Sen. Feinstein: CIA Interrogations Report Should be Made Public

Image: Sen. Feinstein: CIA Interrogations Report Should be Made Public

Friday, 11 Apr 2014 02:15 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, has declared that the Senate report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program should be made public so that it "never happens again."

In a commentary in The Washington Post, the California senator and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, wrote that the summary and the findings of the Senate Select Committee review of the CIA’s now-defunct methods should be de-classified.

"We believe that public release is the best way to ensure that this program of secret detention and coercive interrogation never happens again," the senators wrote. "It will also serve to uphold America’s practice of admitting wrongdoing and learning from its mistakes.

"Some, however, do not want this report to become public and are seeking to discredit it. Critics’ two most common refrains: The report was written to support a predetermined outcome, and it is flawed because of a lack of interviews. Both assertions are false and can easily be refuted."

The CIA interrogation tactics have been criticized as torture, and the report is said to have called waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation methods" cruel and ineffective.

The Senate panel voted 11-3 to release 500 pages of the report, including its summary and conclusions.

However, earlier this week in another commentary in the Post, Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., former director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, condemned the de-classification of hundreds of pages of the study into CIA interrogations in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

In his commentary, Rodriguez, who headed the NCS from 2004 to 2007 and worked for the CIA for 31 years, admitted he was "responsible for administering" the agency’s detention and interrogation program.

But he claimed that "neither I nor anyone else at the agency who had knowledge was interviewed." And he added, "I know that it produced critical intelligence that helped decimate al-Qaida and save American lives."

Feinstein and Rockefeller wrote, "Almost every sentence in the 6,600-page report is attributed to CIA documents, including cables, internal memoranda, and emails, briefing materials, interview transcripts, classified testimony, financial documents, and more.

"When the executive summary is released, the public will see how thoroughly documented and fact-based it is. The criticism that committee staff did not conduct interviews is also misleading."

The senators said that although the committee was not able to conduct certain interviews, it was able to use transcripts from more than 100 interviews conducted by the CIA inspector general and other agency offices "while the program was ongoing and shortly after it ended."

They wrote, "Ultimately, the Senate intelligence committee’s report should be judged on the accuracy of its findings and the quality of its conclusions, not on whether its information came from documents or interviews.

"Soon, the American people will be able to judge this for themselves. We have confidence that they will conclude, as we have, that this program was a mistake that must never be repeated."

The documents have been sent to President Barack Obama for his approval of de-classification.

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