The Libertarian Party says there’s only one way to deal with the new revelations of CIA torture and the agency’s long history of other crimes: shut down the CIA and other rogue, out-of-control spy agencies.
Says Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas J. Sarwark:
“The CIA’s practice of torture confirmed by the Senate Intelligence Report released on December 9 shows the agency engaged in reprehensible and illegal behaviors that were, in effect, war crimes.
“The CIA and politicians redacted the bulk of the government’s report, which remains withheld from public view. One can only speculate as to the additional horrors that lie within the rest of the report, given the gravity of what was revealed.
“These acts of torture were immoral, disgusting, and un-American. And… they were ineffective.
“Yet the CIA and the Department of Justice, which sanctioned the torture, claim that it was legal and exhibit a shocking lack of remorse for the brutality inflicted on its victims.
“Whether it’s choking a man to death for selling loose cigarettes in New York or torturing prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, the government refuses to prosecute government employees who brutalize the vulnerable. When the government investigates itself, it almost always clears itself of any wrongdoing.
“This is why we must shut down the CIA.”
Sarwark points out that the 70-year history of the CIA is ” littered with episodes of human rights violations, illegal activities, and deception,” including:
- Targeted killings and assassinations
- Overthrowing democratically elected governments
- Human experimentation, including giving the hallucinogenic drug LSD to U.S. and Canadian citizens without their knowledge
- Dealing heroin in Asia
- Spying on Americans, members of congress, and foreign leaders
- Shipping war prisoners to foreign countries where torture is permissible (“extraordinary rendition”)
- Lying to Congress
“Government-sanctioned torture is bipartisan,” Sarwark adds, noting that Republican President George W. Bush authorized the torture revealed in the Senate report, and President Barack Obama granted him full immunity. Torturers still hold high positions in government.
“Famed journalist Glenn Greenwald said ‘The Obama administration’s aggressive, full-scale whitewashing of the ‘War on Terror’ crimes committed by Bush officials is now complete.’
“Whereas Democrats and Republicans have continually funded and encouraged CIA war crimes, the Libertarian Party has consistently and strongly opposed the use of torture, mass surveillance, and human rights violations by the U.S. government throughout the party’s 43-year history.
“The Libertarian Party calls for real accountability, including prosecuting all of those who authorized and performed these brutal acts.”