The most extensive review of U.S. intelligence-gathering tactics in generations is set to be made public Tuesday, reigniting a post-9/11 public debate over the use of torture to combat terrorism.
In one of her final acts after six years as chair of the committee that oversaw the review, Sen.
Feinstein said she hoped the public would view the report in the "spirit of a just society [that] functions under law, and that when we make mistakes we admit them, we correct them, and we move on,'' she told reporters Monday. "I think that's an important thing."
The inquiry is expected to reveal how the agency used waterboarding, sleep deprivation, stress positions and other so-called enhanced interrogation techniques more frequently than was legally authorized at then-secret prisons known as "black sites," the Chicago Tribune/Los Angeles Times Washington bureau has reported.
It also rebuts claims that the interrogations were key to locating Osama bin Laden or thwarting other terrorist plots, concluding that nearly all the intelligence gleaned through harsh techniques could have been obtained from more traditional intelligence-gathering systems.
As Feinstein finalized plans to release part of the report, Secretary of State
The administration insisted, though, that it supported the review and that the timing of its publication was entirely up to the committee. Obama said this year that the nation "did a whole lot of things that were right" in the aftermath of 9/11, but also "we tortured some folks."
"When we engaged in some of these enhanced interrogation techniques -- techniques that I believe and I think any fair-minded person would believe were torture -- we crossed a line," he said at an August news conference. "That needs to be understood and accepted. And we have to, as a country, take responsibility for that so that, hopefully, we don't do it again in the future."
"These are good people, really good people, and we're lucky as a nation to have them," he told CNN in an interview aired Sunday.
The review was launched by members of the Democrat-led committee in 2009 shortly after Obama succeeded Bush in the White House and ordered a halt to controversial interrogation tactics his predecessor had sanctioned. Its initial intent was in part to determine if lawmakers were kept fully informed of such practices, and its creation drew comparisons to the 1975 Church Committee, whose work ultimately led to the creation of permanent committees on intelligence agencies in
The interrogation committee completed an initial review in 2012. In August, the White House returned a draft to the committee that blacked out some of its contents, beginning an intense round of negotiations between Feinstein and the administration. Feinstein said last week that from a list of hundreds of redactions she had narrowed the differences to just two.
As word of the report's impending release spread throughout Washington, Democrats defended it as an essential self-examination by a global superpower.
Republicans warned of the potential fallout from the release.
“Think of the cartoons in Denmark and how many people died as a result,” Rep.
“This is a defunct program that was put to bed six years ago,” said Sen.