CIA Office Deletes Huge Torture Report 'by Mistake'
Sen. Dianne Feinstein asks CIA to correct the 'snafu'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2016 6:30 PM CDT
In this Feb. 7, 2013 file photo, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, welcomes CIA Director nominee John Brennan on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – The CIA's internal watchdog admits it has destroyed a classified, 6,700-page Senate torture report—but says it was just a mistake, Yahoo News reports. A CIA official privately told the Justice Dept. and the Senate Intelligence committee about it last summer, saying the CIA Office of Inspector General mistakenly destroyed both the disk holding the report and the file uploaded on its server. The official, Acting Inspector General Christopher Sharpley, said the IG's office would obtain a new copy from the CIA, but it seems that hasn't happened yet. One intelligence source calls the fumble straight "out of the Keystone Cops," but it also raised alarm bells about whether the report would be preserved for possible future release.

The report is rooted in contention on Capitol Hill. It was only written after the CIA admitted in 2007 to destroying videotapes of waterboarding detainees. After a 500-page summary of the report was released in 2014, revealing harsh interrogation techniques and so-so results, Sen. Dianne Feinstein had the full report sent to the CIA and other agencies; Sen. Richard Burr then tried to get it sent back Congress, which doesn't have to release documents under the Freedom of Information Act, the Hill notes. The ACLU is trying to get it released, but a federal appeals court ruled against them last week. Now Feinstein has written CIA Director John Brennan a letter asking him to give the IG's office a fresh copy. "Your prompt response will allay my concern that this was more than an 'accident,'" she writes.