CIA Objections Slowed Torture Memos' Release

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 17, 2009 7:28 PM CDT
Former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Deutch argues in a debate on October 17, 2002 at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Four former CIA directors opposed releasing classified Bush-era interrogation memos, officials say, describing objections that went all the way to the White House and slowed release of the records. Former CIA chiefs Michael Hayden, Porter Goss, George Tenet, and John Deutch all called the White House last month warning that release of the so-called "torture memos" would compromise intelligence operations.

President Obama ultimately overruled the objections after internal discussions that intensified in recent weeks. Obama's personal involvement grew as the decision neared, and he even personally led a National Security Council session on the matter. "It wasn't a matter of, it was a go and then the CIA directors weighed in and it slowed things down," Obama adviser David Axelrod said. "He gathered all the facts throughout the process."