Leading Democrats are urging the White House and Central Intelligence Agency to declassify as soon as possible the Senate report on controversial interrogation methods employed against terror suspects, according to Politico
The 500-page document from the Senate Intelligence Committee contains the summary and conclusions of a five-year investigation into the secret CIA prisons and interrogation techniques used by the George W. Bush administration in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks.
The Senate panel voted last month
to declassify the documents, part of a 6,600-page overall report on the CIA’s methods that reportedly concluded there were unprecedented levels of torture and brutality on detainees. The documents had been sent to President Barack Obama for his signed approval of the declassification.
But the agency is apparently holding up the process by reviewing the material that would be released to see whether any information in it could hurt U.S. intelligence and national security.
Now the committee’s chairwoman, Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, has demanded that the White House take the report out of the CIA’s hands and release it.
"I would hope that it would be short and quick," Feinstein said, according to Politico. "That may be a vain" effort.
Majority Whip Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said the report has not been released fast enough.
"I don’t know if they’re checking out the information to make sure they don’t release something that’s sensitive," he said. "But I urge the [CIA] to release it as quickly as possible. I think that’s the only way to rebuild the reputation of the agency."
Colorado Democrat Sen. Mark Udall, a member of the committee, said, "I’m patient, to a point. I called on the White House to intervene and take charge of the declassification process. I’m still waiting to hear from the White House. Patience has a shelf life."
West Virginia Democrat Jay Rockefeller, a former chairman on the panel, also took the agency to task for its slow response time, saying, "They don’t like the fact that we voted to declassify it. They hate doing that, because what it’s going to do is make them look real bad."
The CIA insisted that it is working in a timely manner to release the documents, which could come out with some sections redacted by Obama.
"The CIA, in consultation with other agencies, is carrying out an expeditious classification review," spokesman Dean Boyd said, according to Politico.
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