Skip to main content

U.S. Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, Director of the CIA, greets reporters as he departs a closed-door session with the House Select Committee on Intelligence at the Capitol in Washington, December 12, 2007.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst   (UNITED STATES) - RTX4
Former CIA chief Michael Hayden thinks Dianne Feinstein is "too emotional" to be investigating the agency's torture and rendition program.
Back in March, in what for her were incendiary remarks, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, accused the Central Intelligence Agency of stonewalling the release of a report on the agency's use of torture and rendition and of spying on committee investigators looking into the matter. In return, the CIA said some documents that the agency had placed in an off-site secure facility so that Senate investigators could study them had been taken by those investigators.

Among the plethora of documents was an internal CIA memo that far more strongly criticized the committee's still-unreleased 6,300-page report on the agency's interrogation program than did the CIA's official rebuttal. The memo was not supposed to have been part of the release of documents the agency had provided the committee. But CIA bosses were more interested in discovering how the investigators had got hold of the memo than explaining why they thought it shouldn't have been part of the collection the committee had access to.

Uncovering the facts that led to the unusual public feud—which included the spectacle of former CIA chief Michael Hayden saying Feinstein was "too emotional" to be tasked with overseeing the torture report—wound up in the hands of U.S. Department of Justice at the CIA Inspector General's request.

Ali Watkins at McClatchy reported Thursday that the department has washed its hands of the matter.

Read the details below the fold.

"The department carefully reviewed the matters referred to us and did not find sufficient evidence to warrant a criminal investigation," said Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr. [...]

But, it seems that the details of both sides’ accusations will never be publicly aired, leaving simmering tensions and a battered relationship.

Although fury flooded Capitol Hill in the immediate aftermath of the dispute, the incident seemed to have largely faded from memory, despite its enormous potential implications on the constitutional balance of powers.

Fading from memory is precisely what a whole range of top government and ex-government officials want to see happen in regards to the CIA's torture program.

For a time, Feinstein and others on the committee seemed to be seeking to have the entire report, completed 19 months ago, declassified. But then, no doubt under heavy pressure from the agency and other forces in Washington, including perhaps the White House, Feinstein made clear that the “findings, conclusions and the 500-page executive summary of the report” were the committee's targets for declassification.

That declassification is in the hands of the White House and the CIA, and the timing of the release is up to their discretion. It's supposed to happen in the next few months. It seems obvious, however, that even the condensed version will be highly edited.

Much has already been publicly exposed or admitted about the program, including that the CIA exceeded the Justice Department's already lax guidelines for "harsh" interrogation. The agency misled Justice, Congress, the media and the American people to protect itself from the law. But since we already know all that as well as other grim details, just how dark and brutal are the secrets the agency—and the committee—want to keep hidden?

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 10:48 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site