December 9, 2014

TSG IntelBrief: A Secure Nation: Releasing the SSCI Report

• The release of the summary of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI)’s report on CIA Interrogation and Detention Practices presents a far more powerful narrative of a nation secure in doing the right thing than do the details of harsh tactics provide a narrative of an insecure nation doing wrong

• Whatever propaganda and incitement value that enemies of the U.S. might find in the report is purely tactical, while the value of releasing the report, acknowledging the past, and moving ahead is a strategic national interest

• The fearful notion that the report will cause our enemies to actually attack us manages both to ignore the last 13 years of intense and widespread hostility and to repeat the mistaken mindset that led to the use of torture in the first place: fear makes for bad policy

• Violent extremists won’t likely believe the findings of the report, as they imagine the U.S. does far worse; the facts are for Americans, not the extremists

• Increased security at U.S. installations is a proper precaution due to the possibility of protest and unrest, but the separate threat posed by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda remains as it has for years, serious and continuing.