September 10, 2012

Regarding the Sept. 6 news article “From ex-Libyan inmates, new charges of CIA abuse”:

Human Rights Watch has done extraordinary work bringing to light information about allegations that the CIA waterboarded detainees.

The Obama administration has correctly said that waterboarding is torture. Unfortunately, it has opted to “look forward” rather than back when it comes to accountability for past uses of waterboarding and other forms of torture and cruel treatment. Most recently, the Justice Department announced it was shutting down the investigation into the deaths of two detainees held in U.S. custody and subject to abuse.

“Look forward” has come to mean “look the other way.”

One path does remain for holding accountable those who authorized and engaged in torture: The Senate intelligence committee needs to make public, with as few redactions as possible, its review of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program.

The American people have a right to review what brought on the descent into torture and cruel treatment, and they also deserve ironclad assurances that these abuses of human rights and dignity by our government will never happen again.

Curt Goering, Minneapolis

The writer is executive director of the Center for Victims of Torture.