Hoyer Statement on Torture Report

For Immediate Release:

December 9, 2014


Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture:  

“For generations, American men and women have fought and died on the field of battle to uphold the highest principles of justice and human rights that our nation embodies – not only for Americans but for oppressed people throughout the world.  We must always strive to meet their sacrifice with an unyielding determination to uphold those same principles in the work of our government.  That is why it is important that the American people, through their Representatives in Congress, hold their government accountable for the regrettable abuses and instances of torture that occurred during interrogations of terror suspects captured in the years after the September 11 attacks.  Today’s release of the report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence ought to be seen as a necessary step in ensuring that these abusive techniques, which run counter to our highest values as a nation, never again find their way into our arsenal – and that no future Administrations may justify their use. 

“This report also raises serious concerns about the Central Intelligence Agency’s notification process to keep the Administration and Congress informed of its actions and tactics.  Congress must be able to provide oversight and accountability, and the full and appropriate disclosure by our intelligence agencies is critical to making certain that their work enhances our security and our standing in the world – and not undermines it. 

“This report in no way ought to diminish the admiration and confidence that we all as Americans have in the dedicated men and women of our intelligence community.  Those who risk their lives every day to root out threats against our nation and its allies – and those who support our military missions through the gathering of intelligence on the front lines – often perform their work without recognition or glory.  They do it because of an abiding love of our country – and because of their love for these same values of democracy and human dignity that our Founders made paramount in our Constitution.  We should all have a deep appreciation for these individuals and the challenges they face as they help protect a grateful nation.

“As we all take time to carefully review and consider this report, I hope its release today will help us move forward with a firm commitment to ensure these tactics are never used again.”