The White House “accidentally emailed” non-classified talking points regarding a classified torture report and how the CIA likely withheld information from then-Secretary of State Colin Powell to an Associated Press reporter on Wednesday.
The classified Senate report concludes that Powel and other U.S. officials were kept in the dark regarding some of the harsh torture techniques as well as secret prisons, the AP reports, citing the non-classified document that “circulating among White House staff.”
Further, some U.S. ambassadors were apparently instructed not to tell their superiors at the State Department about interrogations of terrorists and “black sites” in other countries, according to the document “accidentally” emailed to the AP reporter.
More from the AP:
The 6,300-page Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation program has been years in the making. The findings are expected to reveal additional details about the CIA’s program and renew criticisms that the U.S. engaged in torture as it questioned terrorism suspects after the 2001 attacks.
A congressional official who has read the Senate report confirmed that it makes the findings outlined in the document. A former senior CIA official said the secretary of state at the time, Colin Powell, eventually was informed about the program and sat in meetings in which harsh interrogation techniques were discussed. But Powell may not have been informed when the techniques were first used in 2002, the official said. A spokeswoman Wednesday said Powell would not comment.
The former CIA official said it would be standard practice for ambassadors informed about a covert operation to be instructed not to share it with others who did not have a “need to know,” as determined by the National Security Council. Ambassadors in countries in which the CIA set up black sites to interrogate prisoners were usually told about it, said the official, who, like others interviewed for this story, would not be quoted by name because some of the information remains classified.
Powell was eventually informed of the CIA’s so-called torture program. Powell was not willing to comment on the report Wednesday, according to a spokesperson.
The New York Times’ Matt Apuzza put a positive spin on the “accidental” email, saying he chooses to “see it not as a mistake but as an exciting move toward transparency for this White House.”
Read the AP’s full report here.
(H/T: Boing Boing)