The Senate intelligence committee has pushed back a vote to declassify its report on the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation and detention program to next week.
Chair of the committee Senator Dianne Feinstein said, “A couple of members want to spend more time with [torture report].” The exact date of the vote is still unclear, but it could come up as soon as Tuesday, April 1.
If the vote to declassify passes, the 6,000-plus-page Senate torture report will go to the White House for redaction procedures—a process that determines which pieces of the report goes public.
President Obama committed to making the report public and CIA Director John Brennan pledged “not…to stand in the way” of the release of the report. But given the CIA’s clear conflict of interest, Human Rights First and other organizations sent a letter to President Obama urging him to direct White House staff to lead the declassification process.
“[The torture report] apparently documents that the CIA repeatedly lied to Congress, the Justice Department and the White House. It seems obviously inappropriate to permit the agency assessed in the report to decide what parts of it your Administration believes the American people should see,” the letter noted.
Human Rights First has been at the forefront of pushing for the release of the torture report with as few redactions as possible. With pressure mounting over the past few weeks, more supporters have come out to support declassification.
Even John Rizzo, former CIA chief legal officer and one of the architects of the torture program, has been making his rounds in the media to blast the CIA and call for declassification. In his USA Today column published late yesterday, Rizzo wrote:
The Senate report should be declassified and released pronto. … It is also said to be scathing in its criticism of the interrogation program and the people at the CIA who conceived and implemented it. Presumably, that includes me because I was its chief legal architect at the agency. So be it. Let it out, along with the CIA’s 122-page rebuttal…Americans deserve to see all of it and make their own judgments.
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Releasing the torture report will allow us to understand the consequences of the CIA’s torture program and prevent our nation from returning to these ineffective and un-American practices. Help us continue the momentum by signing our petition.