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.

Filed Under: , , , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “James Clapper Insists Redactions On The Torture Report Are 'Minimal'”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

He lied to Congress, why is he getting any coverage?

Nothing he says can be trusted, and the fact he has been less than truthful to those providing alleged oversight to what he is control of should be the lead into anything they report about him.

If we are going to be more concerned about not making people look bad when addressing concerns the law has been violated, lets just throw all the laws to the wind and… oh… well… fuck.

That One Guy (profile) says:

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.”

Just to get the most obvious bit out of the way, the fact that there were/are any ‘approved’ torture methods is easily one of the most disgusting, morally repugnant, and vile thing I’ve run across for a long while.

That out of the way, it’s hardly surprising they’d want to redact those bits, given the report was focused on how they’d overstepped the few limits that was set over the whole vile program. Much easier to just brush those ‘indiscretions’ and ‘inconvenient findings’ under the rug, black them out, and pretend they never happened than actually address it.

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.

And, assuming the redactions are allowed to stand, the CIA’s ‘version’ will pretty much automatically become the ‘correct’ one, since any evidence to the contrary will have been blacked out and eliminated.

1. CIA makes Claim A(‘torturing prisoners was responsible for valuable intelligence that could not have been achieved any other way’).
2. Report’s findings contradict claim, and presents evidence to back up the refutation.
3. Supporting evidence is redacted and effectively removed.
4. Without backing evidence, report is easily dismissed, and original claim stands as a result.

The CIA and WH have made their moves, certain that no other branch of the government has the spine to stand up to them and call them out on it.

Feinstein is a complete joke, and there’s absolutely no chance she’ll buck her previous trend of supporting the government, despite her laughable temporary posturing to the contrary, so it ultimately comes down to the other Senators as to whether or not the CIA/WH’s attempt to brush a report covering war-crimes under the rug will be allowed, or whether or not one of them has the guts and integrity to do what should have been done in the first place, that of releasing the report, unredacted, if not to do something to address a truly black mark in US history(ideally to bring those responsible to justice), then at the very least to make it so those involved will be known, worldwide and through history, for what they’ve done.

Jay (profile) says:


Alright… So we’re playing redactions? How about we bring up the past and some really questionable stuff that explains who would help the US?

We know that the UK has its hands dirty in this because it’s a part of Five Eyes. They’ve been using torture since the time of the London Cages while the Nuremberg Trials were considered a sham by some.

To tell you this is to give you context that the UK has its hands dirty and doesn’t want to come clean about their “expedition” just as much as America doesn’t.

But to say that they don’t pay for such things to go on in other countries is laughable. What about the story of the FBI destroying lives or spying on Americans?

While pointing the finger at the NYPD is laudable, it’s not helpful to know that the same programs are just hiding under a different name.

All this does is hide accountability for the actions of the government who wants to target communities. Before, the world was scared of communists for making FDR pass the New Deal. Then it was Socialists because teachers got paid a lot. Then the unions didn’t do anything. Then you had women wanting to work. Then it was black people were lazy.

Ya know… How about we look at how our government is running and do some Spring Cleaning? It pays to spy on us, it pays to boss us around… Why are we allowing it to do that instead of demand our damn representation?

We don’t need the stinking redactions. You already erased our history and destroyed lives. It’s time for you to be held accountable for your actions. James Clapper, you uphold a status quo that is far outside of what the public wants. You complain too much and you’ve done nothing but lie to us.

Someone FIRE this guy! And the next three down the line that even TRY to lie to us!

GEMont (profile) says:

stall, obfuscate, lie and then stall again - repeat

Oh for the love of mike folks, this is the Crapper Clapper remember.

If it speaks, shit comes out.

Its what he is paid to do after all; lie to the US public and anyone who has no “need-to-know”. How can anything he says be considered news – or worth reading/hearing – unless you take what he says and reverse it??

As always, the longer the USG can keep people confused, and waiting for responses, the longer they can keep on doing exactly what they are doing.

Yes, they are still torturing people.

Yes they are still using methods of torture that even their own less than humanitarian standards do not consider to be lawful.

Yes they are “creating” new and approved, unauthorized methods of torture on the fly.

Yes they intend to keep right on torturing people for as long as they can, no matter what you, the “adversary” thinks or does.

No they have not learned squat as far as useful intel is concerned from the entire program and no they don’t really care that they have learned squat in useful intel because they are enjoying themselves no end torturing folks they don’t like.

This whole ploy of totally redacting the supposed “public synopsis” of the Torture Report, is just another play for time, and it has worked as well as all the other stalls they’ve pulled for everything else they’ve been caught doing to date – and are still doing to this day.

Because You The People are utterly helpless and cannot do anything to stop them. You are no longer the Government’s employer. You are their bitch.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...