Ex-CIA Director Hayden questions Feinstein's objectivity in report on interrogations
WASHINGTON — Former CIA and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden suggested on Sunday that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., might have compromised the objectivity of a report on CIA interrogation techniques because she wants to change them.
On “Fox News Sunday,” Hayden cited comments Feinstein made last month in which she said declassifying the report would “ensure that an un-American, brutal program of detention and interrogation will never again be considered or permitted.”
Hayden suggested Feinstein feels too strongly about the issue on an “emotional” level.
“That sentence — that motivation for the report — may show deep, emotional feeling on the part of the senator, but I don't think it leads you to an objective report,” said Hayden, a Pittsburgh native.
Feinstein responded sharply to Hayden's remarks, saying the report is “objective, based on fact, thoroughly footnoted.”
“I am certain it will stand on its own merits,” she said, according to The Washington Post.
Last week, the committee voted, 11-3, to declassify the report's 480-page executive summary and related findings, the results of Senate Democrats' five-year probe of the Bush-era CIA programs.
The programs were in operation before Hayden began running the CIA in 2006. President Obama effectively ordered the end of them in 2009.
The material is being sent to Obama for declassification review and public release, Feinstein said. The president has indicated his support of the declassification and that CIA Director John Brennan has said it will happen “expeditiously,” she said. The full 6,200-page report will remain classified.
The report purportedly says the CIA misled the government and the American people about the value of interrogation techniques, which Hayden called a “false” accusation.
If declassified, the report would rank as the government's most comprehensive public assessment of waterboarding, sleep deprivation, confinement in small spaces and other interrogation techniques used on suspected terrorists.
Hayden, a Bush appointee, said it would be “very hard” for him to make a judgment about the report because he has not seen it, nor has anybody responsible for it “spoken a word” about its content.
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said former Vice President Dick Cheney “set a tone and an attitude for the CIA” that led to the agency's use of enhanced interrogation techniques in secret prisons after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“I think he's proud of it,” Pelosi said of Cheney on CNN's “State of the Union” program.
That allegation drew a rebuke on the same program from Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
“That politicizes this in a way that I think is horribly counterproductive and likely to lead people to the wrong conclusion,” Rogers said when asked about Cheney's alleged involvement in the CIA program.
Rogers criticized the report from the Democrat-controlled Senate committee, saying it “made assumptions and leapt to conclusions that cannot be substantiated.”
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