This is not the first indictment of the CIA and its activities. Back in 1976, Sen. Frank Church released a report on the assassinations, coups, training and use of death squads, support to right-wing dictators from Iran to Guatemala to Brazil to the Dominican Republic to Chile; from Africa ( Angola, Mozambique, the Congo, support for apartheid, Mobutu), to Asia ( Indonesia/ Sukarno, Vietnam/ Diem, Cambodia/ LonNol) to Latin America ( contras in Nicaragua, in El Salvador, Peru/ Fujimori, death squads all over, etc). Sen. Church lost his bid for re-election.
Sen. Feinstein is very courageous in the face of the attacks coming from fromer Bush and CIA officials and their supporters in the media and the Congress but was very adamant that the report was accurate. Cheney, GW Bush's, vice president, has, not surprisingly, called the report, " full of crap" and that " the men and women of the CIA did exactly what we want hem to do" and that Pres. Bush knew about the full extent of the "enhanced interrogation program.
The American claims of the "high grounds", of its morality, of its democratic values and beliefs, have been seriously compromised. Their actions are as reprehensible as those whom they were blaming for 9/11. The passage of the Patriot Act in the days following the attack has weakened America's democracy and morality. It gave free licence to do whatever was thought to be necessary, even though, what was done broke American and international laws. Many of those involved are now afraid to travel abroad fro fear of arrest and prosecution in such countries as Italy, Spain and France, where special prosecutors can act independently of their governments.
There are those who argue that the report put Americans at risk; that it should not have been released. They are wrong. This report should be a catharsis. It should allow Americans to examine themselves and decide if this is the way they want to go; whether its democracy is worth defending without compromising its basic values of freedom and human rights. To do otherwise is to make a mockery of who they are, who they claim to be, and the values they cherish.