DOJ again asks for delay on CIA report’s release

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday for the fourth time asked a court to delay the release of a 500-page summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into a Bush-era CIA rendition, detention and interrogation program.

{mosads}The DOJ made the request to a federal district court in Washington that is handling a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the release of the summary and other materials. The request was made one day before the last one-month extension was set to expire.

“The government regretfully, but of necessity, seeks a fourth extension of time to release non-exempt information in the documents at issue,” the DOJ says in the request.

The department said the delay was on behalf of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which advised the DOJ that the report’s executive summary, findings and conclusions “will not be ready for release tomorrow.”

“Thus, [Senate Intelligence Committee] has asked the Department to ask this Court for one additional extension,” the request says.

A Wednesday release could have caused distractions for Democratic candidates just a week ahead of high-stakes midterm elections.

Democrats have said the investigation of the CIA’s program is important in order to close a dark chapter of history when enhanced interrogation techniques, which critics of the program say amounted to torture, were used.

Republicans, however, say the investigation is a partisan attack meant to cast blame on Bush administration officials and the CIA that could result in prosecutions of those who participated in the program. They also warn that releasing the report could spark anti-U.S. anger and endanger U.S. assets and personnel overseas.

Republicans on the committee refused to participate in the investigation, and have attached a dissenting statement to the report.

The one-month extension would push the summary’s release date to Nov. 29. The committee’s chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), began the investigation in 2009.

In previous delays, Feinstein has asked the DOJ to delay the release of the materials so she could work with the White House in rolling back heavy redactions made to the summary and the accompanying materials.

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