CIA Still Trying To Block Release Of Senate's $40 Million 'Devastating' Report About CIA's Torture Program

from the it's-going-to-come-out-eventually dept

Back in October, we wrote about how the Senate Intelligence committee was sitting on an apparently devastating report about the CIA’s torture program. The report apparently cost an astounding $40 million to put together (I still have trouble understanding how this is even possible…), but the CIA was fighting against ever having it released, arguing that it was inaccurate and painted them in an unfairly bad light. The report is so devastating that even Senator Dianne Feinstein, long seen as the intelligence community’s leading apologist, has been at the forefront of arguing for its release.

Foreign Policy magazine is now reporting that, even as the CIA continues to fight against it, some sort of deal has been reached to release at least part of the report.

On Thursday night, Feinstein said the CIA and the Obama administration have agreed that portions of her committee’s exhaustive, 6,000-page report should be shared with the public. News of the agreement follows an intense struggle between the CIA and lawmakers that will likely shape how history views one of the most controversial periods in the post-9/11 era, when the CIA used tactics that President Obama and others have condemned as torture in an attempt to elicit information about terrorism.

At a hearing concerning the nomination of Caroline Krass to become the next general counsel for the CIA, Senator Mark Udall demanded that the document be made public, and threatened to block the nomination until the document was released. Senator Feinstein also quizzed Krass about getting access to related documents, concerning the CIA’s legal rationale for its torture program and drone strikes — only to have Krass refuse to commit to providing those documents. According to the Reuters report Krass told the committee she “did not believe members of the Senate panel had the right to see” those documents.

While so much of the focus concerning the intelligence community has been on the NSA these past few months, there is a growing amount of evidence that the CIA is also completely out of control, and views itself as being beyond basic Congressional oversight. It is a reminder that reforms for fixing the intelligence community cannot and should not focus merely on correcting this program or that program, but on a true and comprehensive overhaul of the entire system.

And it should start with releasing this 6,300 page report that American taxpayers paid $40 million to produce.

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Comments on “CIA Still Trying To Block Release Of Senate's $40 Million 'Devastating' Report About CIA's Torture Program”

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25 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

…there is a growing amount of evidence that the CIA is also completely out of control…

More and more the public is drawn to this “out of control” part. Start with local police who are routinely killing innocent bystanders in an effort to get the bad guy, right on up through the FBI, CIA, NSA, DOJ, DHS, TSA, IRS; where does it friggin’ stop? The whole government is totally out of control with no apparent ability to distinguish between what is allowed legally and what they decide to take as being legal.

You have tons of examples with the NSA exposures of laws being read to say one thing, often with redefinitions of the English language to make it possible and then hiding how that makes it right.

Given how corporations are right in the middle of all this with enabling datamining and often selling that data to the government or the spy groups just hacking in to get it and you’ve set up the finest government corruption money can buy.

It’s no coincidence these strange set of bed pardners. When you look around at the economy and the living conditions at large, it is resembling the Great Depression era more than it is resembling anything else.

Damn, I’m starting to sound like ootb; lord help me.

Anonymous Coward says:

Plausable Deniability....

It’s not that the politicians don’t have a right to the information, but if they had the information they would be expected to do “something” about it.

The TLA’s (Three letter agencies, Thug Like Agencies, take your pick) seem to think that as long as nobody knows what they are really doing, they can’t be held accountable for their actions. They justify and rationalize this to themselves by saying that they are providing plauseable deniability to those in charge….

/s or not?

Anonymous Coward says:

“According to the Reuters report Krass told the committee she “did not believe members of the Senate panel had the right to see” those documents.”

Isn’t this comparable to telling your boss to “butt out”, because that’s none of your business? Isn’t Congress in charge of CIA oversight?

I’m afraid Caroline Krass, is too incompetent to become general console for the CIA, if she doesn’t even know who’s the CIA’s boss.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

I'm shocked

The report is so devastating that even Senator Dianne Feinstein, long seen as the intelligence community’s leading apologist, has been at the forefront of arguing for its release.

Given that Feinstein goes out of her way to lick the boots of her masters in the intelligence community, I would have thought that she would be working extra hard to bury a report that the CIA hates.

I’m honestly shocked.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I'm shocked

I think the smell of more power to her little kingdom tempts. She has previously demanded that NSAs foreign affairs be reviewed in her committee. Given she knows the report, I am certain that what she wants released is a) completely benign b) about things her committee doesn’t currently review or c) things she has an interest in bringing forth to strenghten Obamas “no torture” stance. Jumping to column d) is a radical jump.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Because math.

The cost seems pretty high, but breaking it down to cost per page literally means nothing. Who knows how much research and time had to be paid for just to begin the initial draft of the document?

This comes up with software sometimes, by managers who cost things out by “line of code”. For major software projects, the cost per LOC tend to be between $50 and $100 (but there’s a large variance). It takes less than a second to actually write a line of code, but it can take an hour to determine what that single line should be, to test it for correctness, and to correct it if it’s wrong.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Because math.

Not to mention that doing it by line of code encourages bad code! Under their line of code efficiency measurement. The following (newlines following semicolons omitted for space).

print(“H”);print(“e”);print(“l”);print(“l”);print(“o”);print(” “);print(“W”);print(“o”);print(“r”);print(“l”);print(“d”);print(“!”);print(“n”);

This affront to good practice is 13 times more efficient under that model. And that is without engaging in any IOCCC trickery. Evaluating cost by line shows a complete lack of knowledge of coding and ineptitude in management.

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