Udall pushes Obama to disclose info on ‘brutal and misguided’ detention and interrogation programs

Senator Mark Udall (D-CO
Mark Udall

Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), who serves on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, pressed the White House on January 6 for a full and transparent accounting of what he called “the CIA’s brutal and misguided detention and interrogation program.”

In a letter to President Obama dated January 6, Udall pressed the White House to help provide the Senate Intelligence Committee with important documents needed to complete its landmark study of the CIA’s program and to commit to declassifying as much of the report as possible. The letter follows up on identical requests Udall made at the December confirmation hearing of Caroline Krass, nominated to serve as CIA General Counsel.

“I continue to have deep concerns about how the CIA has interacted with the Senate Intelligence Committee throughout the nearly four years that the Committee has been researching and drafting its study of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program,” Udall wrote. “Mr. President, I believe these are reasonable requests. I want to underscore their importance — as well as the importance of correcting the public record. As you know, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s study concludes that in the case of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, inaccurate and misleading information was conveyed by the CIA to the public, the Congress, the Department of Justice, the Department of State — and to the President of the United States. This must never happen again.”

In his letter, Udall pressed the White House for more information and assurances before he would be able to support the nominee to be CIA General Counsel. Specifically, Udall pressed the White House and CIA for assistance regarding three requests:

  • That the White House publicly commit to the fullest possible declassification of the committee’s study in the most expedient and responsible manner possible;
  • That the CIA provide to the committee a copy of an internal CIA review of the detention and interrogation program, which Udall believes contradicts the agency’s formal response to the committee; and,
  • That the CIA responds to outstanding committee requests for cables and other information that are necessary for the completion of the committee’s study.

“In 2009, you made it clear that the CIA’s detention and interrogation program and its coercive ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ had no place in an Obama Administration. I deeply appreciate your stand on this and similarly important issues. Further, I strongly believe that coercive interrogation techniques and abusive treatment have no place in any future U.S. administration,” Udall added in the letter. “For this reason, I look forward to working with you and your team to responsibly declassify the committee’s study of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. Only by doing so can we ensure that the correct lessons are learned from this difficult chapter in our country’s history, and the policy and management issues uncovered are corrected and never repeated.”