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Release of CIA torture details unlikely: senior Democrat

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration is unlikely to release a massive report on the CIA's use of waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques" widely considered torture, a top Democrat on the congressional intelligence committee said on Tuesday.

Representative Adam Schiff told reporters it was more likely, before President Barack Obama leaves office next month, that the White House might take action so the report could be released someday via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

"The most that we might expect this administration to do... is to designate it as some kind of a record that would ultimately lead to its availability through FOIA, subject to redaction," Schiff said at a breakfast meeting with reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

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He said he supported "as much information being shared as possible."

Senator Dianne Feinstein and other congressional Democrats have urged Obama to declassify and release the 6,700-page Senate Intelligence Committee report before Republican President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Feinstein chaired the panel as it researched and wrote the report, and she spearheaded the effort to expose the CIA's actions.

The committee, then led by Democrats, released a 525-page executive summary of its findings in December 2014. But the full report has been seen as too sensitive to release.

"I don't think the incoming administration will have any interest in publishing the greater part of the document," Schiff said.

However, he added that he did not expect that waterboarding would resume. "Within the IC (intelligence community) there would be such massive resistance to this, it just isn't going to happen," Schiff said.

Trump promised during his campaign that he would not only revive waterboarding, but bring back "a hell of a lot worse" if elected. However, he said more recently that retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, his nominee as secretary of defense, had persuasively argued against it.

A White House spokesman said he had nothing to announce about the report, but reiterated Obama's opposition to torture.

Obama ended the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" via executive order just after he took office in January 2009. Led by Republican Senator John McCain and Feinstein, Congress has since passed legislation outlawing their use.

(Additional reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Dan Grebler)

 
 
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