NYTimes: Senate Panel Approves Release of C.I.A. Interrogation Report

http://nyti.ms/1j5QioW

The public will soon get its first look at a voluminous report on the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation practices during the George W. Bush administration, after the Senate Intelligence Committee voted on Thursday to declassify key sections of the report.

“The report exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat of California and the chairwoman of the committee, said in a written statement after the vote. “This is not what Americans do.”

The committee voted to declassify the report’s executive summary and conclusions, or more than 480 of its 6,200 pages. The next step is President Obama’s approval. Mr. Obama, who opposed the C.I.A. program as a presidential candidate and discontinued it once he took office in 2009, has said he wants the findings of the report to be made public.

The White House would not say how long it would take the administration to review the report for sensitive national security disclosures, but a spokeswoman said the process would be expedited.

“We urge the committee to complete the report and send it to us, so that we can declassify the findings and the American people can understand what happened in the past, and that can help guide us as we move forward,” said Caitlin Hayden, the spokeswoman for the National Security Council.

“We’ll do that as expeditiously as we can,” she said, “but I’m not going to speculate on the time frame for declassifying something we haven’t received yet.”

People who have read the report, written by the Senate committee, say it offers the most detailed look to date on the C.I.A.’s brutal methods of interrogating terrorism suspects in the years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It concludes that the spy agency repeatedly misled Congress, the White House and the public about the benefits of the program.

Republicans on the committee have been harshly critical of the report, calling it a one-sided attempt to discredit the C.I.A. and the Bush administration. As a result, they have refused to take part in the investigation.

Even so, the vote did attract some Republican support. “Despite the report’s significant errors, omissions and assumptions — as well as a lot of cherry-picking of the facts — I want the American people to be able to see it and judge for themselves,” Senator Saxby Chambliss, the ranking Republican on the committee, said in a written statement.

The committee, which met in a closed session on Thursday, also approved the declassification of the Republican dissent from the report’s conclusions and the C.I.A.’s response to the investigation.

The outcome of the committee vote was expected after two members of the committee from Maine — Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent — announced on Wednesday that they were supporting Ms. Feinstein’s effort to declassify parts of the report, giving her the votes she needed.

Amnesty International, which says that the C.I.A.’s interrogation techniques amounted to torture and therefore violated international law, welcomed the committee’s vote but said the report should be released in full and without redactions.

“Given the systematic failure of the U.S. authorities to declassify and disclose anything like the full truth about the C.I.A. rendition, detention and interrogation programs, any transparency on them is a step in the right direction,” the group said in a statement.

Michael D. Shear contributed reporting.

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