WASHINGTON – Outgoing Democrat Sen. Mark Udall called for the resignation of CIA Director John Brennan amid a Senate report released Tuesday detailing the use of harsh interrogation techniques by the intelligence agency during the Iraq War. Udall, who lost his bid for re-election, also criticized President Barack Obama for helping to protect CIA employees who were behind what he calls torture of prisoners.
“The CIA cannot be its best until it faces the serious and grievous mistakes of the Detention and Interrogation Program,” Udall, of Colorado, said. “And for President Obama, that means taking real action to live up to the pledges he made early in his presidency.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee ignited a firestorm after it released its immensely detailed report on the use of interrogation techniques to gather information after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The report concluded that the use of those techniques did not provide useful information to curb terrorism.
The report concluded that only a small number of people in the CIA were responsible for the use of torture and that the CIA misled the White House and Congress about what information they were gathering and what techniques they were using. As a result of the investigation, no charges are expected to be filed against those who oversaw the program. Some of the CIA employees who were involved remain employed with the agency.
Udall, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, lost his bid for re-election in November to Republican Rep. Cory Gardner. Udall has been one of the harshest critics of the CIA. He wants the employees who were involved terminated and charges to be filed.
“Torture didn’t just happen, after all – contrary to the president’s recent statement, ‘we’ didn’t torture some folks,” Udall said. “Real actual people engaged in torture. Some of these people are still employed by the U.S. government. There are, right now, people serving in high-level positions at the agency who approved, directed, or committed acts related to the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.”
Udall said the entire agency should be stripped down and reconfigured.
“There is still no accountability, and despite Director Brennan’s pledges to me in January 2013, still no correction of the public record of the inaccurate information the CIA has spread for years and continues to stand behind,” Udall said. “The CIA has lied to its overseers and the public, destroyed and tried to hold back evidence, spied on the Senate, made false charges against our staff, and lied about torture and the results of torture. And no one has been held to account.”