Senate to vote on CIA interrogation report

Dec. 13, 2012 at 8:43 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- As the Senate mulls approving a report on CIA interrogations, some critics say they are worried how a new film will influence Americans' opinion of torture.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on a 6,000-page report on CIA interrogations, which found that torture was not "a central component" in finding late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, said the committee's chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

The report remains classified and likely will remain so for months, though a film about the search for bin Laden is scheduled to be released in January, The New York Times reported. Graphic torture scenes are shown throughout the first 45 minutes of the film, and though "Zero Dark Thirty" screenwriter Mark Boal said the film is not a documentary, it is based on extensive research.

"I'm trying to compress a program that lasted for years into a few short scenes," he said. The film, he said, attempts "to reflect a very complex debate about torture that is still going on."

Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union said he's concerned that the film opens with torture and ends with the killing of bin Laden.

"It may leave a hazy impression that it was cause and effect," he said.

Meanwhile, a judge in the case against suspected Sept. 11 plotters Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four others, said details of the harsh interrogation techniques used against them will be kept secret throughout the trial, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Human rights advocates said the ruling is an attempt to hide the fact that the men were tortured.

"We're profoundly disappointed," said Hina Shamsi, an ACLU lawyer. "The government wanted to ensure that the American public would never hear the defendants' accounts of illegal CIA torture, rendition and detention, and the military judge has gone along with that shameful plan."

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