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May 16, 2014

President Obama Should Stop CIA From Endlessly Delaying Torture Report

Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First today renewed its calls for the White House to expeditiously declassify and publicly release the Senate intelligence committee’s report on the post-9/11 CIA torture program. The call comes amid news that the Department of Justice and CIA are delaying the release of the so-called Panetta Review, an internal CIA review of the torture program.

“The gamesmanship currently going on is distracting from the real issue: our government’s official policy of cruelty,” said Human Rights First’s Raha Wala. “President Obama should act to end this squabbling between his executive agencies and stop them from indefinitely delaying release of the report. The report must be released to the public so that we can see what was done in our names.”

Earlier this year the Senate intelligence committee voted 11-3 to declassify and release the findings, conclusions, and executive summary of its 6,300-plus page report detailing facts about the CIA torture program. The report is now with the White House, where President Obama has stated that he unequivocally supports its public release.

Discontent has been growing among senators who have expressed dismay that the Obama Administration has asked for additional time to review the report. In a press release issued today, Senator Angus King (I-ME), a member of Senate intelligence committee, wrote, “I recognize that it often takes time to declassify information of this nature, but this is excessive. Eisenhower retook Europe faster.” A group of thirty retired generals and admirals recently urged the White House to take the lead on declassifying the report, arguing that the CIA had a clear conflict of interest.

“Allowing the CIA to drag their feet on this report is absurd; they have every interest in delaying it indefinitely,” concluded Wala. “If the American people are ever to see the report, President Obama needs to tell the CIA to just buck up and get it done.”

For more information or to speak with Wala, contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.