House Intel Chairman Warns Senate CIA Torture Report May Cause Violence
16:21 08.12.2014(updated 17:23 08.12.2014)
The impending release of a Senate report on the Central Intelligence Agency's use of enhanced interrogation techniques may cause anti-US violence abroad, US officials have warned.
MOSCOW, December 8 (Sputnik) – Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Mike Rogers told CNN on Sunday that the release of a US Senate report on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques by the CIA may lead to increased anti-American violence abroad, the Associated Press reports.
"Our foreign partners are telling us [the release of the report] will cause violence and deaths…Our own intelligence community has assessed that this will cause violence and deaths….We have seen what happens when other incidents are used in the propaganda terrorist machine to incite violence," Rogers told Candy Crowley of CNN's State of the Union program Sunday.
"Think of the cartoons in Denmark and how many people died as a result. Think of the burnings of the Korans and how many people died as a result," he added.
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden stated that the report is biased and incomplete, and echoed Rogers' fears that the release of the report will result in violent repercussions. The "CIA workforce will feel as if it has been tried and convicted in absentia since the Senate Democrats and their staff didn't talk to anyone actively involved in the program. Second, this will be used by our enemies to motivate people to attack Americans and American facilities overseas," Hayden told CBS News' Bob Orr's Face the Nation on Sunday.
Hayden challenged statements made earlier by Senate Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein to the effect that the CIA had purposely minimized the harshness of the agency's interrogation and confinement practices, saying that the CIA did not deliberately lie to anyone about the program.
US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf confirmed the Obama administration's nervousness about the timing of the release of the report, saying that US State Department personnel abroad have been told to review their security situation "in case the report triggers violence." Defense Department officials have made similar appeals to their personnel. The Obama administration had earlier stepped out in favor of the report's release, but on Friday Secretary of State John Kerry had reportedly asked Feinstein to consider the timing of the release.
Senator Feinstein, a Democrat from California, initiated the investigation of Bush-era interrogation policies following President Barack Obama's signing of Executive Order 13491 shortly after coming into office in 2009, which outlawed the practices of enhanced interrogation used under his predecessor, Al Jazeera explained.
Former President Bush told CNN's Crowley on Sunday that "whatever the report says, if it diminishes [the CIA's] contribution to our country, it is way off base. I knew the directors, I knew the deputy directors, I knew a lot of the operators. These are good people, really good people, and we're lucky as a nation to have them," Bush said, according to the Washington Times.
The 6,300 page report, which is expected to be released on Tuesday, includes details on techniques such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and confinement in small places which are used in secret prisons around the world, the Associated Press noted, citing officials who have seen the report. Al Jazeera has also noted that the report is expected to cast doubt on the intelligence gained by the enhanced interrogation programs, which some have labelled torture. ABC News has said that new details are contained in the report about prisoners being sexually demeaned and humiliated, adding that on some occasions, interrogators were urged to continue their questioning even after finding that no more information could be obtained.
Oregon Senator Oregon Ron Wyden said last week it is "long past time" for the report originally released to the Senate Intelligence Committee in December, 2012 "to come to light", adding that Americans "will be profoundly disturbed and angered when they read it." He noted that "it's important to get the facts out even if they make people uncomfortable, because that's the only way to prevent the mistakes of the past from being repeated," the Washington Times said.
Outgoing Senator Mark Udall, one of the biggest proponents of the report's release, told Esquire late last week that "when this report is declassified, people will abhor what they read. They're gonna be disgusted." He added that "the people who conducted these activities in the name of the CIA, in the name of the American people, have a right to be processed. They don't have a right to push under the rug what happened."
Democrats are scrambling to release the report before Congress adjourns and the Republicans take over the Senate in January, when Feinstein will lose her position as chairman and Republican Richard Burr takes over. The latter had said earlier this year that "I personally don't believe that anything that goes on in the Intelligence committee should ever be discussed publicly." He noted that "if I had my way, with the exception of nominees, there would never be a public intelligence hearing," Al Jazeera explained.
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