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Four Classified Documents Assess the Value of ‘Enhanced Interrogation’

Following up on Friday’s item about the intelligence funding bill that just cleared the Senate intelligence committee, the unclassified summary of the bill is now up on the committee’s Web page. Check out section 427:

Section 427. Public availability of unclassified versions of certain intelligence products

Section 427 requires the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency to make public unclassified versions of four documents which assess the information gained from the interrogation of high-value detainees. One of the documents is a memorandum and the other three are finished intelligence products. The unclassified versions of these documents will permit the American people to make their own determination of the value of the material included in these documents.

That seems a whole lot like the committee is saying the disclosure of these four documents would allow for a public airing of the value of information extracted from the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program. If you recall, former Vice President Dick Cheney made a similar request for declassification of two CIA documents, one from 2004 and the other from 2005, *summarizing *the CIA’s assessment of that value. (And really, what’s CIA going to tell Cheney about his cherished program except that it was valuable?) That request was denied. Unless the Obama administration succeeds in stripping this provision out, the committee’s bill would for the first time enable an open adjudication of the value of the intelligence gained from the prior administration’s dalliance with waterboarding; borderline starvation; and keeping people’s bodies so painfully contorted that they could not fall asleep; among other tortures.

CIA representatives told me they don’t comment on pending legislation. I’m awaiting word from other elements of the intelligence community about what they make of Section 427.

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