The Senate Intelligence Committee voted on Thursday to declassify portions of the report on the CIA’s torture program that’s already been making waves this week. The sections being declassified are its executive summary and conclusions, which amount to more than 500 pages of the 6,200-page report. The declassification still needs Obama’s approval, but as someone who has already stated that the report’s findings should be public, he will likely allow the measure.
In a statement following the vote, committee chairwoman, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), said:
The release of this summary and conclusions in the near future shows that this nation admits its errors, as painful as they may be, and seeks to learn from them. It is now abundantly clear that, in an effort to prevent further terrorist attacks after 9/11 and bring those responsible to justice, the CIA made serious mistakes that haunt us to this day. We are acknowledging those mistakes, and we have a continuing responsibility to make sure nothing like this ever occurs again.
The panel voted to make the sections of the report public with 11 in favor and three opposed. Republican Senators Marco Rubio (Fla.), Dan Coats (Ind.), and James Risch (Idaho) cast the dissenting votes.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the committee’s top Republican, voted to declassify despite raising objections to the report. “The American people have the opportunity to look at it and make their own judgment about what was done,” he told reporters. “I want to be very clear. There is absolutely concrete evidence that has been gleaned from the individuals that were interrogated [by] this program.”
There is no exact deadline for when the findings will be made public, but the CIA’s director of public affairs, Dean Boyd, said that the agency would work expeditiously to make sure the Senate-authored report was suitable for public release. He indicated that the agency would not sign off on an inaccurate report.