U.S. Sen. Richard Burr said the report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on the CIA’s use of torture released Tuesday “only endangers our officers and allies in a blatant attempt to smear the Bush administration.”
The Republican U.S. senator from Winston-Salem will become chairman of the Intelligence Committee in January.
He said on Tuesday that he would not hold hearings on the report.
“I just don’t know what you would accomplish with hearings,” he said in an interview. Asked if he saw any kind of follow-up, Burr said, “No. Put this report down as a footnote in history.”
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U.S. Rep. David Price, a Democrat from Chapel Hill, said the report represents accountability. “Unfortunately, the Senate Intelligence Committee report confirms many of our worst suspicions about the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation program under the Bush administration,” Price said. “My hope is that transparency will lead to greater accountability and ensure that we never again forfeit our moral high ground to gather intelligence.”
Burr voted in April to release the executive summary of the report. In a statement Tuesday, Burr said the vote was to submit the study to the executive branch for redaction “and, if appropriate, release.”
“Rather than go through a thorough, thoughtful redaction process that would ensure the protection of our intelligence professionals and international allies, the committee Democrats chose instead to pressure the White House and our intelligence community to release more information for political reasons that only they understand,” Burr said.
“I fear the ramifications for our national security and global partnerships, and I stand by my assertion that this report is flawed, biased, and political in nature. What was released today by the committee Democrats is largely already known by the vast majority of Americans – what was new in the report was the dangerous inclusion of information about countries and other partners who aided the United States’ intelligence community.
“The committee Democrats’ pressure to request inclusion of these additional details, and the administration’s acquiescence, will likely cause long-lasting damage to our international relationships and threaten intelligence professionals and American citizens around the world. It is regrettable that the committee’s Democrats decided to put their own political agenda before the safety and security of our nation and our allies.”
Republicans wrote their own report documenting what they said were falsehoods in the study. “In fact, the CIA attempted to keep the Congress informed of its activities and did not impede White House oversight,” Burr said.