James Clapper Insists Redactions On The Torture Report Are 'Minimal'
from the the-least-untruthful-thing-he-could-say dept
On Friday, we wrote about Senator Dianne Feinstein’s concern about how much of the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA torture program had been redacted during the declassification process. In response, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has angrily shot back that there were only “minimal” redactions:
More than 85% of the Committee Report has been declassified, and half of the redactions are in footnotes. The redactions were the result of an extensive and unprecedented interagency process, headed up by my office, to protect sensitive classified information. We are confident that the declassified document delivered to the Committee will provide the public with a full view of the Committee?s report on the detention and interrogation program, and we look forward to a constructive dialogue with the Committee.
Compare that to Feinstein’s statement, which noted:
A preliminary review of the report indicates there have been significant redactions. We need additional time to understand the basis for these redactions and determine their justification.
Reporter Jason Leopold spoke to some people knowledgeable about the redactions, who said that they were about methods of torture that hadn’t been revealed… and about countries that helped the CIA. Basically, more stuff that would embarrass the CIA and certain allies, but which wouldn’t actually impact national security today.
Two officials with access to the declassified executive summary told VICE News that some of the redactions allegedly pertain to the manner in which the detainees were held captive, and to certain torture techniques that were not among the 10 ?approved? methods contained in a Justice Department legal memo commonly referred to as the ?torture memo.? The officials said the never before?revealed methods, which in certain instances were ?improvised,? are central to the report because they underscore the ?cruelty? of the program. Some other redactions allegedly pertain to the origins of the program and the intelligence the CIA collected through the use of torture, which the Senate report claims was of little or no value ? a claim with which the CIA disagrees.
Another US official told VICE News that the CIA ?vehemently opposed? the inclusion of some of the footnotes because they allegedly revealed too many ?specific? details about the CIA?s operational files, which evidently contain information about foreign intelligence sources and operations, and provide clues about the foreign governments that allowed the CIA to operate its torture program in their countries. (The National Clandestine’s Service’s operational files are protected from public disclosure and open records laws.) The report, according to the US official, identifies the countries where the suspected terrorists were held as ?Country A, Country B, Country C.?
Of course, if we’re going to “come clean” on this black spot in our history, it would help to really come clean about it. Hiding that the torture the CIA did was much worse than originally thought means that officials still aren’t willing to come to terms with what the CIA did.