Timeline: Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the CIA’s detention & interrogation program

WTF Senate Intelligence Committee

Editor’s note: This timeline is based on Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s floor speech on March 11, 2014 accusing the CIA of improperly searching and removing documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computers.

March 11, 2014: Sen. Dianne Feinstein delivered a speech on the Senate floor accusing the CIA of improperly searching and removing documents related to the CIA’s detention and interrogation program from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computers. CIA Director John Brennan denied “hacking” into the Senate’s computers after his speech at the Council on Foreign Relations.

February 2014: CIA’s Acting General Counsel Robert Eatinger filed a crimes report against Senate Intelligence Committee staff with the Justice Department.

January 23, 2014: Feinstein wrote another letter to Brennan asking the CIA to disclose “the full scope of the CIA search of our computer network…who had authorized and conducted this search, and what legal basis the CIA claimed gave it authority to conduct the search.”

Mid-January 2014: CIA Inspector General David Buckley was informed about the CIA’s unauthorized search of the Senate committee’s computers. He has since referred the matter to the Justice Department.

January 17, 2014: Feinstein wrote a letter to Brennan objecting to the CIA’s search “due to the separation of powers constitutional issues that this search raised”.

January 15, 2014: CIA Director John Brennan convened an “emergency” meeting with Feinstein and Senate Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss to inform them of the CIA’s search of the committee’s computers.

Early January 2014: CIA rejected the committee’s request to provide the Internal Panetta Review, “citing the deliberative nature of the document.”

Late 2013: Feinstein requested the CIA provide a “final and complete version of the Internal Panetta Review”.

June 27, 2013: CIA issued a response to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s draft report.

December 2012: The Senate Intelligence Committee approved a 6,300 page report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program and submitted the executive report to the White House and CIA for comment.

May 17, 2010: Then-CIA’s Director of Congressional Affairs apologized to the Senate Intelligence Committee on behalf of the CIA for removing the documents.

May 2010: Senate Intelligence Committee staff “noticed that the documents have been provided for the committee’s review were no longer accessible”.

Mid-May 2010: 50 pages of documents related to the CIA interrogation and detention program were removed from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computer system by the CIA.

February 2010: 870 pages of documents related to the CIA interrogation and detention program were removed from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computer system by the CIA.

2010: Senate Intelligence Committee staff came across in their searches draft versions of the “Internal Panetta Review” that acknowledged wrongdoing by the CIA in its detention and interrogation program.

2009: The Senate Intelligence Committee and then-CIA Director Leon Panetta reached an agreement in which the CIA would “provide literally millions of pages of operational cables, internal emails, memos, and other documents pursuant to a committee’s document request at a secure location in Northern Virginia.”

“The CIA was to provide a ‘standalone computer system’ with a ‘network drive segregated from CIA networks’ for the committee that would only be accessed by information technology personnel at the CIA who would ‘not be permitted to share information from the system with other CIA personnel except as otherwise authorized by the committee’,” said Feinstein.

March 5, 2009: The Senate Intelligence Committee voted 14 to 1 to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program.

Early 2009: Senate Intelligence Committee staff completed their preliminary review into the CIA’s early interrogations. “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,” said Feinstein.

December 7, 2007: The New York Times reported that the CIA destroyed videotapes of interrogations using “enhanced techniques” over the objections of the Bush White House Counsel and the Director of National Intelligence. Hayden assured the Senate Intelligence Committee 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.”

September 2006: Then-CIA Director Michael Hayden disclosed the existence of the CIA detention and interrogation program to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Mid-2004 – 2009: Robert Eatinger, now CIA’s Acting General Counsel, served as the chief lawyer in the CIA’s Counter-terrorism Center, which ran the detention and interrogation program. His name was mentioned 1,600 times in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report.

2002 – 2009: CIA ran a detention and interrogation program in overseas “black prisons” where torture techniques were allegedly used.

 

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