Sen. Feinstein Accuses CIA of Attempting to Undermine Torture Investigation

March 11, 2014 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today accused the Central Intelligence Agency of attempting to undermine the committee’s investigation of the CIA’s torture program. According to Feinstein, the CIA not only tortured and abused persons in its custody, but then destroyed and hid documents, spied on Congress by monitoring computers used by Senate investigators, and then falsely accused Senate staff of wrongdoing. Senator Feinstein argued that the CIA may have violated the Fourth Amendment, a criminal statute, and an executive order that prohibits the CIA from domestic spying.

“Senator Feinstein gave a forceful, necessary, and historic defense of the constitutional principle of separation of powers,” said Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union. “After so many years of Congress being unable or unwilling to assert its authority over the CIA, Senator Feinstein today began to reclaim the authority of Congress as a check on the Executive Branch. Public release of the Senate torture report will be the next step to reining in a CIA that has tortured, destroyed evidence, spied on Congress, and lied to the American people.”

In December 2012, the committee adopted a 6,000-page report on the CIA’s Bush-era rendition, secret detention, and torture program. The report concluded that abusive methods were ineffective, and the CIA wrote an extensive response, countering many of the Senate report’s conclusions. There is also a secret CIA report commissioned by former CIA Director Leon Panetta, which is reportedly consistent with the Senate report findings and contradicts the CIA’s response to the Senate report. All three reports are classified.

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