All 2016 Democrats are against torture, but have varying reactions to this week's torture report release
Martin O'Malley went the farthest when he called for a special prosecutor from the Justice Department
Hillary Clinton supported the release of the report, but has yet to comment on its revelations
Jim Webb questioned Congress' role in the matter in tweets after the report was released
The release of the CIA torture report on Tuesday, detailing brutal post-9/11 interrogation tactics, has led to an array of responses from potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidates.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, in an interview with The New York Times released Thursday, moved to the left of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when he called for a “special prosecutor” from the Justice Department to look into those who carried out the torture.
“I think there needs to be some accountability so that this doesn’t happen again,” O’Malley said. “I don’t believe the United States should torture. Period. Full stop.”
All Democrats eying the presidency are against torture, but so far O’Malley is the only to advocate for a Justice Department investigation.
Clinton, during her time of the speaking circuit, has advocated for the release of the torture report but not a special prosecutor.
“I thought we needed more transparency,” Clinton said at a June event, reflecting on her time as secretary of state. “I didn’t want people to be criminally prosecuted, people who were doing what they were told to do, that there were legal opinions supporting what they were told to do, but I wanted transparency.”
She added, “And that’s what Dianne Feinstein is trying to provide with that 6,000-page report. And I think the American people deserve to see it.”
A Clinton spokesman has not responded to emails asking for comment after the release of the report.
Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders issued a statement on Tuesday after the torture report was released.
“The United States must not engage in torture,” Sanders said. “If we do, in an increasingly brutal world, we lose our moral standing to condemn other nations or groups that engage in uncivilized behavior.”
Sanders, however, did not comment on a special prosecutor and his spokesman was unable to provide a statement on Thursday from the senator.
In a conversation with reporters on Wednesday, Sanders did, however, say that if anyone lied to elected official on torture, “they should be fired immediately.”
And former Sen. Jim Webb, the only Democrat who has announced an exploratory committee into the 2016 race, questioned why lawmakers didn’t provide better oversight of the program.
“The policies that allowed or turned a blind eye to these acts are no longer in place. The question is whether the intelligence committees are properly conducting oversight functions today,” he said in a statement.
Webb also sent a number of tweets about the torture report that seemed to cast doubt on why Congress was looking into the matter now.
“Where was the Intelligence Committee when the torture was going on,” question Webb in one tweet.
“The question is not torture, but how far Congress has descended in its historical oversight role on key issues of foreign policy,” he said in another.