The Obama administration will not immediately turn over a less-redacted version of a classified 2004 report on the CIA’s controversial interrogation and detention program, as it had earlier indicated.
The administration had reportedly said it would release the new version today to the American Civil Liberties Union, in response to a lawsuit by the group. But the CIA today informed the ACLU it was holding off the release “to make a final determination as to what additional information, if any, may be disclosed from the report.”
The CIA had released an earlier, heavily-redacted version of the report, a 2004 document produced by then-Inspector General John Helgerson, that is thought to contain a trove of details on the program and its operatives which have not been previously disclosed.
Roughly 100 “high-value” suspected terrorist detainees reportedly passed through the program, which included a network of secret detention facilities and harsh interrogation techniques including waterboarding, which Obama and others have called torture.
“We are disappointed by the delay in the disclosure of this report which contains critical information about the illegality and ineffectiveness of the CIA's interrogation program,” said ACLU attorney Amrit Singh in a statement released to the media. He suggested the CIA was using national security concerns “as a pretext for supressing evidence of its own unlawful conduct.”
The Washington Post reported earlier this week that the CIA was strongly resisting White House efforts to release a more complete version of the Helgerson report. One source familiar with the report told the Post Helgerson concluded that aspects of the program violated U.S. and international law.
“We continue to review the document to see what additional material can be released in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act,” said CIA spokesman George Little in an emailed statement. “ The process, which we expect to conclude within a matter of days, is working just as it should.” Little called Singh’s comments “both wrong and offensive.”