TerrorismSenate intelligence committee approves 6,000-page report on CIA interrogation of terrorists

Published 14 December 2012

Senate panel completes a 6,000-page report into the techniques used by the CIA in interrogating terrorists; the report will now be submitted to the administration for review; GOP members of the committee object to the report being made public

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence yesterday voted to approve a 6,000-page report of its investigation into the CIA’s interrogation techniques, techniques the agency used to interrogate terrorists and those suspected of terrorism. Some of these methods, like water-boarding, were controversial.

The vote in the committee was nine to six for approval of the report, which is the result of a 3-year investigation. The report will be sent to the Obama administration for review.

Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic head of the committee, has called the inquiry the “most definitive review of this CIA program to be conducted”.

The Guardian reports that senior retired military leaders called on the committee not only to adopt the report, but to publish it is as swell. A joint letter from twenty-six former commanders —  including retired marine generals Joseph Hoar, former commander-in-chief of United States Central Command, and Charles Krulak, former commandant of the marine corps— was sent to the committee on Wednesday.

As retired generals and admirals,” the letter reads, “we know that torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment produces unreliable results and often impedes further intelligence collection. Torture is unlawful, immoral and counterproductive.”

The Democratic majority on the committee were joined by one Republican senator, Olympia Snowe of Maine, in backing the report. The Guardian notes, however, that lack of co-operation from the remaining Republican members of the panel could prevent the document ever being published.

It is not yet clear what strategy the Republican senators on the select committee will follow. In 2009, when the investigation was launched, the GOP members boycotted the investigation to protest the decision by the Justice Department to launch a separate inquiry into whether the CIA program was in breach of the law. Earlier this year the DoJ dropped its investigation with no criminal charges filed.