To the editor: At their best, congressional leaders elevate public debate on issues at the core of a democratic society. The presentation this week by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) of the Intelligence Committee's report on the CIA's interrogation program is such a moment. ("Dianne Feinstein defends the torture report," Op-Ed, Dec. 9)
After a difficult five-year investigation, Feinstein's committee has concluded that the CIA gave its overseers, Congress and the White House "extensive inaccurate information" regarding its interrogations and that its methods were "far more brutal" than the CIA had admitted.
Understanding that our government is capable of such outrageous acts is the first step toward creating safeguards against any recurrence.
Celia Carroll, Santa Monica
To the editor: Feinstein states that even the urgency "to bring those responsible for the brutal [9/11] attacks to justice … did not justify torture." I agree.
However, I submit that even Feinstein's urgency to wash the dirty linen of the CIA in public does not justify the resultant increased risk to the life of even one American soldier or one American diplomat currently serving in the Middle East.
Mary Lambert, Los Angeles
To the editor: After reading Feinstein's article, a troubling thought struck me: If the other party were in control of the Senate, this commentary by Feinstein and her torture report probably would not exist.
This does not bode well for transparency or our democracy with one party in control of both houses of Congress looming. In two more years, that party may also control the White House.
If Democrats weren't in control of the Senate, torture would most likely have been swept under the political rug.
Ken Johnson, Pinon Hills