Senator's questions about CIA program may hold up nomination
December 17th, 2013
09:11 PM ET

Senator's questions about CIA program may hold up nomination

By Evan Perez, CNN Justice Reporter

A new congressional fight is brewing over the Central Intelligence Agency's controversial use of harsh interrogations almost decade ago.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colorado, is threatening to block the nomination of President Barack Obama's choice for CIA general counsel unless the agency provides an internal report that he says bolsters findings made by a congressional investigation of the interrogation program.

The Senate Intelligence Committee produced a 6,300-page report on the program, which used methods such as waterboarding on prisoners held by the CIA in the years after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The Senate report is highly critical of the program and found it produced little intelligence value, according to people familiar with the findings. But it has not been released publicly because the CIA has officially disputed its conclusions.

At a hearing Tuesday on the nomination of Caroline Krass, who would be the agency's top lawyer, Udall said former CIA Director Leon Panetta initiated the agency's own internal study of the program. That internal probe, Udall believes, has reached conclusions similar to those found by the Senate committee and contradicts the CIA's official denials. He says he and other lawmakers on the committee asked the CIA for the internal report, but the agency has yet to produce it.

"It raises fundamental questions about why a review the CIA conducted internally years ago ... is so different from the CIA's formal written response to the committee study," Udall said.

The Senate report was completed a year ago. Some critics of the report say it has errors and is poorly written, making some of its findings hard to understand.

But the CIA has also come under fire for refusing to provide additional information to fully explain the program. The CIA had the legal backing of Justice Department memos at the time, but the methods used were called torture by Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said: "We're aware of the Committee's request and will respond appropriately."

Krass, a former lawyer in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel and in the Obama White House, resisted making promises to provide more information to the Senate committee to complete its work on the CIA program.

In response to questions from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, who heads the Senate Intelligence panel, Krass said she would make sure lawmakers understood the executive branch's decisions, but wouldn't support releasing all Office of Legal Counsel memos as requested by congress.

"The OLC opinions represent pre-decisional confidential legal advice that's been provided, and protecting the confidentiality of that legal advice preserves space for there to be a full and frank discussion amongst clients and the policy makers and their lawyers within the executive branch and I believe furthers, really furthers the rule of law because it allows for the effective functioning of the executive branch," Krass said.

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. alf564

    Mark udall is a total and complete FOOL !

    December 24, 2013 at 9:36 am | Reply
  2. TWERTWER23452345

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    VEAMOS ESTA LISTA DE BASURA ENFERMOS MENTALES ESQUIZOFRENICOS PSICÓTICOS::

    Líderes del Senado de la sección del 112º Congreso (2009-2011) de los Estados Unidos son:
    Presidente del Senado: Joe Biden (D-Delaware)
    Presidente Pro Tempore: Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont)
    Líder de la Mayoría: Harry Reid (D-Nevada)
    Líder de la Minoría: Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky)

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    John Barrasso – Wyoming – Republicano3
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    Maria Cantwell – Washington – Demócrata3
    Ben Cardin – Maryland – Demócrata3
    Tom Carper – Delaware – Demócrata3
    Bob Casey, Jr. – Pensilvania – Demócrata3
    Bob Corker – Tennessee – Republicano3
    Ted Cruz – Texas – Republicano3
    Joe Donnelly – Indiana – Demócrata3
    Dianne Feinstein – California – Demócrata3
    Deb Fischer – Nebraska – Republicana3
    Jeff Flake – Arizona – Republicano3
    Kirsten Gillibrand – Nueva York – Demócrata3
    Orrin Hatch – Utah – Republicano3 (desde 1977)
    Martin Heinrich – Nuevo México – Demócrata3
    Heidi Heitkamp – Dakota del Norte – Demócrata3
    Dean Heller – Nevada – Republicano3
    Mazie Hirono – Hawái – Demócrata3
    Tim Kaine – Virginia – Demócrata3
    Angus King – Maine – independiente3
    Amy Klobuchar – Minnesota – Demócrata3
    Joe Manchin – Virginia Occidental – Demócrata3
    Claire McCaskill – Misuri – Demócrata3
    Bob Menendez – Nueva Jersey – Demócrata3
    Chris Murphy – Connecticut – Demócrata3
    Bill Nelson – Florida – Demócrata3
    Bernie Sanders – Vermont – Socialista Demócrata3
    Debbie Stabenow – Míchigan – Demócrata3
    Jon Tester – Montana – Demócrata3
    Elizabeth Warren – Massachusetts – Demócrata3
    Sheldon Whitehouse – Rhode Island – Demócrata3
    Roger Wicker – Mississippi – Republicano3

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  3. TWERTWER23452345

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    VEAMOS ESTA LISTA DE BASURA ENFERMOS MENTALES ESQUIZOFRENICOS PSICÓTICOS::

    Líderes del Senado de la sección del 112º Congreso (2009-2011) de los Estados Unidos son:
    Presidente del Senado: Joe Biden (D-Delaware)
    Presidente Pro Tempore: Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont)
    Líder de la Mayoría: Harry Reid (D-Nevada)
    Líder de la Minoría: Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky)

    Senadores.

    La mayoría de los senadores de la I Clase.

    Tammy Baldwin – Wisconsin – Demócrata3
    John Barrasso – Wyoming – Republicano3
    Sherrod Brown – Ohio – Demócrata3
    Maria Cantwell – Washington – Demócrata3
    Ben Cardin – Maryland – Demócrata3
    Tom Carper – Delaware – Demócrata3
    Bob Casey, Jr. – Pensilvania – Demócrata3
    Bob Corker – Tennessee – Republicano3
    Ted Cruz – Texas – Republicano3
    Joe Donnelly – Indiana – Demócrata3
    Dianne Feinstein – California – Demócrata3
    Deb Fischer – Nebraska – Republicana3
    Jeff Flake – Arizona – Republicano3
    Kirsten Gillibrand – Nueva York – Demócrata3
    Orrin Hatch – Utah – Republicano3 (desde 1977)
    Martin Heinrich – Nuevo México – Demócrata3
    Heidi Heitkamp – Dakota del Norte – Demócrata3
    Dean Heller – Nevada – Republicano3
    Mazie Hirono – Hawái – Demócrata3
    Tim Kaine – Virginia – Demócrata3
    Angus King – Maine – independiente3
    Amy Klobuchar – Minnesota – Demócrata3
    Joe Manchin – Virginia Occidental – Demócrata3
    Claire McCaskill – Misuri – Demócrata3
    Bob Menendez – Nueva Jersey – Demócrata3
    Chris Murphy – Connecticut – Demócrata3
    Bill Nelson – Florida – Demócrata3
    Bernie Sanders – Vermont – Socialista Demócrata3
    Debbie Stabenow – Míchigan – Demócrata3
    Jon Tester – Montana – Demócrata3
    Elizabeth Warren – Massachusetts – Demócrata3
    Sheldon Whitehouse – Rhode Island – Demócrata3
    Roger Wicker – Mississippi – Republicano3

    VENDIENDO HUMANOS PARA GANAR DINERO.
    LOS DENUNCIAMOS AL FBI INTERPOL Y EUROPOL.
    POR ASESINATO ROBO VIOLACIONES NARCOTRAFICO.

    ESTAMOS ESPERANDO RESPUESTA SOBRE EL CASO DE VIOLACION $EXUAL FABIOLA LEON.

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    December 19, 2013 at 11:03 am | Reply
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    ANN DUNHAM, BARACK OBAMA SR.
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    December 19, 2013 at 9:51 am | Reply
  5. Peppy

    NEWS FLASH Per J Carney Oblunder care mess is Bushs fault, Never stated don't cross this red line, GOPs fault, Solyndrea-oooops not my fault, Ben hazi was caused by U-TUBE, My stimulus will take unemp to 5.6%, its not a tax.
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    December 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • guest

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      December 19, 2013 at 7:53 am | Reply
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      sounds like a set of dance steps for the new Dirty Danic reality tv show straight from our nations capital. Runs for three more years.

      December 22, 2013 at 11:25 am | Reply
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        December 22, 2013 at 11:26 am |
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    Priceless now the Dems wont even back Oblunder.

    December 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Reply

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