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U.S. Opinions: Los Angeles

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A tortured redaction

From an editorial Wednesday in the Los Angeles Times:

More than a year and a half ago, the Senate Intelligence Committee approved a voluminous report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation of suspected terrorists after 9/11. Those who have read the report say it concludes that the agency used brutal and sometimes unauthorized interrogation techniques, misled policymakers and the public, and sought to undermine congressional oversight. It also reportedly rejects the idea that “enhanced interrogation techniques” produced information vital to preventing terrorist attacks.

The public has been unable to evaluate the committee’s conclusions, but that was supposed to change this month with the release of a 480-page executive summary and a list of findings. Now, however, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the committee chairwoman, is delaying publication of the document while the committee studies “significant redactions” made by the Obama administration.

Only last week, CIA Director John Brennan apologized to the Senate Intelligence Committee for CIA officials improperly searching computers being used by committee staffers working on the report. Given that, Americans will wonder if redactions made in the executive summary were designed to spare the CIA from further embarrassment.

On Tuesday, Feinstein sent a letter to President Obama proposing changes that she said would be necessary if the document were to be released. Obama should respond positively. It has been kept from the public for too long.

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