Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013
In response to news reports about the CIA's response to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's study on the CIA's Detention and Interrogation program, U.S. Senator Mark Udall issued the following statement:
"As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I am concerned to see news reports about the CIA's response to the Committee's Study of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program before the information was provided to the committee. Committee members have not yet seen this response, which we have been expecting for nearly six months.
"The American people's trust in intelligence agencies requires transparency and strong congressional oversight. This latest leak--the latest incident in a long string of leaks from unnamed intelligence officials who purport to be familiar with the Committee's Study and the CIA's official response to it--is wholly unacceptable. Even as these reports emerged today and over the past several months, the CIA and the White House have repeatedly rejected requests to discuss the Committee's report with Members or Committee staff.
"The continual leaks of inaccurate information from unnamed intelligence officials are embarrassing to the agency and have only hardened my resolve to declassify the full Committee Study, which is based on a review of more than six million pages of CIA records, comprises more than 6,000 pages in length and includes more than 35,000 footnotes. The report is based on CIA records including internal memoranda, cables, emails, as well as transcripts of interviews and Intelligence Committee hearings. The Study is fact-based, and I believe, indisputable.
"I am confident the American people will agree once they have the opportunity to read the Study, as well as the CIA's official response, that this program was a failure and a tragic moment in America's history. The only way to correct the inaccurate information in the public record on this program is through the sunlight of declassification."
While the CIA has declined to speak with Committee Members or staff on the Study or the CIA's response to it, information on the CIA response has been made public by "senior intelligence officials" and former CIA personnel who have been speaking to the press:
o On March 7, 2013--the day of Brennan's confirmation--the Wall Street Journal reported that "senior intelligence officials" stated that the CIA was going to object to "the majority of the report" and that the report was "political" and biased.
o On March 26, 2013, the Washington Post quoted "former officials" stating that the CIA "is planning an aggressive response," that the CIA is "highly critical of the findings and methodology of the study," and that there are ""loads of holes' in the committee's work."
o On May 7, 2013, the Washington Post quoted "former officials" as stating the CIA is assembling "a defiant response" to the Study.
o On June 26, 2013, the Washington Post reports that CIA Director Brennan will brief the CIA's response to the Study the following day. The story states that "current and former U.S. intelligence officials" are "sharply critical of the course of the committee's investigation as well as its conclusions."