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CIA Torture Report Sent to Barack Obama's Archive

Washington, December 13 (RHC)-- U.S. President Barack Obama will send to his presidential archive a comprehensive Senate report on the Central Intelligence Agency's use of torture.  Obama ordered that the material remain classified for 12 years, read a letter from White House Counsel Neil Eggleston to Senator Dianne Feinstein, the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.  "At this time, we are not pursuing declassification of the full study," the letter said. 

The Senate report confirmed in 2014 that the CIA employed brutal techniques like waterboarding, physical abuse, sleep deprivation, mock executions, and anal penetration performed under the cover of "rehydration" to interrogate terror suspects imprisoned after the September 11 attacks. 

Feinstein and other congressional Democrats had already called on Obama, who ended the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" in January 2009, to declassify and release the report before Trump takes office next month. 

However, the full 6,700-page study was not released and will be preserved under the Presidential Records Act.  "The report represents six years of hard work by dedicated staff, and I firmly believe its 6,700 pages and 38,000 footnotes will stand the test of time.  I also strongly believe that this must be a lesson learned -- that torture doesn't work," Feinstein said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, there are worries that the administration of President-elect Donald Trump could move to have all copies of the report destroyed, Eggleston said.  Several copies of the Senate report were distributed to key parts of the U.S. intelligence community, which has kept them secret. 

However, after Republicans took the lead of the Intelligence Committee in 2015, the new chair, Richard Burr, sought to collect them all back.  Since then, Democrats have urged the release of the full report over fears that Republicans plan to destroy it. 

Senator Ron Wyden, a Democratic member of the committee, called on Obama to put the classified study on the public record and instead order that a redacted version be declassified.  "President Obama has made his opposition to torture a central part of his legacy," Wyden said in a statement."The American people deserve the opportunity to read this history rather than see it locked away in a safe for 12 years." 

CIA torture techniques migrated from the CIA's undocumented prisons, known as black sites, to US military prisons at Guantánamo Bay, Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, and Abu Ghraib in Iraq. 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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