Feinstein urges White House to release full CIA torture report

Feinstein urges White House to release full CIA torture report
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Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinProgressive groups urge Feinstein to back filibuster carve out for voting rights or resign Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall Five faces from the media who became political candidates MORE (D-Calif.) is urging the White House to declassify the Intelligence Committee’s full report on how the CIA detained and interrogated terror suspects.

“Last night I handed a letter to [Vice President] Joe BidenJoe BidenUS lawmakers arrive in Taiwan to meet with local officials Biden meets with Coast Guard on Thanksgiving Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season MORE to give to the president — to make sure he got my original letter,” Feinstein told reporters Tuesday.


The letter, she said, is a call to make public the entire 7,000-page document. It is identical to a letter sent directly to President Obama last week, according to an aide. 

The California Democrat chaired the Intelligence panel that produced the 2014 report. Now known as the “torture report,” the study found many of the CIA’s practices were overly brutal and possibly illegal.

Two years ago, Feinstein campaigned fiercely against the White House and the spy agency to make public the 500-page summary of the report’s findings. Now, following the election of Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFive reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season Giving thanks for Thanksgiving itself Immigration provision in Democrats' reconciliation bill makes no sense MORE, who campaigned on the reinstitution of waterboarding, she is pushing for the release of the entire document.

“The issue has been raised; it’s been raised by the president-elect. It’s time to address it,” she said. “The time has come to declassify the report, allow the general public to make up its own mind. At least those that’ll read 7,000 pages.”

Trump a year ago pledged: “Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I'd approve it. You bet your ass — in a heartbeat.”

His pick for the director of the CIA, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas), has criticized Feinstein for the release of the executive summary, arguing that it “put American lives at risk.”

“It is hard to imagine a sound reason that Sen. Feinstein would put American operators and their families at risk by demanding the release of details that are not in any way related to the legality or appropriateness of the programs,” Pompeo said at the time.

“The programs being used were within the law, within the Constitution, and conducted with the full knowledge of Sen. Feinstein. If any individual did operate outside of the program’s legal framework, I would expect them to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” 

Feinstein pushed back on his assertion and has argued repeatedly that the report shows not only the unconstitutionality but also the ineffectiveness of enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs).

“If and when our report is declassified, every case that’s identified as having produced actionable intelligence — we in the report show it was not doing the EITs. It was coming from some other venue,” she said Tuesday.
--This report was updated at 2:46 p.m.