Senate Staffer Tried To Scrub 'Torture' From Torture Report's Wikipedia Entry


An anonymous Wikipedia user on Wednesday tried to scrub the word "torture" from an entry corresponding to the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture, which revealed "enhanced interrogation techniques" employed by the CIA in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

The person, whose IP address is registered to the U.S. Senate, attempted on Tuesday and again on Wednesday to remove a line describing the CIA's tactics as "a euphemism for torture." Both times the user argued the action was "removing bias" from the entry, and both times the change was rebuffed by other editors.

The entry now defines the report as "compiled by the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) about the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)'s Detention and Interrogation Program and its use of various forms of torture (described in U.S. government communiqués as 'enhanced interrogation techniques') on detainees between 2001 and 2006."

The change was first reported by the @congressedits Twitter account, which keeps track of all edits to Wikipedia pages made by Capitol Hill staffers or members of Congress.

In the Senate report, a summary of which was released Tuesday, investigators reveal disturbing tactics interrogators used on terror suspects at secret overseas prisons, including waterboarding, "rectal hydration," threats of sexual violence using a broomstick, forced nudity, extended periods of isolation, confinement in a coffin-sized box and long periods of sleep deprivation. While many lawmakers have denounced the findings as torture, one Republican publicly disagreed.

"We're not talking about anyone being burned or stabbed or cut or anything like that," Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Wednesday. "We're talking about people being made to stand in awkward positions, have water put into their nose and into their mouth. Nobody suffered any lasting injuries from this."

The report contradicts King's statement, though. It mentions physical and psychological effects detainees experienced and also notes one detainee who died of suspected hypothermia after being tortured.

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