The New York Times reports: The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee says she is planning a push to declassify hundreds of pages of a secret committee report that accuses the Central Intelligence Agency of misleading Congress and the White House about the agency’s detention and interrogation program, which is now defunct.
The 6,000-page report, which took years to complete and cost more than $40 million, is the only detailed account to date of a program that set off a national debate about torture. The report has been the subject of a fierce partisan fight and a vigorous effort by the C.I.A. to challenge its conclusions, and last month, the agency’s director, John O. Brennan, delivered a lengthy rebuttal to the report to committee leaders.
But the committee’s chairwoman, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, said in a statement this week that the report was on “firm ground” and that she planned to ask the White House and C.I.A. to declassify its 300-page executive summary after “making any factual changes to our report that are warranted after the C.I.A.’s response.”
The committee’s top Republican, Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, said he believed the report was deeply flawed and agreed with the intelligence agency’s critique. But he said he believed that a summary of the report could be made public, as long as it was accompanied by a summary of the agency’s response and a dissenting statement from committee Republicans.
The clash over the report is, at its core, a fight over who writes the history of what is perhaps the most bitterly disputed part of the American government’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. More than four years have passed since the C.I.A. closed its secret prisons, and nearly a decade since agency interrogators subjected Qaeda detainees to the most brutal interrogation methods, including the near-drowning technique known as waterboarding. [Continue reading…]