Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette
The Senate Intelligence Committee voted on Thursday. by 11 – 3, to declassify portions of a study into the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of torture on detainees suspected of being involved in terrorism.
CIA officers subjected some terrorism suspects the agency held after the Sept. 11 attacks to interrogation methods that were not approved by either the Justice Department or their own headquarters and illegally detained 26 of the 119 in CIA custody, the Senate Intelligence Committee has concluded in its still-secret report, McClatchy has learned.
The spy agency program’s reliance on brutal techniques _ much more abusive than previously known _ and its failure to gather valuable information from the detainees harmed the U.S.’s credibility, according to the committee’s findings in its scathing 6,300-page report on the CIA’s interrogation and detention program.
The agency also repeatedly misled the Justice Department while stymieing Congress’ and the White House’s efforts to oversee the secret and now-defunct program, McClatchy has learned.
In all, the committee came to 20 conclusions about the CIA’s harsh interrogation tactics after spending six years and $40 million evaluating the controversial program, which began during the Bush administration. [..]
The finding that 26 detainees were held without legal authorization and the confirmation that the CIA in some cases went beyond the techniques approved by the Justice Department might fuel legal challenges.
The committee may have approved the partial release but have deferred to the president to decide just what will be made public and when.
It’s unclear, however, precisely how the declassification process will unfold. The White House could directly oversee what should be released, given the tensions between the committee and the CIA over the report. Or the White House could cede even more control to the CIA, which could mean more details will be kept under wraps. [..]
Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said the administration’s position “remains that the executive summary and the findings and conclusions of the final RDI (Rendition Detention and Interrogation) report should be declassified, with any appropriate redactions necessary to protect national security.”
She said she wouldn’t speculate on a timeframe for declassifying something the White House hasn’t yet received. Some expect the process to take months. [..]
Last week, Brennan indicated the agency’s direct involvement, saying that the “CIA will carry out the review expeditiously” once the committee sends it to the executive branch. [..]
The White House has been more involved than publicly acknowledged, however. For five years, the White House has been withholding more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the committee for its investigation, even though Obama hasn’t exercised a claim of executive privilege, McClatchy has reported.
Let’s be very clear what this is report reveals and some of the facts.
These are not state secrets. The report is an extensive investigation into the illegal activities of the CIA post 9/11. These are crimes against the state and humanity that the current Justice Department has refused to prosecute. Torture is a war crime.
The Senate does not need the President of the United States to make them public.
These are the facts about the CIA’s torture program and the executive branch cover up that has done more to disgrace this country and undermine the credibility, integrity, the laws and Constitution. Do no forget that as the Senate and the President continue this macabre dance to cover up these crimes.
While I agree with Marcy Wheeler and others that those who voted to release that portion of the report deserves credit and is a step in the right direction,I will be greatly surprised if any part of the 6300 pages sees the light of day. Nor will any of those who authorized, justified, ordered or committed the crimes of torturing countless prisoners ever be brought to justice. The days of courageous acts like Senator Mike Gravel are long gone. The cover up will continue. That will be one of the blackest marks on the country, ever.