House Intelligence Chairman Rogers: Report will spur attacks – Fox News
Tensions grew Sunday over the impending release of a Senate report examining the use of torture by the CIA, with a top House lawmaker saying that the release will cause “violence and deaths” abroad.
The comments by Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, came after Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday urged Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the senator in charge of the report, to consider the timing of the release. Obama administration officials said they still support making it public.
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.
“I think this is a terrible idea,” Rogers said. “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.”
Rogers questioned why the report needed to become public, given that the Justice Department investigated and filed no criminal charges.
In addition, a U.S. intelligence official, who was not authorized to be quoted discussing classified intelligence assessments, told the Associated Press that Congress had been warned “of the heightened potential that the release could stimulate a violent response.”
The 480-page report, a summary of a still-classified 6,000 page study, is expected to be made public next week. It amounts to the first public accounting of the CIA’s use of torture on Al Qaeda detainees held in secret facilities in Europe and Asia in the years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
CBS News reported Sunday that the report contains evidence that the CIA went beyond what was “legally allowable,” and that the agency lied to the White House, the Department of Justice and Congress about the effectiveness of the program.
The CIA told Fox News it would not comment until the report is released, but former agency officials have told Fox News that the agency’s program provided it with foundational intelligence about the Al Qaeda network after the Sept. 11 attacks.
U.S. officials who have read it said it includes disturbing 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 acknowledged, “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.
A congressional aide noted to the Associated Press 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.
Feinstein 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.”
She 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.”
Fox News’ Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.