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Dem senators take aim at CIA head

Several Democratic senators took aim at CIA Director John Brennan on Wednesday over an internal CIA review of the agency’s harsh interrogation techniques during the George W. Bush administration.

Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) clashed with Brennan, as they pushed for the CIA to allow the public release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 6,300-page “torture report” on the Bush-era enhanced interrogation.

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Udall pressed Brennan to talk about the CIA’s internal review of the interrogation techniques, launched in 2009 by then-CIA Director Leon Panetta.

He asked Brennan whether he knew about the internal review when Brennan issued a statement last year criticizing portions of the Senate Intelligence report that concluded the Bush-era interrogation techniques were not effective.

“It wasn’t a review, senator, it was a summary. At the time, no, I had not gone through it,” Brennan said.

“That strikes me as a bit improbable,” Udall responded, “given that you knew about the internal review, and you spoke to us and stated that your obligation as CIA director was to make sure the CIA response was as thorough and accurate as possible.”

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