Senate's CIA Torture Report Awaiting Final White House Approval

Tuesday, 24 Jun 2014 07:34 AM

By Elliot Jager

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The release of a long-delayed, $40 million Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA's "rendition, detention and interrogation" program during the George W. Bush administration is pending final approval from the Obama White House, Politico reported.

The 6,800-page report has been whittled down to a roughly 500-page summary which has been preliminarily redacted by the CIA, Politico said. The agency said it needs until Aug. 29 to go through the material again.

The administration wants to vet the report to ensure that no information that would endanger national security is inadvertently exposed. Once the White House gives the go-ahead, expected later in the summer, the committee can release the report.

"The president has been clear that he wants this process completed as expeditiously as possible, and he's also been clear that it must be done consistent with our national security," White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said, according to Politico.

She said that the administration wants to be ready for negative reaction that might impact on U.S. personnel and facilities abroad, Politico reported.

The report is said to openly detail the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques" of terrorist suspects including waterboarding and "stress position" questioning, Politico reported. It purportedly also reveals that the agency misled the Bush administration about the usefulness of its methods, according to 2013 report in The New York Times.

The Democratic-controlled Senate has pressured the White House to move more quickly to release the findings. At this point, Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-California, says the process is being handled as quickly as possible.

Preparation of the report has raised tensions between the committee and the agency over the treatment of sensitive documents. The panel complained that the CIA hacked into its computers and removed documents. Intelligence officials countered they were investigating if information that should not have been released had made it into the committee's files, according to The Hill.

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