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Feinstein, McCain blast CIA over torture report findings

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Senate television/Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators Dianne Feinstein and John McCain said Tuesday the long-awaited report on brutal CIA interrogation practices used after the 9/11 terror attacks stands as a record of ‘‘a stain” on American values and honor.

Saying her words ‘‘give me no pleasure,’’ the head of the Senate intelligence committee stood before the Senate to summarize the committee’s seven-year effort to uncover and evaluate the truth about CIA interrogation methods and whether they worked.

Feinstein’s conclusions were unequivocal: The harsh interrogation methods didn’t work, she said, and the tactics were ‘‘far more brutal than people were led to believe.’’

Speaking after Feinstein, McCain told the Senate that the American people “have a right...to know what was done in their name.”


Describing the practices outlined in the report as torture, McCain said that such techniques “[produce] more misleading information than actionable intelligence.”

Feinstein, a California Democrat, said that releasing the committee’s 500-page report was an important step toward restoring American values. And she rejected the idea that the report should remain under wraps to avoid inflaming tensions around the world.

‘‘There may never be the right time to release this report,’’ she said, then quickly added: ‘‘This report is too important to shelve indefinitely.’’

Releasing the report ‘‘can and does say to our people that America is big enough to admit when it’s wrong and confident enough to learn from its mistakes,’’ Feinstein said.

The report, she added, is ‘‘an important step to restore our values and show the world that we are in fact a just and lawful society.’’

Feinstein’s committee began its study of the CIA’s interrogation practices early in 2009, and worked its way through more than 6 million pages of documents on its way to producing a 6,700 page report, which remains classified. The 500 pages released Tuesday represent an executive summary and conclusions from that longer study, which was completed in 2012.


With Democrats losing control of the Senate in the midterm elections, Feinstein will hand over control of the committee to the Republicans in January.