The Fight to Expose CIA Torture Secrets Continues
The Guardian released the second and third installments of its inside chronicle of the struggle between the CIA and the Senate over the 2014 report on CIA torture from the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
On Sept. 11, CIA whistleblower and Truthdig contributor John Kiriakousummarized the significance of the first installment in The Guardian’s serialized report, which follows Daniel Jones, a Senate investigator whom the CIA targeted:
The article provides great insight into the day-to-day machinations between the SSCI and the CIA, although no new details on the torture program per se.
What the article does provide, however, is proof that then-Attorney General Eric Holder and others conspired to keep the worst news of the CIA’s torture crimes secret. They conspired to protect the CIA’s most notorious torturers. Holder also worked hard to make sure that as little news of the torture program as possible was released to the American people.
Jones, a whistleblower in his own right, admits in the article that he (probably “illegally”) removed a document from the CIA that, in the end, formed one of the main points of the torture report: that the CIA tortured its prisoners with a level of brutality that was heretofore unknown, that the agency covered up the torture and that it lied to both the congressional oversight committee and the president about the extent of the program and its efficacy.
In the second installment,
Guardian journalist Spencer Ackerman tells of how the CIA began “turning its spywork onto the elected officials tasked with overseeing it.”
On 17 December, the CIA sent its choice for its next top attorney, Caroline Krass, to the committee for a nomination hearing. …
During the hearing, Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, lit into Krass. Unexpectedly, Udall mentioned the existence of the Panetta Review in public for the first time, demanding the disclosure of the document. Among the reasons for Udall’s fervor: in August 2013, after the CIA had condemned the committee report in contradiction of the Panetta Review, its former chief lawyer Stephen Preston told Udall in writing that the agency provided the committee with “inaccurate information related to aspects of the [torture] program” – a major point the CIA was now disputing.
Jones was visible on the staff dias [sic] behind Udall. Hostetler walked out of the hearing.
“Then things totally went to hell,” Jones said.