Since it's clear that not a lot of people actually read the 2014 US Senate report on torture, actress Helen Mirren read selections of it for John Oliver's Last Week Tonight on Sunday.
The trouble is, the publicly released report doesn't include many sections, which still remain classified. Take the case of Majid Khan, a Guantanamo Bay detainee whose stories were not shared until recently:
Majid Khan said interrogators poured ice water on his genitals, twice videotaped him naked and repeatedly touched his "private parts" – none of which was described in the Senate report.
Interrogators, some of whom smelled of alcohol, also threatened to beat him with a hammer, baseball bats, sticks and leather belts, Khan said. ...
Years before the report was released, Khan complained to his lawyers that he had been subjected to forced rectal feedings. Senate investigators found internal CIA documents confirming that Khan had received involuntary rectal feeding and rectal hydration. In an incident widely reported in news media after the release of the Senate investigation, CIA cables showed that "Khan's 'lunch tray,' consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts, and raisins, was 'pureed' and rectally infused."
Setting aside the question of how much information is being held from the public, not many have read what is public. Even former CIA director Porter Goss hasn't read the report, according to his own testimony to Congress.
Would we rather listen to a Helen Mirren audiobook of the report?
What about a children's book (say, Peter Rabbit) mixed in with accounts of the torture of Majid Khan?
On Friday, the US Court of Appeals threw out a conviction of Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, Reuters reported, and it was decided that his case should be heard in civilian courts. The ruling may impact Khan's case, according to his lawyers:
Guantanamo did not have the authority to convict Bahlul of a conspiracy charge. Conspiracy is not ones of the crimes recognized under the international law of war... The ruling is likely to limit the ability of the U.S. government to prosecute people via special military tribunals for offenses not internationally recognized as war crimes.
Lawyers for Majid Khan, a Guantanamo detainee turned government cooperating witness, said the ruling would impact his case as well. Wells Dixon, a lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights, said two of the five charges to which Khan has pleaded guilty have now been invalidated by federal appeals courts in other cases.