A recent report claims that the inspector general’s office of the Central Intelligence Agency destroyed its only copy of the full report from the Senate Intelligence Committee detailing the torture methods used by the CIA following 9/11…by mistake.
Yahoo News reported Monday that officials from the inspector general’s office, which is supposed to act as a watchdog over the CIA, “deleted an uploaded computer file with the report and then accidentally destroyed a disk that also contained the document, filled with thousands of secret files” detailing what the agency refers to as “enhanced interrogation methods.”
While a heavily redacted 500-page summary of the nearly 7,000-page report compiled by the Senate Intelligence Committee on the torture techniques used by the CIA on al-Qaeda hostages following 9/11 was released in Dec. 2014, the full report did not follow suit.
The report from Yahoo cites anonymous CIA officials who claimed that while the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Justice Department were alerted of the incident last summer, “the destruction of a copy of the sensitive report has never been made public,” and it was not reported to “the federal judge who, at the time, was overseeing a lawsuit seeking access to the still classified document under the Freedom of Information Act.”
In response to the lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2013, a three-judge panel unanimously ruled Friday that because the Senate Intelligence Committee’s “intent to retain control of the Full Report is clear,” the report will remain “a congressional document that is not subject to disclosure” under the Freedom of Information Act.
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden cautioned against the release of even the heavily condensed and redacted version of the report, because it still contained evidence that the CIA “routinely went beyond what was legally allowable in using techniques, including waterboarding, to get information from terrorism suspects,” which were not effective, and that the agency “systematically lied to itself, to the White House, the Department of Justice, and to Congress about how well it worked to keep it going.”
It is one thing for the office that is supposed to act as the watchdog over the CIA to “mistakenly” delete a classified report, but it is another thing for that office to do such a thing while lying to a federal judge.
While there are other copies of the report in existence, the question remains: Will the full report ever be made public?