New Republican Senate Intelligence Chairman Wants to Bury CIA Torture Reports

Friday, January 23, 2015
Sen. Richard Burr (photo Jim R. Bounds, AP)

The Senate Intelligence Committee has a new chairman, and he wants to protect the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from details of its use of torture last decade on terrorism suspects.


Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) sent a letter to the Obama administration demanding it return copies of the committee’s investigative report on the CIA torture program.


The report was produced under the previous chair, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who authorized the public release of only a portion of the full report last month that revealed allegations of abuse by CIA officials and accusations that they may have lied about the effectiveness of the program. But copies of the entire 6,900-page report were delivered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other agencies.


In his letter, Burr requested “that all copies of the full and final report in the possession of the executive branch be returned immediately.”


Burr’s move is “apparently aimed at keeping the full version of the report from being released to the public,” according to The Washington Post. The executive branch, which received many of the report copies, is subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, while the Senate is not.


Not surprisingly, Feinstein was against the move. “I strongly disagree that the administration should relinquish copies of the full committee study, which contains far more detailed records than the public executive summary,” Feinstein said in a statement, according to The Guardian.


“Doing so would limit the ability to learn lessons from this sad chapter in America’s history and omit from the record two years of work, including changes made to the committee’s 2012 report following extensive discussion with the CIA.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

The CIA Found That the CIA Lied About Torture, and Now Republicans Want Them to Take It Back (by Joan McCarter, Daily Kos)

Chairman of the Intelligence Panel Calls for Return of Full Torture Report (by Greg Miller, Washington Post)

Wyden Wants Full Torture Report Released (by Andrew Clevenger, The Bulletin)

CIA Torture Report Architect Denounces Republican Attempt to Claw Back Copies (by Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian)

CIA Report Found Value of Brutal Interrogation Was Inflated (by Mark Mazzetti, New York Times)

Richard Burr Takes CIA Report Fight to Senate Referee (by Burgess Everett, Politico)

The Wrong Senator to Oversee the CIA (by Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic)

Senate Report Rejects Claim that Torture Helped Search for Bin Laden (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Rectal Feeding, Chaining Diapered Detainees to the Ceiling, Torture of 26 Wrongly Imprisoned…Is This What Americans Do? (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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