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Obama Promises to Declassify CIA Torture Report

President Obama

President Obama has pledged to declassify the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s (SSCI) headline-making report about the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) interrogation techniques.

From Agence France-Presse:

"I am absolutely committed to declassifying that report as soon as the report is completed," Obama told reporters.

"In fact, I would urge them to go ahead and complete the report, send it to us.

"We will declassify those findings so that the American people can understand what happened in the past, and that can help guide us as we move forward."

The President’s commitment to declassifying the SSCI report follows a week of public sparring between the CIA and the SSCI. Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein publicly expressed outrage and concern that the CIA may have violated the Constitution’s separation of powers by spying on her committee staff members’ computers as they investigated the agency’s interrogation and detention practices.

Earlier this week, the Project On Government Oversight organized a letter with a number of concerned groups to President Obama , stating:

We urge you to take three initial steps to help restore public confidence: Declassify the SSCI report; end any obstruction of congressional oversight; and hold the CIA accountable for any criminal violations or other improper conduct.

POGO’s Director of Public Policy Angela Canterbury said, “We’re pleased with the President’s commitment, but now the question is: when and how much of the report will be made public? We hope that Chairman Feinstein won’t stand for any further delaying tactics and will move quickly to finalize and declassify the report.”

By: Avery Kleinman
Beth Daley Impact Fellow, POGO

Avery Kleinman Avery Kleinman is the Beth Daley Impact Fellow for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Open Government

Related Content: Government Secrecy, Congressional Oversight, Intelligence

Authors: Avery Kleinman

Submitted by Makaainana at: March 16, 2014
Acta non Verba
Submitted by cyberman at: March 16, 2014
Let us hope the SCCI report does not focus just on the serious illegalities of the CIA and other executive agencies and departments. To effectively address this shameful American tragedy correctly several things must be done in the SCCI report. (1) the report must name those in the administrations involved who violated the laws and treaties of this country in authorizing the torture and rendition policies to begin with (2) it must name those in the administrations involved who knew but did not act to stop it - for example those at the NSC. (3) it must name those in congress and their staffs who were, under cover of classification and secrecy, briefed on the program or otherwise came to know about it and did not call for a screeching halt to the program thus acquiescing to it. (4) it must identify the counties who assisted the CIA in their nefarious schemes and the specific individuals in these countries so involved - at every level. The SCCI report must make recommendations that those above be referred to the DOJ for prosecution including possibly prosecution under the RICO conspiracy laws. Oh I forgot, the DOJ was part of the conspiracy. As Emily Litella would have said, 'never mind.'

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