U.S. Senator Demands the CIA Release its Secret Torture Study

Friday, December 20, 2013

Following the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) use of torture on suspected terrorists during the George W. Bush administration, the agency conducted an internal review of the controversial program. The existence of this study was not known publicly until this week, when a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee demanded the CIA turn over a copy.


Senator Mark Udall (D-Colorado) made his demand during the confirmation hearing for Caroline Krass, who was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the CIA’s general counsel.


The Democratic senator indicated that the classified CIA study may include critical assessments of the use of harsh interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, to obtain information from detainees. He added that the undisclosed report could support the conclusions of the committee’s own study of the CIA torture program.


The committee approved a 6,300-page draft of its report last year, but hasn’t been able to release it because the CIA disputes many of its findings and has refused to authorize the publication of certain parts.


That stance has frustrated Udall and other senators on the panel.


“It appears that this review...is consistent with the Intelligence Committee’s report, but, amazingly, it conflicts with the official CIA response to the committee's report,” Udall said.


“If this is true, it raises fundamental questions about why a review the CIA conducted internally years ago and never provided to the committee is so different from the CIA’s formal written response to the committee’s study,” he added.


Udall also said he would not support Krass’ nomination until the CIA report is released, which means he might use a “hold” to stop the nomination.


Krass did not help her own cause when she informed the committee that, in her opinion, the members were not allowed to see the CIA document.


Democrats on the panel claim the CIA obtained little or no critical intelligence from its use of secret prisons and harsh interrogation.


“It (the use of such techniques) was a tragic mistake of great significance in the history of this country,” Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) said, according to Reuters.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

U.S. Senator Demands CIA Report Amid Dispute Over Torture Study (by Patricia Zengerle, Reuters)

Udall Presses CIA Nominee on Brutal Detention, Interrogation Program, Alleged Discrepancies Between Official, Internal Agency Accounts (by Alyssa Roberts, Office of Mark Udall)

Why is Obama Hiding 6,000-Page Report on Bush-Era Torture and Why is Torture Still Allowed? (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)

U.N. Calls on Obama to Publish Findings on Bush-Era Torture (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)     

Senate Report on CIA Torture Techniques May Remain Secret (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)


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