Dianne Feinstein: Emotions Didn't Motivate The CIA Torture Report; Michael Hayden's Coverup Did

from the oh-snap dept

Senator Dianne Feinstein has finally responded to former CIA and NSA boss Michael Hayden’s misogynistic and ridiculous claims that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 6,300 page, $40 million research report into the CIA torture program (run, in part, while Hayden was boss) was motivated by her “emotions” rather than by an objective position. Hayden has also called out the staffers working on the report as sissies (though he’ll claim he was just saying the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s acronym — SSCI). She brushes off the whole “emotional” claim by noting quickly that’s Hayden being “stereotypical” and “incorrect” and saying such a thing is “an old male fallback position.”

However, as Marcy Wheeler points out, rather than spending her time addressing silly ad hominem attacks, Feinstein scores a lot more points in basically pointing out that the real motivation for the report was Hayden’s own lies to Congress:

What she notes is that the real inspiration for the report came after it was revealed to the Senate that a CIA staffer had ignored direct requests from Congress, the White House and others in the CIA and destroyed tapes showing the CIA torturing people. The destruction of the tapes was then hidden from Congress for some time as well. When it finally came to light, Hayden (then director of the CIA) told the Senate that it could review various cables and documents, which were “just as good” as the tapes. In looking into that claim from Hayden that the documents were just as useful as the deleted tapes, that the Senate decided to move forward on a full investigation. In other words, it wasn’t emotions that motivated Feinstein, it was Hayden’s lies to the Senate.

Let me give you how this began. It began in 12/6/07 when the NY Times reported that the CIA destroyed evidence — namely videotapes. In December, the 11th, Director Hayden appeared before our Committee and said he would allow members and/or staff to review operational cables which he said were just as good. Jay Rockefeller was then the chairman of the Committee. He, on the 7th of February of ’08, assigned staff. On February 27th, the staff presented an interim report to the Committee on the destruction of the tapes. The Committee agreed to do a full review of the tapes. On March 5, 2009, the Committee voted 14-1 to do a comprehensive review of the detention and interrogation [program].

Let’s have the record crystal clear. I never gave any direction to the staff. I just said ‘we want the facts — and we want those facts footnoted.’ The one place I did give some direction, was with respect to the CIA response to the report. I said, ‘you will include their response, where appropriate, within the text of the report, and where not appropriate, you will note the response in a footnote to the report.’ And that has been carried on.

…. I don’t believe Director Hayden has seen the report. I don’t believe most people talking about it have actually seen the report. But the genesis of the report was back with the videotapes and back under then Chairman Rockefeller, who assigned staff, staff studied the operational cables, came back, reported to us, we took a look at that and said — both sides — we should move ahead and do a full study.

As Wheeler notes: Michael Hayden has only himself to blame for this report. If he hadn’t lied and tried to downplay the destruction of evidence of the CIA’s torture program, perhaps there would be no torture report at all. No wonder he’s so “emotional” and attacking everyone about it.

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Comments on “Dianne Feinstein: Emotions Didn't Motivate The CIA Torture Report; Michael Hayden's Coverup Did”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Let me give you how this began. It began in 12/6/07 when the NY Times reported that the CIA destroyed evidence — namely videotapes.

Do these people ever get anything done without the press?
If they actually succeed in shutting down the free press there would be total standstill instead of “just” ‘slow moving turtle with two broken legs’ speed.

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