Declassify the post-9/11 torture program | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Declassify the post-9/11 torture program

As Joe Biden settles into his presidency, in addition to facing a pandemic and economic crisis, he will hear demands for accountability. If President Biden is going to help restore a robust commitment to the rule of law, he will need to reach further back than Donald Trump and the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. He will also need to address the abuses that followed the 9/11 attacks — specifically, the CIA-run torture program.

When President Obama took office, he immediately acted to end the torture program and close the secret CIA detention facilities. But he pledged to “look forward, as opposed to looking backward,” a folksy remark that signaled a widespread policy. Not only has almost no one been held to account for detainee abuse, the torture program itself remains classified.

Classified or not, the secret is out. News organizations have reported details. The program’s architects have proudly discussed their role. Money has been made on books from torture “insiders.” The victims, however, have always known what happened, though the intention was to ensure they could never tell anyone. As one interrogator told at detainee, “We can never let the world know what I have done to you.”

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