The day after the release of the report's executive summary, the White House dodged questions on whether President
Amid a fresh call for a major shake-up at the highest levels of the CIA, the White House expressed support for agency Director
The apparent stasis after what some experts described as a seminal retelling of a dark chapter in U.S. history was expected to disappoint those who have long pushed for public accountability for the agents and officials involved.
"No one has been held to account. Torture didn't just happen.... Real actual people used torture," Democratic Sen.
Still, the prevailing approach among the White House and Republicans primed to take control of key committees in Congress was that the report is more useful as catharsis than a call to action. The fixes have already been made, they contended.
The White House emphasized that Obama signed an executive order banning torture as one of his first acts as president. He also ordered the Justice Department to review the treatment of detainees and formed a task force to review practices of transferring prisoners to other countries. A CIA inspector general also has reviewed the program.
"The commander in chief concluded that the use of the techniques that are described in this report significantly undermined the moral authority of the United States," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
Similarly, the Justice Department has cast the matter as a closed case.
A department official said Wednesday that federal prosecutors will not reopen their investigation of whether criminal laws were broken by CIA guards and interrogators for mistreating detainees.
That review began in 2009 when Atty. Gen.
Prosecutors have read the Senate committee's full report and "did not find any new information" that would warrant reopening the case, the official said.
Human rights advocates have contended that the investigation was too narrow. At the start, Holder made it clear that his department "would not prosecute anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance" given by the
An Intelligence Committee aide said Wednesday that such recommendations will be released in coming days.
"We're going to focus on real-time oversight. We're not going to be looking back at a decade trying to dredge up things," he said.
Outgoing House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) has also strongly criticized the report.
Even one of the few Republicans to support the Feinstein-led review, Sen.
"All of this stuff happened before we passed the Detainee Treatment Act," he said of the 2005 law that prohibits "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" of detainees. "We cured it.... Now it's against the law."
Without a legislative response, the Senate inquiry would stand apart from its two comparable investigations of the past, said Loch K. Johnson, an expert on the CIA relationship with Congress. The Church Committee inquiry of CIA abuses in the mid-1970s and the Iran-Contra hearings of a decade later resulted in legislative reforms, said Johnson, who was a top aide on the Church Committee.
Neither of those investigations led to prosecutions, he noted.
"The attitude has been that the shame of it is a powerful thing," he said.