Independent publisher Melville House has announced it will publish the Senate Intelligence Committee's "Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program," otherwise known as the "torture report."
"The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture," which details the use of gruesome torture techniques used by the CIA and which concludes that the agency misled both the White House and Congress, will be published as both an e-book and a paperback by Dec. 30.
In a statement, Melville House co-founder and journalist Dennis Johnson called the report “probably the most important government document of our generation, even one of the most significant in the history of our democracy.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee's 528-page "torture report," which was released Tuesday, is a declassified summary of the committee's five-year investigation of the CIA’s interrogation of terrorism suspects during the years following the Sept. 11 attacks. The report details the sometimes brutal treatment of more than 100 prisoners, who are named for the first time, reports The Washington Post.
"Called by the New York Times 'a portrait of depravity that is hard to comprehend and even harder to stomach,' the report proved to be a harsh and broad indictment of the C.I.A.’s response to the September 11 terror attacks," Melville House said in a statement. "In addition to detailing the scope and severity of interrogation techniques employed by the C.I.A, the report also found that the agency had repeatedly misled both the public and the White House."
"Our fear was that, with all the distractions of the holiday season, the report would fade quickly from the news cycle,” says Melville House's Johnson. “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."
It is also why Melville House is rushing to print the 480-page book with a first printing of 50,000 paperback copies.
In fact, the Senate Torture Report can be read for free online here, and Amazon currently offers a Kindle version of the report for $2.99, but the forthcoming version from Melville House will be reformatted for paperback and available for $16.95, as The Washington Post reports.
“A printed book is still pretty superior technology,” Johnson told the Post, “It’s portable, affordable, share-able, long-lasting — and in this instance, perhaps, a far easier way to read a 525 page low-resolution PDF.... And I think — I hope — that teachers and professors and parents across the country are going to want this edition to read together and talk about.”
It's not the first time government have been formatted into books. The 9/11 Commission Report and the infamous Starr Report detailing President Bill Clinton’s sex scandal, were formatted into book form and went on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies.
And publishing the "torture report" suits Melville House's founding mission, as the publisher explains in its statement.
"Melville House was founded in 2001 with the express purpose of trying to speak out about what was going on under the administration of George Bush. We felt it was our duty to try and get this report out there to the widest possible audience.”