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Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today sent the following letter to fellow members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence regarding the Committee’s comprehensive report on the CIA’s post-September 11, 2001 detention and interrogation practices. The Committee is scheduled to vote on approving the report today.

The letter is below and attached.

December 13, 2012

Fellow Members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:

I regret that I am unable to join you for today’s meeting on a subject that is of vital importance to our democracy and of the utmost personal significance to me.

I commend the members and staff of the Committee who have worked tirelessly over many years to produce the comprehensive study that you meet to discuss today. At a moment when our country is once again debating the efficacy and morality of so-called “enhanced interrogation” practices, this report has the potential to set the record straight once and for all. What I have learned confirms for me what I have always believed and insisted to be true – that the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of prisoners is not only wrong in principle and a stain on our country’s conscience, but also an ineffective and unreliable means of gathering intelligence.

It is my sincerest hope that we Americans, for all of our many disagreements, can nonetheless manage to agree that torture of the kind described in this report is unworthy of our national honor and should no longer be a matter for discussion. It is my hope that we can reach a consensus in this country that we will never again engage in these horrific abuses, and that the mere suggestion of doing so should be ruled out of our political discourse, regardless of which party holds power. It is therefore my hope that this Committee will take whatever steps necessary to finalize and declassify this report, so that all Americans can see the record for themselves, which I believe will finally close this painful chapter for our country.

Our enemies may act without conscience, but we do not. It is indispensable to our success in this war that those we ask to fight it know that, in the discharge of their dangerous responsibilities to our country, they are never expected to forget that they are Americans, and the valiant defenders of a sacred idea of how nations should be governed and conduct their relations with others – even our enemies.

Those of us who have given our protectors this onerous duty are obliged by our history, and the many terrible sacrifices made on our nation’s behalf, to make clear that we need not risk our country’s honor to prevail – that through the violence and chaos and heartache of war, through deprivation and cruelty and loss, we are always Americans, and different, stronger and better than those who would destroy us.

Sincerely,

  

 

Senator John McCain

  

 

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