Udall Supports Continued Efforts to Ensure Fullest Possible Declassification of Detention, Interrogation Program Study
Mark Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, welcomed Chairman Dianne Feinstein's decision today to push the White House to ensure the fullest possible declassification of the committee's ground-breaking study of the CIA's detention and interrogation program.
"I share Chairman Feinstein's concerns about the excessive redactions proposed by the White House to the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee's study on the CIA's detention and interrogation program, especially given the president's unequivocal commitment to declassifying the Senate Intelligence Committee's study. I promised earlier this year to hold the president to his word and I intend to do so," Udall said.
"The president's acknowledgment last week that the CIA tortured detainees in the course of this program underscores the importance of making the committee's study accessible to the public — and highlights the importance of taking the time the committee needs to negotiate redaction changes with the White House. While Director Clapper may be technically correct that the document has been 85 percent declassified, it is also true that strategically placed redactions can make a narrative incomprehensible and can certainly make it more difficult to understand the basis for the findings and conclusions reached in the report. I agree wholeheartedly that redactions are necessary to protect intelligence sources and methods, but the White House must work closely with this committee to reach this goal in a way that makes it possible for the public to understand what happened.
"I am committed to working with Chairman Feinstein to declassify the Senate Intelligence Committee's study to the fullest extent possible, correct the record on the CIA's brutal and ineffective detention and interrogation program, and ensure the CIA learns from its past mistakes. And in light of the importance of the work the Senate Intelligence Committee has undertaken, I believe that the chairman should take all necessary time to ensure that the redactions to the executive summary are appropriate — not merely made to cover up acts that could embarrass the agency.
"The CIA should not face its past with a redaction pen, and the White House must not allow it to do so."