The news cycle might be focusing elsewhere, but a nonpartisan report out today offers a clear conclusion on US interrogation techniques following 9/11: "It is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture," the report says. What's more, the highest officials are to blame for the practices, it says, per the New York Times. In a move unprecedented in American history, President Bush and his administration held "considered and detailed discussions ... on the wisdom, propriety, and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody."
There's no "firm or persuasive evidence" that the torture—including waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and throwing people into walls—resulted in useful intelligence that officials couldn't have otherwise learned, says the report, which is based on extensive interviews with officials and detainees. An appendix points to many cases in which the US prosecuted or condemned comparable techniques. But "as long as the debate continues, so too does the possibility that the United States could again engage in torture," the report notes. The panel was led by a Republican and a Democrat, each of whom worked in the executive branch at some point. Click for the full article. (Read more torture stories.)