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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 At the time of publication Avery Kleinman was the Beth Daley Impact Fellow for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Open Government

Related Content: Government Secrecy, Congressional Oversight, Intelligence

Authors: Avery Kleinman

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