House Dems urge Obama to quickly declassify CIA report

Forty House Democrats are urging President Obama to quickly declassify portions of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the government’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques. 

Last week, over loud objections from the CIA, the Senate committee voted 11 to 3 to declassify the report's summary, leaving the final action to Obama.

“We urge you to take this opportunity to cast some new light on a dark period in our history," the House Democrats wrote to Obama on Thursday. "The sooner the summary of the report and its findings are made public in their entirety, the sooner we can move on from this unfortunate chapter in our history."

The 6,200-page review reportedly found that the intelligence community misled Congress and the public about how post-9/11 interrogation techniques were used on detainees, and their effectiveness. 

“If accurate,” the findings are “extremely troubling,” according to the letter spearheaded by Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffBowing to pressure, White House to host bipartisan briefing on Russia investigation The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — GOP centrists in striking distance of immigration vote What's wrong with the Democratic Party? Just look at California MORE (D-Calif.).

Lawmakers say the review found officials had downplayed torture methods used on terrorism suspects, and that enhanced interrogation techniques were not crucial in hunting down Osama bin Laden. 

Lawmakers want Obama to release the summary, which spans 400 pages.

“It is vital that Congress receive a full accounting of any discrepancies in what we were told with regard to detainee treatment and the intelligence gathered and what actually took place," the lawmakers wrote.

The Democrats also asked Obama to declassify dissenting views filed by Republicans on the committee, and for the CIA’s response to the report to be “quickly declassified as well.”

After the vote, the report was sent to the CIA for redactions before it can be publicly released.

Obama previously indicated he would declassify the report “so that the American people can understand what happened in the past.” 

The United States should set an example in the humane treatment of detainees, the lawmakers said. 

“Part of that commitment means acknowledging times when we failed to live up to our values and our laws, even when doing so is uncomfortable.”

The letter was signed by Democratic Reps. Jan Schakowsky (Il.), Luis Guttierez (Il.), Ed Pastor (Ariz.), Jim McDermott (Wash.), Grace Napolitano (Calif.), Peter Welch (Vt.), Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Alan Grayson (Fla.), Hank Johnson (Ga.), David Price (N.C.), Henry Waxman (Calif.), Michael Honda (Calif.), Julia Brownley (Calif.), Donna Edwards (Md.), John Garamendi (Calif.), Anna G. Eshoo (Calif.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), George Miller (Calif.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.), Sam Farr (Calif.), William Enyart (Il.), Lloyd Doggett (Texas), Barbara Lee (Calif.), Jackie Speier (Calif.), John Conyers (Mich.), Louise Slaughter (N.Y.), James McGovern (Mass.), Beto O’Rourke (Texas), Jose Serrano (N.Y), Dina Titus (Nev.), Ted Deutch (Fla.), Paul Tonko (N.Y.), Alan Lowenthal (Calif.), John Lewis (Ga.), John Yarmuth (Calif.), Lois Capps (Calif.), Keith Ellison (Minn.), Mark Pocan (Wis.), and James Moran (Va).