Tags: CIA Torture Report | War on Terrorism | dianne feinstein | senate | torture | report | cia

Sen. Feinstein: Despite Fears, Senate Torture Report Should Be Released

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 08:16 PM

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein told CNN on Tuesday she would "feel badly" if any Americans were killed in retaliation for her committee releasing its report on the CIA's use of torture, but she said the information needs to be given to the American public.

"Look, there is no perfect time to release this report," the California Democrat told CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." 

Story continues below video.

She then turned on Blitzer, saying, "You've done a good job, certainly, of hyping the warnings. Is it possible that something would happen? Yes. But it's possible that something happens even without this."

She noted that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, have been carrying out beheadings and attacks in recent months.

"ISIL is pure evil," she said. "They may seize upon it. They may not. But they are going to continue to behead. They are going to continue to destroy. They are going to continue to kill innocent people until they are stopped."

But that doesn't mean America "shouldn't clean our house," she he said. "We admit our mistakes."

The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation both have warned that agencies should be on higher alert both at home and abroad in anticipation of retaliation from terrorist groups.

Blitzer pressed Feinstein, saying that if Americans are killed and the perpetrators attribute their actions to the report, "I assume you would feel guilty about that."

"I would feel very badly, of course," Feinstein responded testily. "I mean, what do you think, Wolf Blitzer? But we lose control at the end of this year. The Republicans take control, and there's some evidence that this report would never see the light of day."

Republicans won a majority in the Senate in November's midterms, and most of their members oppose the report's release.

"CNN … You are really hyping it to a point," Feinstein told Blitzer. "Obviously, they're going to take 96 hours before the report came out to secure all our facilities."

Blitzer defended his network, saying that CNN isn't releasing the statements sent to law enforcement and the military, simply reporting that those warnings were sent out by the Pentagon, Homeland Security and the FBI.

"That's their words, not ours," Blitzer said.

After a long pause, Feinstein asked, "Do you have a question? Do you have a question?"

"I just wanted to point out that this is what …" Blitzer started.

"You have pointed it out, Wolf, at least three times during our discussion," an irritated Feinstein responded.

Blitzer then read CIA Director John Brennan's statement that disputed the committee's report that "enhanced interrogation techniques" did not work, and in fact helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives, and played a key role in killing Osama bin Laden.

"We disagree," Feinstein said.

"So he's lying? Are you saying he's lying?" Blitzer asked.

"Wait a second, Wolf. I'm not going to get into this kind of discussion," Feinstein said.

"What this says is, clearly, there's a big difference of opinion."

She said all the committee's work is documented and asked people to read it for themselves.

Republican Sen. James Risch of Idaho, who also is a member of the committee who opposed releasing the report, told Blitzer that ISIS will use the information in the report to boost recruiting.

"This is going to hurt us a long time — I think for decades to come — with our allies and with our partners who we work with on covert operations," he said.

Risch said he opposes torture, but added that under the Obama administration it isn't even possible to legally interrogate terrorists because the president uses the drone program to kill high-value terrorists without taking them captive.

"There is no terrorist left to interrogate," he said.

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Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein told CNN on Tuesday she would "feel badly" if any Americans were killed in retaliation for her committee releasing its report on the CIA's use of torture, but she said the information needs to be given to the American public.
dianne feinstein, senate, torture, report, cia
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2014-16-09
Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 08:16 PM
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