In a closed hearing Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted 11-3 to declassify portions of a CIA report detailing post-9/11 interrogation tactics.
The lawmakers sent their request to the White House to declassify more than 500 pages of a 6,200-page report, including an executive summary, findings, and conclusions about an interrogation program involving more than 100 detainees.
“The purpose of this review was to uncover the facts behind this secret program, and the results were shocking,” Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said. “The report exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation. It chronicles a stain on our history that must never again be allowed to happen.”
The California Democrat added that the report also details problems with the CIA’s management of the program, which ran between 2001 and 2009, and its interaction with the executive branch and Congress about it.
President Obama has said he favors declassification, but the CIA is expected to have some input into how much is released. It’s unclear how long it’ll take, though, until the public gets to see the report. Feinstein said she hopes it will take as little as 30 days for the White House to release portions of it.
The contents of the report conclude that the CIA misled the public on aspects of its interrogation program in the wake of 9/11, including “enhanced interrogation techniques,” The Washington Post reported earlier this week.
A number of Republicans have stated publicly that they didn’t support the report’s findings, and have expressed concerns that it was produced by Democratic staff and doesn’t include interviews with CIA officials. “This report is totally biased,” Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has said.
Nonetheless, all but three voted in favor of declassifying it.
Ranking member Saxby Chambliss of Georgia voted to declassify portions of the report because “we need to get this behind us.”
“This committee has got important work that needs to be done. I was never in favor of this report being done. I think it was a waste of time,” Chambliss said. “We had already had a report done by the Armed Services Committee on this issue. This is a chapter in our past that should have already been closed. However, the general public has the right to now know what was done and what’s in the report.”
Feinstein would not disclose how individual senators voted, but confirmed all three nos were Republicans. GOP Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina said in a statement that he voted in favor of it “to give the American people the opportunity to make their own judgments.” “I am confident that they will agree that a 6,300 page [sic] report based on a cold document review, without a single interview of Intelligence Community, Executive Branch, or contract personnel involved, cannot be an accurate representation of any program, let alone this one.”
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine also voted in favor of the declassifying the report. Aside from her, Burr, and Coburn, the other Republicans on the committee are Sens. Marco Rubio, Dan Coats, James Risch.
Some lawmakers are already calling for the declassification of the entire 6,200-page report, such as New Mexico Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich.
“When people see the content, when it’s declassified, I think people will be shocked at what’s inside,” Heinrich said of the executive summary.
What We're Following See More »
Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”