Day of Reckoning

Senate Report on CIA Interrogations Could Be Released Next Week

Soon the world will be able to read the Senate report on CIA interrogation techniques after 9/11 that caused a war between the CIA and the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

ASPEN — The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is set to publicly release — as early as next week — selected and carefully redacted portions of its 6,300 page report on controversial CIA detention, rendition, and interrogation techniques used after 9/11, several administration and intelligence officials said.

The report — the subject of a now-public feud betweenthe CIA and the committee, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. — containsthe final rounds of administration redactions. The White House, which has beentrying to mediate the bickering, is set to give portions of the report back tothe committee early next week, multiple officials said. The committee will thenhave one more opportunity to protest any redactions they don’t agree withbefore releasing selected excerpts to the public. The release is expected toinclude a long executive summary, a CIA response, and a dissent by thecommittee’s Republican minority staff.

No official release date has been set, but several sourcesfamiliar with the discussion said the release would come in “very earlyAugust.” One official said the committee had an interest in releasing thereport before Congress leaves for its August recess at the end of next week.

Several former CIA officials who could be implicated in thereport for misleading Congress have been preparing for its imminent release,according to multiple officials and several news reports.

The White House arranged this week for several former seniorintelligence officials — including Former CIA Directors Michael Hayden, PorterGoss and George Tenet and former acting directors John McLaughlin and MichaelMorell — to read the committee’s long executive summary of the report in aclassified setting, the Associated Press reported.Morell was spotted entering the headquarters of the Office of the Director ofNational Intelligence on Friday.

Other senior officials, including former CIA Acting GeneralCounsel John Rizzo, who earlier had turned down the chance to read theexecutive summary, were told this week they would now not be given the chancethis to review the report in advance of the imminent release, the AP reported.

"They are accusing people of misleading Congress, ofmisleading the Justice Department, and they never even asked to talk tous," Rizzo told the AP. "And now they won't let us read the reportbefore it is made public."

Behind the scenes, Tenet has “quietly engineered acounterattack against the Senate committee’s voluminous report,” according to TheNew York Times,reflecting the CIA’s belief that their interests were not protected during theCommittee’s long investigation and the White House’s mediation of the feud,which spilled out into public view when Feinstein accused the CIA of spying onher investigative staff.

Feinstein took to the Senate floor to accuse the CIA of monitoring staff performing the investigation and then removingsensitive and incriminating documents from the trove that the committee hadaccess to, in an attempt to thwart the investigation.

The CIA accused Feinstein’s staff of printing out classifieddocuments and taking them back to their Senate offices. Feinstein said that wasdone to keep them safe and ensure they were not destroyed. Among them was aseries of documents called the “Internal Panetta Review.”

“What was unique and interesting about the internaldocuments was not their classification level, but rather their analysis andacknowledgement of significant CIA wrongdoing,” Feinstein said on the floor.

In her floor speech, Feinstein also directly accused the CIAof misleading Congress about the harshness and effectiveness of interrogationtechniques used in the years following the 9/11 attacks.

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“The interrogations and the conditions of confinement at theCIA detention sites were far different and far more harsh than the way the CIAhad described them to us,” she said.