By Bronte Price, PoliticKING
The CIA inspector general’s office said that it “mistakenly” destroyed the only copy of a Senate torture report when lawyers for the Justice Department had assured a federal judge that copies of the document were being preserved, Yahoo News reported on Monday.
Multiple intelligence community sources who are familiar with the incident have reported a behind-the-scenes battle over whether or not the full unabridged report should be released to the public.
The report which is 6,700 pages contains meticulous details, produced by the Senate Intelligence Committee, including original CIA cables and memos, on the agency’s use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other aggressive interrogation methods at “black site” prisons overseas.
The CIA inspector general’s office “mistakenly” destroyed its only copy of the Senate CIA torture report https://t.co/sjASOQ6i73
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) May 16, 2016
City University of New York School of Law professor, Douglas Cox, who specializes in tracking the preservation of federal records said, “It’s breathtaking that this could have happened, especially in the inspector general’s office. They’re the ones that are supposed to be providing accountability within the agency itself.” He added, “It makes you wonder what was going on over there?”
CIA spokesman, Dean Boyd wrote in an email that another unopened computer disk with the full report has been, and still is, locked in a vault at CIA headquarters. “I can assure you that the CIA has retained a copy,” Boyd wrote.
A 500 page executive summary that was released in December 2014, showed that the CIA’s interrogations were far more brutal than the agency had publicly acknowledged. The summary also showed that the interrogation efforts often produced unreliable intelligence. The full three-volume report, which was the basis for the executive summary, has never been released.
Diane Feinstein, vice chair of the committee, wrote CIA Director John Brennan last week asking him to “immediately” provide a new copy of the full report to the inspector general’s office.
“Your prompt response will allay my concern that this was more than an ‘accident,’” Feinstein wrote. She added that the full report includes “extensive information directly related to the IG’s ongoing oversight of the CIA.”
Senators on the committee expressed concerns in a letter last month, that federal agencies might destroy their copies of the report. “No part of the executive branch has ruled out destroying or sending back the full report to Congress after the conclusion of the current FOIA litigation,” they wrote in an April 13, 2016, letter.
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