Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas J. Sarwark released the following statement today:
“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 worse still, 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
“This is why we must shut down the CIA. Its 70-year history 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
“The CIA is one of sixteen U.S. spy agencies that should have been severely downsized if not abolished during the alleged ‘consolidation’ of the U.S. government’s spy apparatus in 2004.
“But rather than downsize, politicians merely added another layer of bureaucracy, increased government spending, and expanded government authority.
“Government-sanctioned torture is bipartisan. Republican President George W. Bush authorized the torture revealed in the senate report. President Barack Obama granted him full immunity.
“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.
“The Senate Intelligence Committee released its report after this year’s election – when it was safe, even though the report was finished four years ago.
“Perhaps both Democratic and Republican politicians are hoping voters will forget about this disgrace before the 2016 election.
“The Libertarian Party urges you to remember — and to demand human decency by voting Libertarian.”
The Libertarian Party platform plank on Internal Security and Individual Rights states:
“The defense of the country requires that we have adequate intelligence to detect and to counter threats to domestic security. This requirement must not take priority over maintaining the civil liberties of our citizens. The Constitution and Bill of Rights shall not be suspended even during time of war. Intelligence agencies that legitimately seek to preserve the security of the nation must be subject to oversight and transparency. We oppose the government’s use of secret classifications to keep from the public information that it should have, especially that which shows that the government has violated the law.”
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