US allies condemn torture; praise report on CIA

World Today

FeinsteinCIAbriefingSenate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (C), a Democrat from California, speaks to reporters about the committee’s report on CIA interrogations at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, December 9, 2014. The CIA’s interrogation of Al-Qaeda suspects was far more brutal than acknowledged and did not produce useful intelligence, a damning and long-delayed US Senate report said Tuesday. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB

ISTANBUL — Two important U.S. NATO allies on Thursday condemned the CIA’s harsh treatment of terrorist suspects detailed in a report this week, but praised the decision to make the Senate investigation public.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, whose country is in a strategically critical location between Europe and the Mideast, told reporters in Ankara the report is being analyzed to determine whether any Turkish citizens were involved.

From what has already been read, however “we see that there was inhumane and really unacceptable torture and treatment,” he said.

The Senate intelligence committee’s 500-page report concluded that the CIA inflicted suffering on Al-Qaida prisoners beyond its legal authority and that none of the agency’s “enhanced interrogations” provided critical, life-saving intelligence. It cited the CIA’s own records, documenting in detail how waterboarding and other techniques were employed.

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s rights envoy, Konstantin Dolgov, said Thursday the evidence contained in the report “contradict the U.S. aspirations to serve as a model of democracy.”

Relishing an opportunity to turn the tables on the U.S. over its persistent criticism of Moscow for human rights abuses, Dolgov said the report proved “flagrant and systemic rights abuse.” He pointed out that only an executive summary was released and urged international organizations and rights groups to push for the release of full report and the prosecution of those involved in abuses.

U.N. officials have already called for the prosecution of the senior U.S. officials and CIA agents who authorized or carried out torture.

In Ankara, Cavusoglu praised the release of the report, saying “transparency is important,” but, he added “this doesn’t legitimize the torture that was inflicted.”

“I hope our friend and ally, the United States, won’t repeat these kinds of actions, that inhumane acts are not repeated,” he said.

Speaking alongside Cavusoglu, Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak said the use of illegal camps and “unacceptable methods of interrogation” detailed in the report had been known, but he welcomed the report’s publication.

“I see it as a sign of the United States distancing themselves from these practices of the past,” he said. “And it should also serve as a guarantee that things like that will never happen in the future.”

French far right leader Marine Le Pen, meantime, drew anger by saying on BFM television Wednesday that she “did not condemn” the CIA’s methods. “I believe that those people who are dealing with terrorists, and trying to get information out of them that helps save civilian lives, are responsible people,” she said.

Le Pen, who wants to be president and whose National Front party has made big electoral gains this year, quickly backtracked, saying she meant authorities should use all means against terrorism “under the law, obviously not torture.”

Story compiled with information from The Associated Press.