Dianne Feinstein Calls Bullshit On The 'Threat Assessment' That Said Releasing CIA Torture Report Would Lead To Violence
from the what-violence? dept
Feinstein may no longer be the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but she's still on it. And in its first public hearing of the new Congress, she took the opportunity to quiz National Counterterrorism Center boss Nick Rasmussen about the supposed "threat assessment."
Feinstein: And I have one other question to ask the Director. Um, Mr. Director, days before the public release of our report on CIA detention and interrogation, we received an intelligence assessment predicting violence throughout the world and significant damage to United States relationships. NCTC participated in that assessment. Do you believe that assessment proved correct?As Marcy Wheeler notes, later in the hearing, Senator Ron Wyden also got Rasmussen to admit that he hadn't read the rest of the CIA Torture report, but just the unclassified summary.
Rasmussen: I can speak particularly to the threat portion of that rather than the partnership aspect of that because I would say that’s the part NCTC would have the most direct purchase on, and I can’t say that I can disaggregate the level of terrorism and violence we’ve seen in the period since the report was issued, disaggregate that level from what we might have seen otherwise because, as you know, the turmoil roiling in those parts of the world, not that part of the world, those parts of the world, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, there’s a number of factors that go on creating the difficult threat environment we face.
So the assessment we made at the time as a community was that we would increase or add to the threat picture in those places. I don’t know that looking backwards now, I can say it did by X% or it didn’t by X%. We were also, I think, clear in saying that there’s parts of the impact that we will not know until we have the benefit of time to see how it would play out in different locations around the world.
Feinstein: Oh boy do I disagree with you. But that’s what makes this arena I guess. The fact in my mind was that the threat assessment was not correct.
Of course, it's no real surprise that the "threat assessment" turned out to be complete bunk, like almost everyone predicted. But since this is Washington DC, there's no accountability on issues like this. It's why the intelligence community can spread scary FUD all day long -- because no one ever calls them on the fact that it's bullshit, and there's no accountability at all.