Former top officials at the CIA want to make sure that they get a chance to see an upcoming report about the spy agency’s “enhanced interrogation techniques,” according to new reports on Saturday.
Former CIA Directors George Tenet, Porter Goss and Michael Hayden drafted a letter asking to see the Senate’s executive summary of the so-called “torture report,” which they sent to Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the New York Times reported.
The three chiefs and two former acing directors, John McLaughlin and Michael Morell, did reportedly get a chance to see the document, which reviews how controversial practices such as waterboarding were used. But many other top staffers did not.
About a dozen former officials who are named in the report were initially promised the chance to read it, according to the Associated Press. That offer was taken back on Friday, however, due to what CIA officials said was miscommunication.
Now, some of the former officials are livid that they aren’t being allowed to see the controversial document.
One former official told the AP he was “outraged” that he could not see how his work was being characterized.
"They are accusing people of misleading Congress, of misleading the Justice Department, and they never even asked to talk to us," John Rizzo, who retired in 2009 as the spy agency’s top lawyer, told the AP. "And now they won't let us read the report before it is made public.”
According to Senate aides cited by the AP, Feinstein protested the Obama administration's initial offer to allow retired CIA officials to view the Senate report, which led the promise to be rescinded.
The Times reported that Tenet’s pressure to see the report is part of a “counterattack” against the report that he has crafted for months. That effort has included a strategy to directly rebut the report’s findings, which has kept him close with current CIA chief John Brennan, a friend and former aide.
The tension highlights the high stakes for the 600-page public summary of the classified 6,300-page report, which thoroughly analyzes the controversial interrogation and detention practices employed by the Bush administration after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
President Obama stopped many of those practices, which he called torture, when he took office.
The Senate’s report will contain a summary of the full classified document, and has eagerly anticipated by critics of the interrogation regime. It is expected to declare that the practices were ineffective, more harsh than previously understood and were sometimes employed without the narrow rules required by the legal interpretations of the Justice Department.