Don't Expect To See The Declassified Senate Report On How The CIA Tortured People Any Time Soon
from the of-course-not dept
Sure, the Senate voted to declassify parts of its $40 million, 6,300-page report on the disastrous CIA torture program — and the White House said that it’ll let the CIA handle the declassification. We knew that it would take some time to do the declassification, and expect that “some time” to turn into “a very, very long time.”
The procedure, however, likely will take months, several experts said. That’s because it’s complex and time-consuming. Not only does the CIA have to review information that came from its archives, but other U.S. intelligence agencies as well as the Pentagon and the State Department have to evaluate material that they provided, they said.
Of course, as that report notes, plenty of people note that key parts can be declassified quickly — but likely won’t.
The CIA “could demonstrate good faith by releasing the least problematic portions of the text, like the introduction, conclusions and high-level findings. But they’re not doing that and that strikes me as at least bordering on bad faith,” said Steven Aftergood, who runs the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy. “Why does the entire volume need to be held hostage to the most difficult piece of information?”
Meanwhile, some in the Senate are reasonably worried about how the CIA is going to handle this process:
Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has urged the White House to wrest control of the declassification process from the CIA and is demanding rapid action. But, in an interview, she said she has received little feedback from the Obama administration and seemed resigned to a lengthy timetable.
“I would hope that it would be short and quick,” said Feinstein. “That may be a vain [effort].”
And, others are pointing out that it’s silly to argue that the CIA needs a whole lot of time, seeing as it’s had this report for a long time:
“I’ll start to get impatient in about two weeks,” said Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with Democrats. “The CIA’s had this report for a year now. So they ought to know. It’s not like, ‘Oh, we’re just seeing it for the first time.’”
Either way, don’t expect to see anything for a while.