The Senate Committtee charged with overseeing the CIA accused that Agency of torturing prisoners. Its investigators found a 2010 internal-to-the-CIA document, the Panetta Report, which buttressed the Committee’s findings. The response of the CIA was to refuse to provide the Panetta Report to the Senate.
The document at the heart of this confrontation is an internal review conducted by the CIA of the materials it had turned over to Feinstein’s committee during the course of the four-year congressional investigation into the Bush-era torture practices.
Feinstein said the document, which has become known as the Panetta Review after then-director of the CIA Leon Panetta, was first discovered by committee staff using CIA-provided search tools in 2010. It became particularly relevant later, after the committee completed a scathing 6,300-page report in December 2012, and the CIA sent its official response in June 2013.
The committee’s detailed report is still classified, but it is known to be highly critical of both the CIA’s role in the torture regime and its campaign to deceive Congress about it. The CIA vehemently took issue with those conclusions.
“Unlike the official response, these Panetta review documents were in agreement with the committee’s findings. That’s what makes them so significant and important to protect,” Feinstein said.
Based on the CIA’s extensive record of removal and destruction of evidence, which Feinstein detailed in her floor speech, committee staff decided “there was a need to preserve and protect” a copy of the review, which meant bringing it back from the CIA-leased offices in Virginia where staff had been forced to conduct their investigation to secure facilities in a Senate office building.
The CIA’s foremost defender, the Military-Industrial Complex’s Champion Chump, finally realizes the value of the longtime-ago, shredded-on-her-watch Fourth Amendment.
Classic Greek theater; irony, hubris and all that.