The Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday is expected to approve its long-awaited report on the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” under former President George W. Bush.
But the secretive panel is not planning to make the findings of the roughly 6,000-page report, which has been more than three years in the making, immediately public, The Hill has learned.
The release of the report is likely to move the issue of enhanced interrogation to the forefront of the political debate, as discussions over whether to close the Guantánamo Bay prison have recently been reignited. The prison — where many of the U.S.’s high-value detainees who were captured abroad have been held — is seen by some to be a continuing symbol of the controversial interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding and sleep deprivation, and damaging to America’s reputation in the world.
President Obama banned the use of the controversial interrogation techniques as one of his first acts in the White House.
Some Republicans and intelligence officials argue that the president wouldn't have been able to order the killing of Osama bin Laden without the intelligence that the techniques produced.
Democrats have waged an extensive battle against the controversial interrogation methods. They said they were misled about the use of the tactics and argue they amounted to torture and violated international war laws.
The Bush administration argued that the methods, which were used on self-professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, among others, were within the law and helped U.S. intelligence officials disrupt terrorist plots against the United States.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) came under fire in 2009, when it was revealed that CIA officials briefed her and other members of the House Intelligence Committee about the techniques in 2002 and 2003.
Around the same time, the Senate Intelligence Committee, under the direction of chairwoman Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinA guide to the committees: Senate Dem: Trump's China trademark looks like a quid pro quo Senate advances Trump's Commerce pick MORE (D-Calif.), launched the first extensive investigation into whether the techniques were useful in gathering intelligence.
More than three years later, after analyzing millions of classified documents, the committee is expected to release a report that concludes the techniques did not produce any significant intelligence advances, according to Reuters.
Committee staff told The Hill earlier this year they expected the panel to vote on whether to approve the report this past summer.
This story was updated on Dec. 11 at 11:10 a.m. An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the committee vote was scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 11.