After the September 11 attacks against the United States, the Central Intelligence Agency built a secret rendition, detention, and interrogation program that spanned the globe. While the program was designed to prevent terrorist attacks and save lives, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has confirmed and expanded upon the findings of independent reporting based on publicly available information: The CIA misled U.S. policymakers, Congress, and the media about the necessity and value of torture and “enhanced interrogation” techniques. In doing so, the CIA torture program severely harmed the reputation and global standing of the United States.

While the declassification of the executive summary of this long-awaited, thorough report on CIA torture is a step forward, we need to ensure those responsible for the illegal use of torture are held accountable and that this kind of treatment never happens again.