classified version report includes even more precise detail. For example, where the summary includes 16 partially-redacted pages explaining how the torture of 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed did not lead to actionable intelligence, the classified report includes more than 547 pages on that issue.

“Reconstituting this appalling program would compromise our values, our morals and our standing as a world leader—this cannot happen.

“We can’t base national security policies on what works on television—policies must be grounded in reality. Were President Trump to meet with the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group and experts like Ali Soufan, he would quickly learn that torture simply does not work. It only weakens our national security and creates more enemies.

“I will continue to do everything in my power to stop the United States from ever again conducting torture. I was Senator McCain’s coauthor on an amendment to the National Defense Authorize Act that prohibits any interrogation tactics not in the Army Field Manual. This is the law of the land and it must be followed.

“The proposal to maintain the detention facility at Guantanamo is also a bad idea. I’ve visited this prison twice. It currently houses 41 prisoners, 31 of whom have not been charged with a crime but have been held for as long as 15 years. The unfortunate result is that the facility has become another recruitment tool for terrorists. On the other hand, our civilian criminal system has tried, convicted and handed out stiff sentences to many terrorists.

“I encourage President Trump to not sign the damaging and dangerous executive order that has been circulating. Read the report, declassify it and let the American people see for themselves how the program failed to work—I believe they will never want to go there again.”