United States senators involved in producing a more than 6,000-page report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s rendition, detention and interrogation program are upset with significant redactions the White House made to the report. One of the key issues is that the White House censored “pseudonyms” from the report used to protect covert CIA agents and foreign countries, according to a report from McClatchy Newspapers.
McClatchy journalists Jonathan Landay and Michael Doyle have diligently covered almost every development in the Senate’s struggle to get part of the report released. This latest episode exemplifies the lengths to which President Barack Obama’s administration has been willing to go to protect the CIA when the agency’s leadership demand agents be shielded from scrutiny.
From the report:
Tom Mentzer, a spokesman for the committee’s chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told McClatchy on Monday that the blackouts —officially known as redactions— were made to pseudonyms used for both covert CIA officers and foreign countries.
“No covert CIA personnel or foreign countries are named in the report,” he said. “Only pseudonyms were used, precisely to protect this kind of information. Those pseudonyms were redacted (by the administration).”
But, according to a “person familiar with the issue” (no additional identifying details are given in the story), “All of the pseudonyms were excised from the version of the executive summary that the White House returned to the committee on Friday.”
New Mexico Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich, one of a few senators who has been outspoken on the need for this report to be released to the public, protested in a released statement, “Redactions are supposed to remove names or anything that could compromise sources and methods, not to undermine the source material so that it is impossible to understand. Try reading a novel with 15 percent of the words blacked out — it can’t be done properly.”