Feinstein Rips Obama on Redacted Torture Report

"Until these redactions are addressed to the committee's satisfaction, the report will not be made public," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement. "Until these redactions are addressed to the committee's satisfaction, the report will not be made public," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The Senate Intelligence Committee will not make its report on Bush-era "enhanced interrogation" programs available to the public until the Obama administration can explain why it heavily redacted the report on torture techniques.

Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein is unsatisfied with the amount of redacted material, saying the report will not be made public until the administration can explain the blackouts.

"After further review of the redacted version of the executive summary, I have concluded the redactions eliminate or obscure key facts that support the report's findings and conclusions," the powerful California Democrat said in a statement. "Until these redactions are addressed to the committee's satisfaction, the report will not be made public."

Last week, the White House returned the so-called "torture report" to the Intelligence Committee, but Feinstein said she would need to review the redactions before deciding whether to make the report public. Others senators blasted the administration for attempting to conceal embarrassing details contained in the panel's 500-page executive summary of the larger study.

"Redactions are supposed to remove names or anything that could compromise sources and methods, not to undermine the source material so that it is impossible to understand," said Sen. Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat, in a statement. "Try reading a novel with 15 percent of the words blacked out. It can't be done properly."

In response to the backlash, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper justified the deletions as necessary and noted that half of them were made in the document's footnotes.

But Feinstein is demanding more answers and is unwilling to release the report as it currently stands.

"I am sending a letter today to the president laying out a series of changes to the redactions that we believe are necessary prior to public release," Feinstein said. "The White House and the intelligence community have committed to working through these changes in good faith. This process will take some time, and the report will not be released until I am satisfied that all redactions are appropriate."

She continued: "The bottom line is that the United States must never again make the mistakes documented in this report. I believe the best way to accomplish that is to make public our thorough documentary history of the CIA's program. That is why I believe taking our time and getting it right is so important, and I will not rush this process."

Last week, the CIA admitted it improperly accessed computers used by Senate Intelligence staffers to investigate the spy agency's detention, rendition, and interrogation practices deployed during George W. Bush's presidency. CIA Director John Brennan determined that his employees "acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding" brokered between his agency and its Senate overseers.

At least three senators, including Heinrich, have asked for Brennan to step down.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.