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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    That One Guy (profile), May 9th, 2014 @ 1:47pm

    'Months'? Really?

    How long does it take to go out and fetch a bunch of carbon paper and staple it together? Are they special-ordering it from an over-seas country or something? Perhaps having the staples custom made?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), May 9th, 2014 @ 2:39pm

    Re: 'Months'? Really?

    Be fair. To make carbon paper, you have to obtain both paper and carbon. It takes time to cut down trees, make the paper, burn scrap wood for the carbon, and assemble everything. Then there's the staples. You think that mining and refining the metal can be done instantly? And then you have extrude it into wire, bend it into the staple shape, and so forth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2014 @ 2:56pm

    Re: 'Months'? Really?

    I think the hold up is the massive amounts of black markers they had to order.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2014 @ 4:06pm

    Please note that 100 years is only 1200 months, and should put any guilty parties beyond the reach of the law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    tomczerniawski, May 9th, 2014 @ 4:57pm


    ... cannot exist without an informed electorate. Therefore, state secrecy and democracy cannot coexist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Graham J, May 9th, 2014 @ 5:30pm


    I find it odd that you don't even imply that the reason for these delays may be, you know, a conflict of interest.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    That One Guy (profile), May 9th, 2014 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Conflict?

    Pointing that out would be rather like pointing out that water is wet, it's pretty much a given that the major real reason for the 'delays' is that conflict of interest on the part of the CIA, and their hopes that if they can delay it a while, like say a couple of years, people won't be paying as much attention, so they can toss out an almost entirely redacted report unnoticed, or, in a best case scenario(for them) never release it at all, in the hopes that they can just 'wait it out'.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2014 @ 6:26am

    Didn't we hang for same stuff at Nuremberg?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    David, May 10th, 2014 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: 'Months'? Really?

    Why would they need black markers when ready-made carbon paper is available?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    That One Guy (profile), May 10th, 2014 @ 11:15am


    Ah but see those were nazis, filthy scum who killed for the heck of it, wheres the brave people in the CIA who brutally tort- I mean 'enhanced interrogated' prisoners were doing it for freedom, and because terrorists, which makes it totally not a war crime of the highest order. /s

    Yeah, every last one of them involved, from those that committed the actions, to those that ordered them done, deserve to be treated and remembered for all time as war criminals, and executed as such.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous, May 10th, 2014 @ 4:23pm


    I didn't.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous, May 10th, 2014 @ 4:47pm

    The sooner Amerikkka dies, the better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Sambo, May 11th, 2014 @ 9:00pm

    I bet some of the Senate Committee staffers wished there was like, some kind of website where they could anonymously provide this report to so it made its way into the publics hands.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Hide this ad »
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Hide this ad »
Recent Stories
Advertisement - Amazon Prime Music
Hide this ad »


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.