Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelInterpreter who helped rescue Biden in 2008 escapes Afghanistan Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon chiefs to Congress: Don't default Pentagon chiefs say debt default could risk national security MORE has ordered military commanders to be on high alert to respond to any security threats over the release of a report detailing the CIA's controversial interrogation practices.
“I’ve directed all of our combatant commanders to have all their commands on alert because we want to be prepared, just in case,” Hagel said on CNN Tuesday.
But the outgoing Pentagon chief also said he knew of no “specific” threats over the report. He added that the Defense Department had worked with investigators to limit the impact the report will have on the safety of its personnel.
“Well you know the president has said that we need to be honest and get this report out,” Hagel said. “We have had an opportunity to redact some of the most sensitive parts of that to protect our people.”
The report, released Tuesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee, is a scathing look at the CIA’s interrogation and detention practices. The investigators found that enhanced interrogation was frequently ineffective and more brutal than previously understood. They also concluded that the CIA misled its overseers in the White House and Congress.
Officials and lawmakers have warned that the report's revelations could spark violence against U.S. personnel and facilities abroad. This weekend, embassies and military installations were placed on high alert.
Hagel is in the Middle East on his last trip to Iraq and Afghanistan as secretary. He announced his intention to step down last month, but told CNN he is hopeful that his legacy will live on at the agency.
“You build records and you build, hopefully, something you can leave behind and strengthen your institution with a lot of people, a lot of teamwork,” he said. “ And that’s the experience I’ll take away from this job.”