It’s hard to describe it as a positive development when a branch
of the federal government releases a
four-hundred-and-ninety-nine-page report that explains, in
meticulous detail, how unthinkable cruelty became official U.S.
policy. But last Tuesday, in releasing the long-awaited Senate
Select Intelligence Committee report on the C.I.A.’s
interrogation-and-detention program, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the
committee chairman, proved that Congress can still perform its
most basic Madisonian function of providing a check on
executive-branch abuse, and that is reason for gratitude.