Torture Report

U.S. Officials Fear Sanitized, Heavily Redacted Release of Senate Torture Report

The United States Senate Intelligence Committee is preparing to release a condensed, redacted version of the report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s torture methods that were used on al-Qaida hostages following the terror attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

CBS News reported that the findings from the documents show that the CIA “routinely went beyond what was legally allowable in using techniques, including waterboarding, to get information from terrorism suspects,” which were not effective, and that the agency “systematically lied to itself, to the White House, the Department of Justice, and to Congress about how well it worked to keep it going.”

According to The Guardian, the report will be “in the form of a 480-page executive summary,” which is just a portion of the 6,200-page report compiled by Democrats on the committee, who spent six years “reviewing millions of secret CIA documents.”

VICE News reported that on Thursday, the Department of Justice “provided the first official confirmation” that the redacted report might be released as early as Tuesday.

According to The Atlantic, the report was “only approved by the committee’s Democrats,” while Republicans on the committee “plan to release their own report.”

On Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry reached out to Dianne Feinstein, a Senator from California, and the chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, and asked her to delay the release of the report. During the phone call, Kerry expressed concern about the release causing complications in the U.S.’s relationship with foreign countries.

An anonymous administration official told Bloomberg View that in Kerry’s conversation with Feinstein, his main concern was the timing of the release.

What he raised was timing of report release, because a lot is going on in the world,” said the official, who went on to explain that Kerry wanted “to make sure foreign policy implications were being appropriately factored into timing.”

On Sunday, Michael Hayden, the Director of the CIA from 2006 to 2009, appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation with a similar warning. Hayden said that the torture report contained false information, and if released, it could be used against U.S. citizens in foreign countries.

First of all, the CIA workforce will feel as if it has been tried and convicted in absentia since the Senate Democrats and their staff didn’t talk to anyone actively involved in the program,” said Hayden. “Second, this will be used by our enemies to motivate people to attack Americans and American facilities overseas.”

Hayden also claimed that there were “countries out there” who have cooperated with the U.S. thus far on its “war on terror,” and who are “relying on American discretion.”

At a news conference in August, President Obama acknowledged that the U.S. had crossed the line following the terror attacks on 9/11.

We tortured some folks,” said Obama. “When we engaged in some of these enhanced interrogation techniques, techniques that I believe and I think any fair-minded person would believe were torture, we crossed a line.