The Senate intelligence committee's investigation into the treatment and interrogation of detainees is well underway, having already completed its look into the treatment of two "high value" detainees, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Thursday.
Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told the Huffington Post that the identity of those detainees is currently classified, as is the result of the investigation "at this time."
Feinstein did say, however, that she was "shocked personally" by what the committee investigation found. The committee will look into the treatment of every high value detainee, she said, but she wouldn't disclose how many there are.
While debate swirls, the investigation is well under way, said Feinstein. "We are the oversight committee and we are going back and doing a review of the conditions of detention and the specific interrogation techniques used on each of the high-value detainees. We have adopted a scope of work; we have hired independent staff. They are intelligence professionals and we will be doing this look back, which will probably take 6, 8 months," she said.
The intelligence committee has access to classified documents and personnel, but that access cuts both ways and may limit what the investigation can reveal to the public. "What we will do is we will bring the findings to the committee," she said. "I can't comment on whether it'll be declassified, but it'll be up to the committee's discretion whether they would like to issue findings or recommendations. You can be sure that this will be fully discussed, but in a classified setting, as well it should be."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on Thursday he wants the probe into the Bush administration's use of torture to be done by the intelligence committee. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), a fierce critic of the Bush torture program, also wants the intelligence committee to lead the investigation.
President Obama has said he is open to congressional investigation as long as it is done in a bipartisan way.
"The Senate intelligence committee is not engaged in any of that [partisanship]," said Feinstein. "I believe very strongly this is the way to go. It's bipartisan. It's in a classified arena. And we're doing our work as we should do it."
UPDATE: Spencer Ackerman reported this earlier.
Ryan Grim is the author of the forthcoming book This Is Your Country On Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America