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Congress Alert

Lawrence Wilkerson: Sen. Richard Burr is ’Ultimate Protector’ of CIA Torture Criminals


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Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) is “the ultimate protector” of United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) torture criminals, writes College of William & Marry Professor Lawrence Wilkerson in a powerful Thursday editorial in The Charlotte Observer.

Wilkerson, an Academic Board member of the Ron Paul Institute and a retired US Army colonel, discusses in the editorial how Burr has sought to keep the US government’s torture activities hidden from public view. Instead of ensuring oversight and accountability as the committee chairman, Burr has, Wilkerson concludes, been aiding a cover-up that even encourages US presidential candidates to depict torture as desirable instead of as a despicable criminal activity.

Wilkerson’s editorial begins with the following:
As he runs for re-election, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr is airing $300,000 in television ads that tout his record as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The truth, however, is that Burr’s handling of this key job has done our nation and North Carolinians a huge disservice.

The biggest challenge that confronted Burr as he took the helm of Intelligence in January 2015 was to come to grips with President George W. Bush’s torture program.

The committee’s six-year investigation had just revealed grim details of lawlessness and barbarism in the Central Intelligence Agency’s enhanced interrogation program. In every way, Burr has shown himself to be the ultimate protector of the criminals at the CIA, not their overseer.

His first act as chairman was an attempt to recall the committee’s 6,900-page “torture report” from the White House and executive agencies. He also tried to bury the Panetta Review, a still-secret internal CIA assessment of the torture program that, according to Intelligence members who have read it, is a “smoking gun” bolstering the negative conclusions of the committee’s own report.

And Burr refuses even to hold hearings on CIA misconduct like “rectal feeding,” sexual abuse and the torturing to death of detainees in its custody.
Continue reading Wilkerson’s editorial here.
Copyright © 2016 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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