The District Sentinel – by Sam Sacks
During a Senate hearing examining federal law enforcement organizations’ annual budget requests, Sen. Dianne Feinstein veered off course, and took a shot at the FBI for ignoring last year’s notorious torture report.
“One of my disappointments was to learn that the six year report of the Senate intelligence committee on the detention and interrogation program sat in a locker and no one looked at it,” Feinstein told FBI Director James Comey, relaying information she had received on the whereabouts of the 6,000 page report she prepared while Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee on the CIA’s post-9/11 torture practices.
“The fact that it hasn’t been opened, at least that’s what’s been reported to me, is really a great disservice,” she added. “The report contains numerous examples of a learning experience: of cases, of interrogation of where the department could learn, perhaps, some new things from past mistakes.”
Comey didn’t deny that the report is gathering dust in a locker somewhere at the J. Edgar Hoover building.
“I don’t know enough about where the document sits at this point in time,” he told Senators. Comey did say, however, that he had read the executive summary of the report—fulfilling a promise he made to Sen. Feinstein during his confirmation hearing. He also claimed that a few people at the bureau have read the entirety of the report.
“What we have not done is thought about whether there are lessons learned for us,” Comey admitted, noting that there’s a tendency for him to think there’s little the FBI can learn from the report since they don’t engage in those types of interrogation.
Feinstein pressed Comey to designate people to read the entire report and glean lessons from it.
“I will do that, Senator,” he promised.
The FBI and CIA have strained history over the Bush administration’s War on Terror torture program. According to a 2007 LA Times report, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, upon learning of the CIA’s illegal tactics, pulled his agents back from even playing a supporting role to the agency. One senior official at the bureau was quoted as saying, “the CIA determined they were going to torture people, and we made the decision not to be involved.”
Mueller himself, reportedly, wanted to save his agents from “legal jeopardy,” by prohibiting them from participating in the tactics.
The Director of the CIA public affairs at the time, Mark Mansfield, responded to concerns from the FBI—which had been relayed to him by journalists—by calling them “bullshit.”
“We need to push back,” he told senior officials at the agency in an email.
If FBI Director Comey takes up Sen. Feinstein’s request and seeks to study the unclassified version of torture report, he should so soon. The new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is trying to bury the report for good by reclassifying it as secret.
Upon taking the gavel at the beginning of this year, Burr called on all executive agencies to return their copies of the report back to the CIA “immediately.”
He has long been critical of the report, claiming it “only endangers our officers and allies in a blatant attempt to smear the Bush administration.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report released at the end of last year paints the clearest picture yet of the CIA’s grisly tactics, which took place at “black sites” around the world. To date, no individuals mentioned in the report have faced consequences for their role in the illegal torture program, and many still work in the upper echelons at the agency.
The only CIA official to be punished in conjunction with the Bush torture program was a now-former agent named John Kiriakou. Kiriakou, who was recently released from prison, was punished for leaking details about the brutal regime to reporters.
3 thoughts on “Dianne Feinstein Blasts FBI for Letting Torture Report Gather Dust in Locker”
Nice PR spin Feinstein. Pretending she actually gives a rat’s ass about something.
I’m fairy certain the C in C-span stands for criminal.
yeah, yeah, yeah.. more of the same.
No one ever gets arrested, no one gets impeached, no one is ever charged with a crime, and no one even gets fired for refusing to do their job.
They get “blasted”, or they get “scolded”, or they launch an investigation that finds everyone eternally innocent, but they’ve placed themselves above the law for the purposes of destroying our country, and they shovel BS to idiots who still listen to them.
diane zionstein couldnt blast a chair with her ass. Iv seen sacks of sit with more ability and charisma.
HANG THE COMMIE C$NT