Bellows Urges Torture Report Release

Thursday, March 6, 2014Press Release

Shenna Bellows, Maine’s Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, called on Republican Susan Collins and members of the Senate Intelligence Committee to release a 6,000-page torture report by the Senate Committee on Intelligence. The long-awaited report, which took nearly 4 years to complete, shines a light on the CIA’s controversial torture practices.

“Americans deserve to know the full extent of our country’s use of torture under the Bush administration,” said Bellows. “We need to properly address these mistakes of the past, so that history may never repeat itself. It's time to end the secrecy and restore the rule of law.”

As the former Executive Director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union, Bellows strongly advocated against the use of torture by both American intelligence agencies and the military. She has written many pieces on the subject of torture, and she led a successful campaign against solitary confinement, a form of torture, in Maine prisons. [1] [2] Bellows has also been a long-time advocate of the freedom of information, serving on Maine's Freedom of Information Coalition and the Maine Right to Know Advisory Committee for several years.

According to Senator Diane Feinstein, the new torture report “uncovers startling details about the CIA detention and interrogation program and raises critical questions about intelligence operations and oversight.” [3]

Bellows stands with many Maine citizens who have asked Republican Senator Susan Collins, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, to vote to release the torture report. [4] [5] In 2006, Collins voted in favor of the controversial Military Commissions Act of 2006, which failed to prohibit the worst interrogation techniques and detainees the right to habeas corpus. [6] [7] Bellows opposed the Military Commissions Act, which the Supreme Court found to be unconstitutional in 2008.