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article imageOp-Ed: Kerry asks for delay in release of Senate torture report

By Ken Hanly     Dec 6, 2014 in Politics
Washington - Since April of this year, the Obama administration has been negotiating with Dianne Feinstein chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee to release a long-promised report on CIA detention and torture of terror suspects during the Bush/Cheney era.
Now, after seven months of seemingly endless negotiations headed by the White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonogh over redactions in the 450 page summary of the report that is supposed to be made public, Secretary of State John Kerry is reportedly to ask Feinstein to hold off releasing the report "because a lot is going on in the world".
The intelligence community has fought hard against the release of the document which was planned as early as next week. The plan may be to stall release until Republicans take over the Senate who would then probably not release the report. The head of the CIA, John Brennan, was himself active in the Bush administration and supported both torture and detention in black sites according to Wikipedia: In late 2008 Brennan was the reported choice for Director of the CIA in the incoming Obama administration. Brennan withdrew his name from consideration because of opposition to his CIA service under President George W. Bush and past public statements he had made in support of torture and the transfer of terrorism suspects to countries where they might be tortured (extraordinary rendition).[3][6][22] Obama then appointed him to be his chief counterterrorism advisor, a position that did not require Senate confirmation.[3][ In January 2013 Obama nominated him again and he was appointed head of the CIA. The White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonogh is said to have "cosy" relationships with Brennan and the White House is anxious that nothing be released the reflects badly on Obama's choice for head of the CIA.
The CIA under Brennan is even charged with spying on the committee investigating the issue through the computers they were using while completely denying that it did so: In March, Brennan told Andrea Mitchell at a Council on Foreign Relations event: “As far as the allegations of the CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth… We wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s just beyond the, you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we do.” An internal investigation found that the CIA had done precisely that. Brennan was forced to apologize to the Senate intelligence committee but he nevertheless refused to say who authorized the intrusion into the computers. At this point, one might think that some punishment might be meted out for lying to Congress and spying on members investigating spies but nothing of the sort happened.
After Feinstein gave in sufficiently to demands for redactions she was ready to release the report as Obama had been promising. Kerry asked Feinstein to delay the release of the report saying that the "timing of the release could complicate relationships with foreign countries at a sensitive time and posed an unacceptable to US personnel and facilities abroad". The call to delay the release of the report is a sudden reversal since the Obama administration has been calling for its release for months. Kerry said he still favors releasing the report but not now.
If Feinstein agrees to the delay the decision to release the report then the decision on release of the report will fall on incoming Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr a Republican who termed the report a "flawed and biased" piece of fiction. Even if released, the Senate report was narrowly based and would consist only of a redacted 480 page summary of a 6,200 page classified report.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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