Transcript: Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s floor statement on improper CIA search of congressional computers – Part I of V

Part I of V: Partial transcript of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-California) floor statement accusing the Central Intelligence Committee of improperly accessing and searching computers used by the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate the CIA’s detention and interrogation programs at “black prisons” overseas. Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, delivered her statement on March 11, 2014.

Good morning.

Over the past week, there have been numerous press articles written about the Intelligence Committee’s oversight review of the detention and interrogation program of the CIA.

Specifically, press attention has focused on the CIA’s intrusion and search of the Senate Select Committee’s computers as well as the committee’s acquisition of a certain internal CIA document known as the Panetta Review.

I rise today to set the record straight and to provide a full accounting of the facts and history.

Let me say upfront that I come to the Senate floor reluctantly.

Since Jan. 15, 2014, when I was informed of the CIA’s search of this committee’s network, I’ve been trying to resolve this dispute in a discreet and respectful way.

I’ve not commented in response to media requests for additional information on this matter.

However, the increasing amount of inaccurate information circulating now cannot be allowed to stand unanswered.

The origin of this study. The CIA’s detention and interrogation program began operations in 2002 though it was not until September 2006 that members of the Intelligence Committee other than the Chairman and the Vice Chairman were briefed.

In fact, we were briefed by then-CIA Director Hayden only hours before President Bush disclosed the program to the public.

A little more than a year later, on Dec. 6, 2007, a New York Times article revealed the troubling fact that the CIA had destroyed videotapes of some of the CIA’s first interrogations using so-called “enhanced” techniques.

We learned that this destruction was over the objections of President Bush’s White House Counsel and the Director of National Intelligence.

After we read about the tapes of the destruction in the newspapers, Director Hayden briefed the Senate Intelligence Committee. He assured us that this was not destruction of evidence as detailed records of the interrogations existed on paper in the form of CIA operational cables describing the detention conditions and the day-to-day CIA interrogations.

The CIA Director stated that these cables were “more than adequate representation” of what would have been on the destroyed tapes.

Director Hayden offered at that time during Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s Chairmanship of the committee to allow members or staff review these sensitive CIA operational cables given that the video tapes have been destroyed.

Chairman Rockefeller sent two of his committee staffers out the CIA on nights and weekends to review thousands of these cables, which took many months.

By the time the two staffers completed their review into the CIA’s early interrogations in early 2009, I had become Chairman of the committee, and President Obama had been sworn into office.

The resulting staff report was chilling. The interrogations and the conditions of confinement at the CIA detention sites were far different and far more harsh than the way the CIA had described them to us.


Learn More:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.