Senate Armed Services Committee Releases the Report of the Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

WASHINGTON - Senator Carl Levin, D-Mich., Chairman of the the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the declassified report, Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody [PDF]. The Committee approved the report on November 20, 2008, and it had been under review since that time at the Department of Defense for declassification.

"In my judgment, the report represents a condemnation of both the Bush administrations interrogation policies and of senior administration officials who attempted to shift the blame for abuse such as that seen at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and Afghanistan to low ranking soldiers," Levin said. "Claims, such as that made by former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz that detainee abuses could be chalked up to the unauthorized acts of a 'few bad apples,' were simply false."

Levin continued, "The truth is that, early on, it was senior civilian leaders who set the tone. On September 16, 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney suggested that the United States turn to the dark side in our response to 9/11. Not long after that, after White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales called parts of the Geneva Conventions quaint, President Bush determined that provisions of the Geneva Conventions did not apply to certain detainees. Other senior officials followed the President and Vice Presidents lead, authorizing policies that included harsh and abusive interrogation techniques."

Read Senator Levin's full Senate floor statement on the report.