Wednesday, December 10, 2014 5:29 pm
Germany said Wednesday the CIA torture detailed in a US Senate report was “a gross violation of our liberal, democratic values” and “a serious mistake” that must never happen again.
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier praised the administration of US President Barack Obama for declassifying the information, calling it a transparent move that marked a clear break with his predecessor George W. Bush.
“What was then considered right and done in the fight against Islamist terrorism was unacceptable and a serious mistake,” said Steinmeier, a centre-left Social Democrat.
“Such a gross violation of our liberal, democratic values must not happen again,” he was quoted as telling the Thursday edition of the top-selling Bild newspaper.
“President Obama has made a clear break with the policies of his predecessor. Washington’s new openness in admitting mistakes and promising publicly that something like this will never happen again are an important step which we welcome.”
Justice Minister Heiko Maas demanded that those guilty of abuses must be brought to justice, telling the same newspaper that “the torture methods of the CIA are atrocious … there is nothing that justifies them”.
“All parties involved must be held criminally accountable,” said Maas.
The US Senate said in a report that CIA torture of Al-Qaeda suspects was far more brutal than acknowledged and failed to produce useful intelligence. The United Nations said the programme violated international law and basic human rights.