Senate panel votes to release CIA torture report

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 3, 2014 at 4:11 pm •  Published: April 3, 2014
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"This is a chapter in our past that should have already been closed," Chambliss told reporters. He said Republicans would dispute some of the conclusions in their own report and insisted the CIA interrogations "led not only to the takedown of bin Laden, but to the interruption and disruption of other terrorist plots over a period of years."

Members of the intelligence community have criticized the investigation for failing to include interviews from top spy agency officials who authorized or supervised the brutal interrogations. They questioned how the review could be fair or complete.

"Neither I or anyone else at the agency who had knowledge was interviewed," said Jose Rodriguez, the CIA's chief clandestine officer in the mid-2000s, who had operational oversight over the detention and interrogation program. "They don't want to hear anyone else's narrative," he said of the Senate investigation. "It's an attempt to rewrite history."

Rodriguez himself is a key figure in the Senate report, not least for his order in 2005 to destroy 92 videotapes showing waterboarding of terror suspects and other harsh techniques.

Senate investigators were unable to talk to relevant CIA officials because of legal constraints posed by a separate investigation ordered by Attorney General Eric Holder. At Holder's direction, John Durham, an independent prosecutor, conducted several criminal probes related to interrogation methods and evidence destruction before dropping them altogether in 2012 — shortly before the Senate panel wrapped up its work.

Congressional aides said the CIA's own field reports, internal correspondence, cables and other documents described day-to-day handling of interrogations and the decision-making and actions of Rodriguez and others.

Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Dan Coats of Indiana and Jim Risch of Idaho voted against releasing the report.

"Too much time, energy and too many resources have been spent investigating a CIA program that ended more than six years ago," Coats said.

Bad blood between Senate aides and the CIA ruptured into the open last month when Feinstein took to the Senate floor to accuse the agency of improperly monitoring the computer use of Senate staffers and deleting files, undermining the Constitution's separation of powers.

Thus far, both senators and the agency have tried to keep the declassification issue separate from their ongoing dispute.

Feinstein expressed hope that most of the summary and findings would escape CIA censors and reach the public within 30 days.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said the report's public release is "the only way we can get this relationship with our intelligence agencies right again."