The release Tuesday of the executive summary of a report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which reviews the CIA's detention and interrogation practices between 2001 and 2009, was for all its gruesome detail greeted in some official quarters as a kind of catharsis. "This," said Secretary of State John Kerry in a statement, "marks a coda to a chapter in our history"—a chapter, he went on, that is now "more than five years behind us," since President Obama ended the CIA's detention program during his first week in office. Obama, for his part, acknowledged that "some of the actions that were taken were contrary to our values" but expressed hope that "today’s report can help us leave these techniques where they belong—in the past."
But the end of one dark chapter roughly coincided with the beginning of a new one—one that remains very much open. wrote last year, citing reporting from The New York Times's Mark Mazetti, spurred in large part by the CIA's own 2004 investigation into the agency's abuse of detainees. A report from the CIA's inspector general had raised the possibility that the CIA's interrogation techniques violated the UN Convention Against Torture, and that individual officers might be liable for criminal prosecution. That torture report from 10 years ago, in Mazetti's words, "was perhaps the single most important reason for the C.I.A.’s shift from capturing to killing terrorism suspects."It was a decision, Zenko