Intel Committee members to Trump: Read the torture report

congressVice Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA) led seven members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence today in urging President Trump to read the classified version of the Committee’s 2014 report on the CIA detention and interrogation program before considering the possible resumption of such activities.

Intelligence Committee members Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) joined the letter.

“To avoid making the mistakes of the past, it is of the utmost importance that you familiarize yourself with, and ensure that any Executive Branch officials involved in the formation of detention and interrogation policy review, the full Committee Study,” wrote the Senators.

The full text of the letter is below. A copy of the signed letter is available here.

 

Dear Mr. President:

In your January 25, 2017, interview with ABC News, you stated that you were considering the resumption of torture. These statements, and press reports that your administration is considering an Executive Order to review the possible resumption of CIA detention and interrogation activities, as well as changes to the Army Field Manual, are profoundly troubling. Moreover, they highlight the critical importance of disseminating within the Executive Branch the full Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  On December 10, 2014, the Study was transmitted to the White House, the DNI, the CIA, the CIA Inspector General, the FBI, and the Departments of Justice, Defense and State.

The full Study, which is over 6,700 pages long and includes approximately 38,000 footnotes citing mostly the CIA’s own documents, is a thorough, fact-based documented history of the program.  It was, and remains, a critical resource for anyone considering detention and interrogation policy.  As was stated in the transmittal letter, “the full report should be made available within the CIA and other components of the Executive Branch for use as broadly as appropriate to help make sure that this experience is never repeated.”  The transmittal letter also specifically encouraged the use of the full report in the development of any future guidelines and procedures.

Both the Director of the CIA and the nominee to be attorney general have committed to reviewing the full Study.  Director Pompeo, during his confirmation process, wrote, “If confirmed, I will be happy to review parts of the classified Study relevant to the position of DCIA and the SSCI.”  Senator Sessions committed that he would ensure that he and other “appropriate officials are fully briefed on the contents of the report to the extent it is pertinent to the operations and mission of the Department of Justice.”  To avoid making the mistakes of the past it is of the utmost importance that you familiarize yourself with, and ensure that any Executive Branch officials involved in the formation of policy on detention and interrogation review, the full Committee Study.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

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