Huffpost Politics

Internal Government Report To Detail CIA Interrogations, Secret Detention

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WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is delaying by a week its release of an internal CIA report on the agency's Bush-era secret detention and interrogation program.

The roughly 150-page report was expected to be released Friday, but a CIA spokesman said government officials were still poring through the documents.

"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.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for the release of all documents relating to the CIA's interrogation program, said it was disappointed by the delay.

The legal organization has been waiting for the release of a less-censored version of the report for more than a year. In the version released in May 2008, all but a few paragraphs and individual words were blacked out.

"We can only hope that this delay is a sign that the forces of transparency within the Obama administration are winning over the forces of secrecy and that the report will ultimately be released with minimal redactions," ACLU attorney Amrit Singh said in a statement Friday.

Singh also said the agency "should not be permitted to use national security as a pretext for suppressing evidence of its own unlawful conduct," adding that "the American people have a right to know the full truth about the torture program that was authorized in their name."

Little called Singh's characterization of the CIA's program "both wrong and offensive."

The review by the inspector general for the CIA was completed in May 2004.

John L. Helgerson, the now-retired CIA inspector who spearheaded the investigation, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the report is "a comprehensive look at everything the agency had been doing related to detention and interrogation."

Helgerson said his review "found a great deal running very well. We also found things to be concerned about," Helgerson said. The investigation was conducted in response to concerns expressed by agency employees about the program, he added.

Helgerson said a large portion of the report addresses CIA activities, sources and methods that should remain classified.

The IG review cast doubt on the effectiveness of the harsh interrogation methods employed by CIA interrogators, according to references to the report contained in a slew of Bush-era Justice Department memos declassified this spring by the Justice Department.

Those interrogation methods included waterboarding, a simulated drowning technique that President Barack Obama recently pronounced a form of torture.