Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 28, 2015

Feinstein Reviewing Redactions in Senate Torture Report

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Brennan and Feinstein. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:26 p.m. | The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report into torture by the CIA is in the panel’s hands but is still under review, Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said late Friday.

Feinstein said in a statement the White House has returned the executive summary of her committee’s report.

“The committee this afternoon received the redacted executive summary of our study on the CIA detention and interrogation program.

“A preliminary review of the report indicates there have been significant redactions. We need additional time to understand the basis for these redactions and determine their justification.

“Therefore the report will be held until further notice and released when that process is completed.”

News of the return of the summary comes the same day that President Barack Obama expressed “full confidence” in CIA Director John O. Brennan, despite a barrage of concern on Capitol Hill that he misled the public about the CIA improperly accessing computers used by the Intelligence Committee’s investigators.

Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado issued a statement Friday night he is concerned about “the excessive redactions,” Feinstein mentioned, “especially given the president’s unequivocal commitment to declassifying the Senate Intelligence Committee’s study.”

He added, “I promised earlier this year to hold the president to his word and I intends to do so.”

Intelligence ranking member Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said in a statement that he opposed the study from the onset because intelligence community resources would be “squandered” over a debate settled years ago.

“This study is an ideologically motivated, distorted recounting of events. I encourage everyone to read the minority views and decide for themselves. These views are not an independent report — nor are they a defense of the CIA — rather, they provide the minority’s viewpoint on the flawed committee study.”

Later Friday night, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper issued a statement defending the redactions, saying they were part of an “extensive and unprecedented” review and were intended to protect classified information.

“More than 85% of the Committee Report has been declassified, and half of the redactions are in footnotes,” Clapper said. “We are confident that the declassified document delivered to the Committee will provide the public with a full view of the Committee’s report on the detention and interrogation program, and we look forward to a constructive dialogue with the Committee.”

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