Torture Report Disappearance Raises Ire of Senate Democrats

Dianne Feinstein concerned it was no 'accident'

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has more questions for the CIA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has more questions for the CIA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Posted May 16, 2016 at 4:00pm

A new revelation about a deleted copy of the Senate report on George W. Bush administration torture practices is raising concerns about the fate of the document.  

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who was the chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee in December 2014 when the panel released public findings of the classified report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation practices, has fired off a letter to Director John Brennan seeking a new copy of the report for the CIA inspector general, after a copy there was apparently misplaced or deleted.  

“Your prompt response will allay my concern that this was more than an ‘accident,'” the California Democrat wrote on Friday. “The CIA IG should have a copy of the full study because the report includes extensive information directly related to the IG’s ongoing oversight of the CIA.”  

Yahoo News first reported the disappearance of the full, roughly 6,700-page report on Monday. The IG’s office has said it unintentionally deleted the computer file and destroyed a disk that also contained the document. The report remains classified — only a 500-page summary of key findings was made public in December 2014.  

[Related: Feinstein Unveils Report on CIA Torture]

A spokesperson for the CIA said that given the potential for ongoing litigation about the application of the Freedom of Information Act to the report, there’s not a whole lot the agency is prepared to say.  

“The D.C. Circuit has recently upheld the District Court ruling that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) study is a congressional document not subject to FOIA. As this decision could also be appealed, the litigation remains active and we are limited in what we can say,” the spokesperson said in an email. “However, I can assure you that CIA has retained a copy of the classified SSCI study ever since CIA first received it from SSCI.”  

[Related: Obama’s Message on CIA Torture Report: Move On]

Sen. Ron Wyden, a senior member of the Intelligence Committee who had pondered releasing parts of the report without administration agreement, responded to the latest news on Twitter.  

The Oregon Democrat said the CIA, “should be learning from past experience, not hiding its history in safes and refusing to look at it.”

Contact Lesniewski at and follow him on Twitter at @nielslesniewski.

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