CIA Finishes Its Torture Report Redactions As Relations With Senate Intelligence Committee Have Become 'Strained'

from the shouldn't-they-always-be-that-way dept

As you may recall, back in April, the Senate finally voted to declassify parts of the executive summary of its $40 million, 6,300-page report on the disastrous CIA torture program. Of course, as part of that, the White House said it would let the CIA take a first crack at figuring out what to redact, with the expected answer being "a whole hell of a lot." The CIA has apparently now turned its first draft of redactions over to the White House, which is expected to further redact things, because the State Department is afraid that releasing the report might make people angry at US officials. While that may be true, it would seem that the proper response to that would have been to, you know, not torture people, rather than to hide the report under a bunch of black ink.

Of course, there's a separate meta-drama within all of this, which was the big fight between the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee who wrote the report, after it came out that the CIA spied on the Senate staffers working on this report. That got even more messy, when the CIA then asked the DOJ to investigate those Senate staffers for possible crimes, while the Senate also asked the DOJ to investigate if the CIA had broken the law in spying on those staffers' computers. Needless to say, there's been something of a chill in "relations" between the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee.

In the Politico report about the CIA handing the report over to the White House, it includes a tidbit at the end, suggesting that the chilly relationship has not thawed at all:
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), a former Intelligence Committee chairman, said the declassification process has strained relations between the committee and the administration’s intelligence apparatus. The CIA has accused the committee of removing an internal interrogation review from its facilities — and Feinstein has charged that the CIA erred in removing that document from the committee’s computers.

“There’s a code of silence. And it stems from the redaction of this enhanced interrogation, torture report,” Rockefeller said of congressional relations with the CIA.
While the "code of silence" seems stupid and petty, frankly, it's probably a good thing that the sides aren't too chummy. The whole point of the Intelligence Committees in both houses of Congress is supposed to be for oversight of the intelligence community. However, in recent years that's obviously changed into something entirely different, where those Committees seemed much more focused on being the intelligence community's cheerleaders and defenders, rather than overseers. The relationship here should be somewhat adversarial. No one's saying they need to hate each others' guts, but it's pretty clear that bad things happen when the relationship has become downright friendly.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: cia, redactions, senate intelligence committee, state department, torture, torture report, white house

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2014 @ 9:32am

    Hear hear!

Add Your Comment

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

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Sponsored Promotion
Public Money, Public Code - Sign The Open Letter at
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

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