It may not be the 9/11 Commission, and may not have the force of, say, John Durham’s Justice Department inquiry into prospective CIA illegality in the Bush
It may not be the 9/11 Commission, and may not have the force of, say, John Durham’s Justice Department inquiry into prospective CIA illegality in the Bush administration’s so-called ‘enhanced interrogation program.’ But a panel helmed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, has gone through sheafs of documents and added staff to determine just what happened with the CIA and torture.
In February, Feinstein began a probe into the CIA’s detention and interrogation practices, and not a lot has leaked out since then. Feinstein said in April that the committee had finished a review into the cases of two al-Qaeda detainees subject to enhanced interrogation, and indicated in a letter to President Obama that month that her study would last “six to eight months.” Which would mean it should be wrapping up now-ish.
But it’s going to continue until “sometime early next year,” according to Feinstein spokesman Phil LaVelle. Dealing as the review does with highly classified information, LaVelle declined to provide many specifics, or to elaborate on the reasons for the delay. But he said that “additional staff have been hired and are working full-time” on the review — he wouldn’t provide a specific number — who are “moving through the cases of the detainees,” a task that involves reviewing “millions of documents.” LaVelle added that the review is “not related to DOJ investigation,” although that doesn’t evidently foreclose the prospect of Durham reviewing the Feinstein panel for potential prosecutorial action.
Will the public be able to see the results of the committee’s inquiry? It hasn’t held any public hearings this year. “There will be a final report,” LaVelle said, and “the committee will made a determination on what declassified information can be released.”
Asked for a comment on Feinstein’s panel and the CIA’s role in it, CIA spokesman George Little said only, ” We continue to cooperate with the investigation.”
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