Senator Wyden Toying With The Idea Of Releasing The Senate's CIA Torture Report
from the the-pressure's-on dept
Senator Ron Wyden is apparently getting tired of waiting for the White House to use up its buckets of black ink in redacting everything important in the Senate’s big torture report. He’s publicly pondering the idea of using Senate privilege to just release it himself.
As you may recall, the Senate Intelligence Committee spent years and $40 million investigating the CIA’s torture program, and the 6,000+ page report is supposedly devastating in highlighting (1) how useless the program was and (2) how far the CIA went in torturing people (for absolutely no benefit) and (3) how the CIA lied to Congress about all of this. The CIA, not surprisingly, is not too happy about the report. At all. Still, despite its protests, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify the executive summary of the report.
However, the CIA got to take first crack at figuring out what to redact, which seemed like a massive conflict of interest. Either way, the CIA apparently finally ran out of black ink in late June, and asked the White House to black out whatever else was left. The State Department has already expressed concerns that releasing anything will just anger the public (our response: probably should have thought of that before sending the CIA to torture people). And, now it appears the report is being held up due to “security” concerns.
At least some are getting anxious about this. Senator Wyden has apparently deliberately mentioned Senate Resolution 400 to two separate reporters recently. The key part of Resolution 400 is as follows:
The Select Committee may, subject to the provisions of this section, disclose publicly any information in the possession of such committee after a determination by such committee that the public interest would be served by such disclosure. Whenever committee action is required to disclose any information under this section, the committee shall meet to vote on the matter within five days after any member of the committee requests such a vote. No member of the Select Committee shall disclose any information, the disclosure of which requires a committee vote, prior to a vote by the committee on the question of the disclosure of such information or after such vote except in accordance with this section
Now, this still means he’d need to get the rest of the Committee to go along with the plan, which could be difficult. But, really, it seems that this move is just an effort to remind the White House that if it keeps dragging its feet, the Intelligence Committee (the majority of whom have already supported releasing this document) can take matters into its own hands.