By a bipartisan 11-3 majority, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted April 3 to release key portions of a report on an investigation into the CIA’s use of morally abhorrent acts of torture.

Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King both serve on the committee, and both voted for release of the report after months of serious deliberation. In their joint statement before the vote, they affirmed that they believe torture is “fundamentally contrary to American values . … This inhumane and brutal treatment never should have occurred.”

As a Mainer, a Christian, a veteran and a board member of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, I want to publicly thank our senators. We should be proud that, through them, Maine led the way in moving the truth about U.S.-sponsored torture closer to the light of day.

Now it is President Obama’s turn. The CIA has already attempted to obstruct the committee’s investigation. Our senators’ statement said the report “raises serious concerns about the CIA’s management of (the interrogation and detention) program.”

While the president deserves credit for banning torture by executive order on his second day in office, he has now put the CIA in charge of the declassification process. We need assurance that the report will be redacted appropriately and not covered up. Only the president can do that now.

Our senators have voted to trust the American public with the truth so we can reach our own conclusions. The president must do everything he can to help and not to hinder the public conversation we so sorely need to have.


Torture happened, in our name, “on our watch.” How did we let fear trump fundamental moral values so easily? And what shall we do now to ensure torture never happens again?

The Rev. Jill Job Saxby

Cape Elizabeth


Comments are no longer available on this story