The U.S. has increased security of its facilities around the world ahead of the release Tuesday by the Senate of the executive summary of its report on the CIA’s interrogation practices in the war on terrorism, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said today.
“The administration has for months been preparing for the release of this report. There are some indications that the release of this report could lead to a greater risk that is posed to U.S. facilities and individuals all around the world,” Earnest said. “So the administration has taken the prudent step to ensure that the proper security precautions are in place at U.S. facilities around the globe.”
He said the Senate Intelligence Committee had informed the White House that the executive summary will be released on Tuesday, adding that the White House supported the move.
“The president believes that on principle it’s important to release that report so that people around the world, and people here at home, understand what exactly what transpired,” he said.
The Senate Intelligence Committee voted in April to release the 480-page executive summary of the report on the CIA’s interrogation policies during the presidency of George W. Bush
It’s worth noting here that many people are calling the document the Senate’s report. It is, in fact, the executive summary of the full 6,200-page report.
Criticism began even before its details were made public.
Secretary of State John Kerry called Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, chair of the Senate intelligence panel, last week on behalf of the White House, asking for a delay. NPR’s Lauren Hodges reported there were fears in Congress the report would put “American personnel in danger overseas and incite further violence from extremists.”
But lawmakers such as Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said it was essential the executive summary was released.
“This report would never happen in North Korea or China or Russia,” she told CBS on Monday. “But in the United States, we hold our government accountable. And, I think, that process is so important, so fundamental to our democracy, that it’s essential that this report comes out.”
Bush, speaking on CNN over the weekend, said he hadn’t read the report, but called those in the CIA “patriots.”
“And whatever the report says, if it diminishes their contributions to our country, it is way off base,” he said. “And I knew the directors, I knew the deputy directors, you know, I knew a lot of the operators. These are good people, really good people and we’re lucky as a nation to have them.”
The New York Times reported that the former president’s team “has decided to link arms with former intelligence officials and challenge its conclusions.”
Here are some NPR stories on the politics behind the release of the executive summary: