CIA torture to be published as ebook and paperback

Chronicle of abuse against detainees will be available to buy from next month and is described as ‘the most important government document of our generation’

The landmark Senate report on the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program will soon be available in paperback.

The 500-page chronicle of abuses carried out against detainees at CIA-operated prisons around the world will be published by Melville House in paperback and as an ebook, the independent publisher announced on Wednesday. The Senate intelligence committee released the heavily redacted report on Tuesday.

Titled The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture, the book is due to hit shelves on 8 January 2015.

“Our fear was that, with all the distractions of the holiday season, the report would fade quickly from the news cycle,” Melville House co-publisher Dennis Johnson said in a statement.

“That may, in fact, have even been part of the point of releasing it now, and what seems to have discouraged other publishers from publishing it. But it’s probably the most important government document of our generation, even one of the most significant in the history of our democracy.”

The report includes details of “rectal rehydration as a means of behavior control”, detainees forced to stand on broken bones for days, and a torture session that ends in a man’s death.

The CIA director, John Brennan, has released a statement rebutting the Senate report, saying the torture practices produced intelligence that “helped … save lives”.

The book will be able to be found on the shelves of at least one bookstore, according to the statement. Lissa Muscatine, a co-owner of Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington DC, where the book will be sold, applauded Melville House for publishing the report.

“The Senate intelligence committee’s report on torture offers one of the most detailed and explicit assessments of CIA counter-terrorism activities during the Bush administration,” said Muscatine, in whose store President Obama recently did his Christmas shopping. “We thank Melville House for publishing this historic report in book form and making it available to the wider public.”

This is not the first time a high-profile government report has been published in book form. The 9/11 Commission Report was published by WW Norton in 2004 and the Starr Report, on former President Bill Clinton’s affair with intern Monica Lewinsky, was published by Public Affairs Books in 1998.


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