White House Apparently Doing Everything To Stop Release Of CIA Torture Report

from the the-fight-is-on dept

On Tuesday evening, Senator Dianne Feinstein had told reporters that the Senate Intelligence Committee and the White House were finally close to an agreement to finalize the release of the declassified executive summary of the CIA torture report. As we’ve been discussing for months, back in April the Senate Intelligence Committee agreed to declassify the 480-page executive summary of the 6,300-page report (which cost $40 million to put together). As we’d noted, the CIA and White House first offered up redactions that made the whole thing “incomprehensible” according to some in the Senate.

The main fight had come down to pseudonyms. The White House and CIA were demanding that pseudonyms be redacted, even though they were already pseudonyms. The concern, from the CIA, was that by identifying which individuals are the same throughout the report, it would provide enough information for people to figure out who some of the people were. However, as Senator Wyden noted, this is both ridiculous and unprecedented, as plenty of previous such reports have used pseudonyms without a problem.

Either way, it appears that the Senators finally gave in and agreed to “meeting [the White House/CIA] more than halfway”, and the response from the White House was to reject even this compromise.

Now even after Senate Democrats agreed to remove some pseudonyms at White House request, the Oval Office is still haggling for more redactions.

“The White House is continuing to put up fierce resistance to the release of the report,” said one knowledgeable Senate aide. “Ideally, we should be closing ground and finalizing the last stages right now so that we can release the report post-Thanksgiving. But, despite the fact that the committee has drastically reduced the number of pseudonyms in the report, the White House is still resisting and dragging this out.”

It appears that many people are reasonably wondering if the White House is just trying to drag this out until the Republicans are in charge of the Senate and they can bury the report. Of course, that only increases the chance that Mark Udall reads the report into the record. However, I’ve seen some suggestions that if this is the real sticking point, he can just leak the pseudonyms…

Either way, it looks like this stupid political fight is ongoing…

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Comments on “White House Apparently Doing Everything To Stop Release Of CIA Torture Report”

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32 Comments
That One Guy (profile) says:

Some people never learn

Neither the WH, nor the CIA, will allow the report to be released in any real sense, with any important details, ever, as long as they have any say in the matter.

The solution as such is simple: remove them from the equation. Given the subject of the report, they never should have been involved in the process in the first place, and handing them veto rights just made it worse, so the committee just needs to boot them out of the discussion, and release the report on their own.

Anonymous Coward says:

This is about a dog and pony show. Government doesn’t thrive to get smaller. Nor does it like it’s dirty laundry exposed. Neither party is serious about getting this report out. This is the pap for the public.

Congress has time and again chances to change the way the NSA operates but the only direction is more not less spying. Congress is not on it’s own going to change this.

Nor are the tech companies going to change it. They were quite happy to do the government’s bidding for sucking up boodles of money as long as it remained in the dark. Great for the bottom line. When it was exposed to the light, the only reason that any steps are being taken such as Google applying encryption between server centers, is that if people stop using their services then there goes the bottom line. Exposing the practices to light was the only reason the tech companies got religion over privacy.

Obama has shown his colors once more. Remember the statement he didn’t know what went on in the security branches and had to read it in the newspapers? Damn, there’s that transparency peeking out again.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Of course, that only increases the chance that Mark Udall reads the report into the record.

“Don’t get your hopes up, I still say it won’t happen”

I agree.

“Rockefeller said Democrats were thinking creatively about how to resolve the dispute. “We have ideas,” he said, adding that reading the report’s executive summary into the record on the Senate floor would probably meet with only limited success. “The question would be how much you could read before they grabbed you and hauled you off.””

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/20/cia-torture-white-house_n_6195032.html

Yes, it’s Huffpo. Can’t help that, first report I saw that mentioned this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Privileges of the House [was Of course, that only increases the chance...]

“The question would be how much you could read before they grabbed you and hauled you off.”

Tuesday, 4 January 1642

On 4 January 1642, King Charles I entered the House of Commons to arrest five Members of Parliament for high treason. . . .

No monarch has entered the House of Commons since then.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Of course, that only increases the chance that Mark Udall reads the report into the record.

It would take huge guts, but if they were really willing to stand up to the WH and CIA, they could have a string of people waiting to read the entire thing into the record, shifting to the next one when one got tired and/or was grabbed and removed from the room. Hauling off one politician would be one thing, a dozen or more? That would be a lot more difficult to just brush under the rug.

Beech says:

I am confused. What exactly is the executive branch bargaining with? The way it looks to me, the Senate has complete power in this situation. They could have just released the whole unredacted thing AGES ago. But instead they tried to place nice, that’s understandable.

But when the CIA and POTUS are being dickbags about trying to redact the whole damn thing, why wouldn’t the Senate just redact the document any way they feel like and release it without any further input from the executive branch?
What leverage does the White House have here?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You don’t exactly need much leverage when you’re dealing with spineless, self-serving cowards. The WH/CIA probably just gave them a stern look and they folded and promised to let the WH/CIA do what they wanted, and what little pushback they’ve managed is nothing more than their attempt to maintain at least some semblance of ‘authority’ on the matter.

Reality bites (profile) says:

CIA = Criminals in Authority.. what else could be expected.

Like all rogue agencies staffed exclusively by traitors, retards and psychopaths, they are kept in check only by force.

Being unable to reason even on a dumb monkeys level, they are completely devoid of anything resembling humanity, just like skynet took over, except it was the gov psycho’s.

More crime is committed by those in authority than by those under it.

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