Feinstein’s Acrimony for the CIA Revealed

Today, December 9, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Majority leader for the SSCI, stood on the Senate floor for almost an hour and delivered a chilling verbal summary of the $40 million dollar investigation into the CIA Torture Report. She spoke in a measured and assertive tone naming names all the way through. My bet is she delivered this performance for the sake of setting the table to close Guantanamo immediately.

Further, Feinstein put every American in peril wherever they may travel internationally as well as all foreign service officers and our very own troops. She has aided and abetted the enemy as her 500 page summary report has been publically published for all enemies to read. What is worse, several countries friendly to America are formally exposed and will likely never cooperate again with U.S. intelligence. We cannot know the future damage but the threat assessments have risen dramatically as all foreign U.S. military bases are presently on higher alert and some embassies are in fact closed for an undetermined period of time.

Feinstein de-facto denied all evidence that the CIA program saved lives, stopped terror plots and led us to other terrorists in the global network, then perhaps the fact that over the weekend, Pakistani forces killed the man who was believed to be al-Qaeda’s top operational commander, Adnan el Shukrijumah — a terrorist who was identified thanks to the CIA’s interrogation of two senior al-Qaeda operatives.

The enhanced interrogation program was terminated several years ago and since several laws were passed to ensure they were never applied again. For Feinstein to say her only motivation was to ensure this never happened again, is misguided at best.

What is worse, the DOJ has said they will not prosecute any participants of the program but the United Nations is saying otherwise such that many contractors and CIA operatives could be bought up on charges on international law.

This matter is by far not over yet, we have people in media that are in fact outing names of countries that cooperated and they are posting names of CIA operatives that had a hand in the program. Feinstein crossed the Rubicon and the wake of destruction, damage injury or life is still yet to be realized.

As a last note, this CIA Torture Report is highly partisan as no former or still active CIA operative was interviewed during this process nor was the top lawyer at CIA, John Rizzo. Rizzo formally asked to be interviewed and was denied. Rizzo then formally asked for a copy of the report and was denied.

If you don’t think that George Soros did not have a hand in the Feinstein investigation, you need to think again.

Jose Rodriguez who ran the rendition/interrogation program had his own response to Feinstein.

WASHINGTON – The Central Intelligence Agency officer who headed the agency’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program calls a damning Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA interrogation activities a “totally egregious falsehood.”

Jose Rodriguez, former director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, told WTOP in an exclusive interview, “For those of us who were there, who read the reporting coming out of our black sites and who acted upon that intelligence, the conclusions by the SSCI report that the program brought no value, and the CIA mislead the Congress is astounding.”

The committee, in a scathing, 600-page summary of a five-year, $40 million investigation into the now defunct Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program, says the agency of misled Congress about a program that essentially brought no value to U.S. efforts to track down the al-Qaida operatives responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The program included waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other techniques that have been classified as torture.

The Senate Committee report cited several key findings:

  • The CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” were not effective.
  • The CIA provided extensive inaccurate information about the operation of the program and its effectiveness to policymakers and the public.
  • The CIA’s management of the program was inadequate and deeply flawed.
  • The CIA program was far more brutal than the CIA represented to policymakers and the American public.

But Rodriguez says the value of the program was clear and convincing. He says the program produced connective intelligence that led U.S. authorities to the key players in al-Qaida’s hierarchy.

He laid out a pattern.

“Abu Zubayda was waterboarded for the first 20 days of August 2002. Two weeks later, we captured the first important high value target, Ramzi bin al-Shibh,” said Rodriguez.

Bin al-Shibh, was a key collaborator within al-Qaida’s Hamburg, Germany, cell comprised of Mohamed Atta, Ziad Jarrah and Marwan al-Shehhi. They formed the cell that became the essential agents of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In the following days, weeks and months, CIA personnel and contract employees executed the enhanced interrogation program designed by the agency’s Counterterrorism Center to extract valuable information. They captured Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the perpetrator of the U.S.S. Cole attack. And using the intelligence they gathered, they systematically pieced together details that led them to the mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in March of 2003.

Gary Berntsen, the CIA officer who led a team of military and intelligence assets into Tora Bora, Afghanistan in 2001 looking for Osama bin Laden, said the tactics paid off.

“The information they turned over, gave us entire the second tier of al-Qaida, when they were attempting to launch attacks on the U.S.”

A key contention in the Senate report is the CIA misled members of Congress. But Rodriguez says “the Senate, the House intelligence committees were briefed more than 40 times during the life of the program.”

But in a long briefing before the Senate Tuesday, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein said the CIA’s destruction of the video tapes of the interrogation session was an attempt to keep Congress in the dark.

Rodriguez said the tapes were recorded to help intelligence operatives understand the people they were interrogating.

They were destroyed because, he said “our people in the field came back and said these tapes are vulnerability for us, because we don’t have a place to store them and our faces are all over the place in these tapes.”

“We acknowledge that the detention and interrogation program had shortcomings and that the Agency made mistakes. But the intelligence gained from the program was critical to understanding al-Qaida,” the CIA said in a statement, responding to the report.

“While we made mistakes, the record does not support the study’s inference that the agency systematically and intentionally misled each of these audiences on the effectiveness of the program. Moreover, the process undertaken by the committee when investigating the program provided an incomplete and selective picture of what occurred,” the statement reads.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement alluding to the intelligence community angst over the report, “President Obama has made clear, some things were done that should not have been done — and which transgressed our values.”

But Clapper indicated, this is not a new issue.

“We recognized this 10 years ago and stopped the program as it was originally conducted; even more important, we have since enacted laws, implemented presidential orders and established internal policies to ensure that such things never happen again.”


Below is ODNI Director, James Clapper’s response and Barack Obama’s response.

DNI Message to the Intelligence Community Workforce on the Release of the SSCI Report

December 9, 2014

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper sent the following message to the entire Intelligence Community workforce earlier this morning.

Today, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its report on the detention and interrogation program.  In all of my experience in intelligence, I am hard-pressed to recall another report—and the issues surrounding it—as fraught with controversy and passion as this one.  Virtually no one who has any familiarity with the report and what it describes is “neutral.”  The rebuttal to the majority report issued by the minority on the Committee is but one example of strong alternative views.  Proponents of publication ardently believe that the report must be issued to cleanse a stain on the pages of our history, and to ensure that the practices it describes are never repeated.  Others, with equal conviction, believe that the report is unfair and biased; fails to account for the immediate impact of the attacks on 9/11—on American citizens and on those in government charged with protecting the country; and will result in greater jeopardy to American citizens, facilities and interests overseas.

The officers who participated in the program believed with certainty that they were engaged in a program devised by our government on behalf of the President that was necessary to protect the nation, that had appropriate legal authorization, and that was sanctioned by at least some in the Congress.  But, as President Obama has made clear, some things were done that should not have been done —and which transgressed our values.  We recognized this ten years ago and stopped the program as it was originally conducted; even more important, we have since enacted laws, implemented Presidential orders and established internal policies to ensure that such things never happen again.

I don’t believe that any other nation would go to the lengths the United States does to bare its soul, admit mistakes when they are made and learn from those mistakes.  Certainly, no one can imagine such an effort by any of the adversaries we face today.  In the months leading up to today’s publication, we went through an exhaustive, good-faith dialogue with the Committee to reach a mutual agreement on what could be said publicly about the program, consistent with the enduring need to protect national security.  We made unprecedented efforts to enable the release of as much of the Committee’s report as possible.

Now that the report is public, there is certain to be much discussion of its contents—and of the alternative views of the program and the period during which it operated.  That discussion will go on, but the critical imperative for all of us who are privileged to work as members of the Intelligence Community is to remain sharply focused on our missions and the work before us.  We must sustain our vigilance to deal with the myriad threats and challenges that face the nation, including any that may arise in the coming days as a possible reaction to the report.  The women and men of the CIA specifically, and of the Intelligence Community generally, have helped to keep this nation safe for nearly 70 years.  That remains our ultimate mission; it reflects the trust that Americans have always placed in us.  I have every confidence that we will continue to meet those expectations and honor that sacred trust, just as we have always done.

James Clapper

Statement by President Obama — Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

December 9, 2014

Throughout our history, the United States of America has done more than any other nation to stand up for freedom, democracy, and the inherent dignity and human rights of people around the world.  As Americans, we owe a profound debt of gratitude to our fellow citizens who serve to keep us safe, among them the dedicated men and women of our intelligence community, including the Central Intelligence Agency.  Since the horrific attacks of 9/11, these public servants have worked tirelessly to devastate core al Qaeda, deliver justice to Osama bin Laden, disrupt terrorist operations and thwart terrorist attacks.  Solemn rows of stars on the Memorial Wall at the CIA honor those who have given their lives to protect ours.  Our intelligence professionals are patriots, and we are safer because of their heroic service and sacrifices.

In the years after 9/11, with legitimate fears of further attacks and with the responsibility to prevent more catastrophic loss of life, the previous administration faced agonizing choices about how to pursue al Qaeda and prevent additional terrorist attacks against our country.  As I have said before, our nation did many things right in those difficult years.  At the same time, some of the actions that were taken were contrary to our values.  That is why I unequivocally banned torture when I took office, because one of our most effective tools in fighting terrorism and keeping Americans safe is staying true to our ideals at home and abroad.

Today’s report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence details one element of our nation’s response to 9/11—the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, which I formally ended on one of my first days in office.  The report documents a troubling program involving enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects in secret facilities outside the United States, and it reinforces my long-held view that these harsh methods were not only inconsistent with our values as nation, they did not serve our broader counterterrorism efforts or our national security interests.  Moreover, these techniques did significant damage to America’s standing in the world and made it harder to pursue our interests with allies and partners.  That is why I will continue to use my authority as President to make sure we never resort to those methods again.

As Commander in Chief, I have no greater responsibility than the safety and security of the American people.  We will therefore continue to be relentless in our fight against al Qaeda, its affiliates and other violent extremists.  We will rely on all elements of our national power, including the power and example of our founding ideals.  That is why I have consistently supported the declassification of today’s report.  No nation is perfect.  But one of the strengths that makes America exceptional is our willingness to openly confront our past, face our imperfections, make changes and do better.  Rather than another reason to refight old arguments, I hope that today’s report can help us leave these techniques where they belong—in the past.  Today is also a reminder that upholding the values we profess doesn’t make us weaker, it makes us stronger and that the United States of America will remain the greatest force for freedom and human dignity that the world has ever known.

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Denise Simon