Obama Is Preserving CIA Torture Report

Meaning you might be able to read it in 2029
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2016 1:28 AM CST
Obama Is Preserving CIA Torture Report
The cover of the CIA torture report released by then-Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein in 2014.   (AP Photo)

President Obama has ensured that the landmark Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture won't be shredded by future administrations—but the public won't be able to read it until 2029 at the earliest. Obama has decided to have the 6,700-page 2014 report preserved in his presidential library, meaning it will be subject to public records requests 12 years after he leaves office, the Guardian reports. The report details the CIA's use of waterboarding and other "harsh interrogation techniques" after 9/11. It concluded that the agency had lied to lawmakers about the program's effectiveness—and that torture hadn't produced any useful intelligence. The Presidential Records Act will allow a declassification review after 12 years, though analysts say the CIA is likely to argue that the information should remain classified.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who had called for Obama to declassify the report before he leaves office, said she's glad it will at least be preserved, Politico reports. "The report represents six years of hard work by dedicated staff, and I firmly believe its 6,700 pages and 38,000 footnotes will stand the test of time," she said in a statement. "I also strongly believe that this must be a lesson learned—that torture doesn't work." Sen. Ron Wyden, a fellow Democrat, argued that the American people "deserve the opportunity to read this history rather than see it locked away in a safe for 12 years"—especially since "the president-elect has promised to bring back torture." (Earlier this year, the CIA's internal watchdog said it had accidentally destroyed the report.)

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