“Never again.” This was the vow of many lawmakers and government officials when the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its long-awaited so-called “torture report” examining the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used by the CIA under the Bush administration.
Now, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is introducing a bill this week to make the ban on torture permanent, saying there is nothing to stop a future U.S. president from authorizing the same controversial techniques her report outlined.
“That’s the whole point,” Feinstein told Defense One. “Most of this is done by executive order, as opposed to law,” she said, so she’s trying to “codify what needs to be codified, so it can’t be undone later.”
Feinstein has spent years working for the release of the Intelligence committee’s 5-year investigation into the Bush-era CIA detention program, which from 2002 to late 2007 handled at least 119 individuals. Last month, she released a 525-page executive summary of the full 6,700-page report, which remains classified. The summary detailed brutal tactics, from rectal feeding to waterboarding to mock executions, as well as mistaken imprisonment and evidence that the CIA willfully misled the White House and Congress.