Hayden: Feinstein's Emotions In Way of Objective CIA Report

Monday, 07 Apr 2014 08:39 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Former CIA Director Michael Hayden says California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein let her emotions get in the way of a report on the agency's detention and interrogation programs, and he questions the document's objectivity.

Hayden told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace that comments made by the senator about declassifying the report, when she said it would "ensure that an un-American, brutal program of detention and interrogation would never again be considered or permitted," demonstrated her emotions.

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"That sentence, that motivation for the report, may show deep, emotional feeling on the part of the senator," Hayden told Wallace. "But I don't think it leads you to an objective report."

Feinstein chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, which lead the investigation, and told The Washington Post that the report is "objective, based on fact, thoroughly footnoted," and she is "certain it will stand on its own merits."

Feinstein's committee voted 11-3 last week to order the declassification of almost 500 pages of a 6,300-page review that concluded waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation methods" were excessively cruel and ineffective in producing valuable intelligence.

Even some Republicans who agree with the spy agency that the findings are inaccurate voted in favor of declassification, saying it was important for the country to move on.

The intelligence committee and the CIA are embroiled in a dispute related to the three-year study. Senators accuse the agency of spying on their investigation and deleting files. The CIA says Senate staffers illegally accessed information. The Justice Department is reviewing competing criminal referrals.

The summary is being sent to President Barack Obama for declassification review and release, said Feinstein, noting that the president has said he supports releasing the document and current CIA Director John Brennan has agreed that it will happen "expeditiously."

The CIA's interrogation methods were ordered during former President George W. Bush's administration in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and were in place when Hayden was appointed to the CIA position in 2006, Fox reported. Hayden remained at the CIA post until 2009. Obama ordered the elimination of the CIA's extreme interrogation program that year. 

Hayden, also a former National Security Agency director, told Wallace Sunday that it would be "very hard" for him to judge the report, since he has not seen it or heard those responsible for the document talk about its contents.

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