House Intelligence Chief Says Torture Report Will Spur Attacks

Daily News Article   —   Posted on December 9, 2014

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Rep. Mike Rogers, (R-Michigan), Chairman of House Intelligence Committee.

(by Ken Dilanian, ABC News) AP – Foreign governments and U.S. intelligence agencies are predicting that the release of a Senate report examining the use of torture by the CIA will cause “violence and deaths” abroad, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Sunday.

Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, is regularly briefed on intelligence assessments. He told CNN’s “State of the Union” that U.S. intelligence agencies and foreign governments have said privately that the release of the report on CIA interrogations a decade ago will be used by extremists to incite violence that is likely to cost lives. The 480-page report, a summary of a still-classified 6,000 page study, is expected to be made public next week.

[“I think this is a terrible idea,” Rogers said of the expected release. “Our foreign partners are telling us this will cause violence and deaths…Foreign leaders have approached the government and said, ‘You do this, this will cause violence and deaths.’ Our own intelligence community has assessed that this will cause violence and deaths.”]

A U.S. intelligence official, who was not authorized to be quoted discussing classified intelligence assessments, said Congress had been warned “of the heightened potential that the release could stimulate a violent response.”

[In addition, former CIA Director Michael Hayden said the report could “be used by our enemies to motivate people to attack Americans in American facilities overseas.  I am genuinely concerned by that, as was the secretary of state and the director of national intelligence.”

He also warned that the report’s release could undermine cooperation between the U.S. and other countries on intelligence and counterterrorism. “There are countries out there who have cooperated with us in the war on terror at some political risk who were relying on American discretion,” he explained. “I can’t imagine anyone out there going forward in the future who would be willing to do anything with us that even smacks of political danger.”

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), Chair of Senate Intelligence Committee.

On Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry urged the senator in charge of the report to consider the timing of the release, though Obama administration officials say they still support making it public. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat and chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has not responded to reports of the Kerry call, though she told the Los Angeles Times in a story published Sunday that “We have to get this report out.”

A congressional aide noted that the White House has led negotiations to declassify the report since April, and that both the president and his director of national intelligence have endorsed its release. The government has taken steps to beef up security at American posts around the world, said the aide, who was not authorized to be quoted by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The report amounts to the first public accounting of the CIA’s use of torture on al-Qaida detainees held in secret facilities in Europe and Asia in the years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

U.S. officials who have read it say it includes…new details about the CIA’s use of such techniques as sleep deprivation, confinement in small spaces, humiliation and the simulated drowning process known as waterboarding. President Barack Obama has claimed, “We tortured some folks.” The report also says the torture failed to produce life-saving intelligence, a conclusion disputed by current and former intelligence officials, including CIA director John Brennan.

Rogers questioned why the report needed to become public, given that the Justice Department investigated and filed no criminal charges.

Feinstein told the Los Angeles Times that the harsh interrogations undermined “societal and constitutional values that we are very proud of. Anybody who reads this is going to never let this happen again.”

Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from ABCNews. Visit the website at abcnews .com.

Questions

NOTE: Before answering the questions, watch the entire video under “Resources”

1. Who is Mike Rogers?

2. For what reason(s) does Mike Rogers oppose the release of the U.S. Senate’s report on the CIA’s treatment of terrorists? Be specific.

3. Why is former CIA Director Michael Hayden opposed to the public release of the report?

4. How does the Senate’s evaluation of the CIA treatment of terrorists contrast with that of current and former intelligence officials including CIA director John Brennan?

5. a) Who is Dianne Feinstein?
b) Despite concerns about the dangers of releasing this report, what does Ms. Feinstein say is more important?

6. What does President Obama think about the dangers of releasing the report?

7. a) Watch the news video under “Resources” below, (which notes that only Democrats on the Senate committee agree with the report; Republians oppose the accusations made against the CIA).  Do you think releasing a contested and controversial report will help or harm the U.S.? Explain your answer.
b) Ask a parent the same question.

8. Who do you think is using better judgement in this situation: Rep. Rogers and intelligence officials including former and current CIA directors, or Sen. Feinstein, President Obama and his administration officials? Explain your answer.


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Background

About Congressional Committees:

  • Committee membership enables members to develop specialized knowledge of the matters under their jurisdiction.
  • As “little legislatures,” committees monitor on-going governmental operations, identify issues suitable for legislative review, gather and evaluate information; and recommend courses of action to their parent body.
  • There are three types of committees: standing, select or special, and joint committees.
  • Standing committees generally have legislative jurisdiction. (Subcommittees handle specific areas of the committee’s work.)
  • Select and joint committees generally handle oversight or housekeeping responsibilities.
  • The chair of each committee and a majority of its members represent the majority party. The chair primarily controls a committee’s business.
  • There are 21 permanent committees in the House of Representatives, and 20 in the Senate. Four joint committees operate with members from both houses on matters of mutual jurisdiction and oversight.

The House Committee on Intelligence:

The United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) is a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, currently chaired by U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers (Michigan). The HPSCI is charged with the oversight of the United States Intelligence Community, which includes the intelligence and intelligence related activities of 17 elements of the U.S. Government, and the Military Intelligence Program. (from intelligence.house.gov/about/history-jurisdiction)

Resources

CBS News’ Bob Schieffer interviews Bob Orr and former CIA Director Michael Hayden to discuss the controversy surrounding the forthcoming report from the Senate Intelligence Committee: