Detention & Guantanamo

Senate Intelligence Committee Interrogation Report Approved---But Not Released

By Benjamin Wittes
Friday, December 14, 2012, 9:36 AM

Well, we know it’s long---more than 6,000 pages long. We know it’s critical. And we know it was approved on a 9-to-6 vote. Here’s the statement by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on the committee’s report on CIA detention and and interrogation:

The committee’s report is more than 6,000 pages long. It is a comprehensive review of the CIA’s detention program that includes details of each detainee in CIA custody, the conditions under which they were detained, how they were interrogated, the intelligence they actually provided and the accuracy—or inaccuracy—of CIA descriptions about the program to the White House, Department of Justice, Congress and others. With this vote, the committee also approved the report’s list of 20 findings and conclusions.

The report is based on a documentary review of more than 6 million pages of CIA and other records, extensively citing those documents to support its findings. There are more than 35,000 footnotes in the report. I believe it to be one of the most significant oversight efforts in the history of the United States Senate, and by far the most important oversight activity ever conducted by this committee.

Following the committee’s vote today, I will provide the report to President Obama and key executive branch officials for their review and comment. The report will remain classified and is not being released in whole or in part at this time. The committee will make those decisions after receiving the executive branch comments.

The report uncovers startling details about the CIA detention and interrogation program and raises critical questions about intelligence operations and oversight. I look forward to working with the president and his national security team, including the Director of National Intelligence and Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, to address these important issues, with the top priority being the safety and security of our nation.

Conducting oversight is sometimes a difficult and unpleasant task for all involved, but I am confident the CIA will emerge a better and more able organization as a result of the committee’s work. I also believe this report will settle the debate once and for all over whether our nation should ever employ coercive interrogation techniques such as those detailed in this report.

I strongly believe that the creation of long-term, clandestine ‘black sites’ and the use of so-called ‘enhanced-interrogation techniques’ were terrible mistakes. The majority of the Committee agrees.

Finally, I would like to thank members of the committee for their patience over the past three and a half years, as well as their attention and support. I would also like to thank the staff, who have dedicated themselves to this task, putting in extraordinary hours in order to produce this report.

Senator John McCain issued this letter to the other members of the intelligence committee.