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Udall Challenges White House to Support 'Fullest Possible Declassification' of Intelligence Committee's Torture Study

Renews Push for CIA to Release Internal Report Said to Contradict Agency's Official Response to Intelligence Committee's Detention, Interrogation Study

Posted: Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mark Udall, a champion of government transparency, urged the president today to publicly support the fullest declassification possible of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's exhaustive study of the CIA's detention and interrogation program. Udall, who serves on the committee, said anything less will not set the record straight on this dark chapter of the CIA's history. Udall also said without significant progress on his previous requests and on removing obstacles to committee oversight of the CIA's detention and interrogation program, he will be unable to support advancing Caroline Krass's nomination to be CIA general counsel.

"It is my belief that the declassification of the Committee Study is of paramount importance and that decisions about what should or should not be declassified regarding this issue should not be delegated to the CIA, but directly handled by the White House," Udall wrote in the letter. "I strongly believe there should be a public and unequivocal commitment from the White House to the fullest and most expedited possible declassification of the Committee's Study. Such a commitment is especially vital in light of the fact that the significant amounts of information on the CIA's detention and interrogation program that has been declassified and released to the American public is misleading and inaccurate."

Udall's letter comes as the Senate continues to consider the nomination of Caroline Krass to be CIA general counsel. During her confirmation hearing in December, Udall pressed Krass on discrepancies between a CIA internal review of its detention and interrogation program and the official agency response to the committee's study. He said the contents of the internal review raise "fundamental questions about why a review the CIA conducted internally years ago ... is so different from the CIA's formal written response to the committee study."

"I believe it is vital that we understand how and why the content of the CIA's internal review contradicts the CIA's official June 27, 2013, response to the Committee," Udall also wrote in the letter. "I would like to know more about the origins of the review, its authorship, the context of its creation, and why its findings were ignored in the development of the CIA's June 2013 response. I have included a classified attachment to this letter detailing some of the troubling discrepancies, as I understand them, between the CIA's internal review and the CIA's June 2012 response to the Committee."

Udall has been the leading voice in Congress for the White House and CIA to come clean about the agency's deeply flawed detention and interrogation program. Udall has led the push to hold the CIA accountable for leaks concerning the agency's official response to the Senate Intelligence Committee's exhaustive report. Udall also has criticized statements made by former Bush administration officials on the effectiveness of enhanced interrogation techniques.

To read Udall's letter, click HERE.

By: James D. Owens
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