In a bizarre attempt to rewrite history, the new chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, wrote to President Obama with an odd request: He wants the Dianne Feinstein Senate Intelligence Committee torture report back.
“Mr. Burr sent a letter last week to the White House saying that his Democratic predecessor, Senator Dianne Feinstein, should never have transmitted the entire 6,700-page report to numerous departments and agencies within the executive branch — and requested that all copies of the report be ‘returned immediately,’ according to people who have seen the letter.
“The Intelligence Committee publicly released only the report’s executive summary. But Congress has since changed hands, and the committee is now controlled by Republican lawmakers like Mr. Burr who have long opposed the committee’s detention investigation, which they said was a partisan effort to discredit the C.I.A. and the Bush administration.
It is a bizarre episode in which the right-wing senator is attempting to rewrite history by asking for the torture reports back to supposedly “bury” them.
New York Times:
“Mr. Burr’s unusual letter to Mr. Obama might have been written with an eye toward future Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.
“Congress is not subject to such requests, and any success he has in getting the Obama administration to return all copies of the Senate report to the Intelligence Committee could hinder attempts to someday have the report declassified and released publicly.
The Times stated, “A spokeswoman for Mr. Burr did not return a request seeking comment on the letter. A White House spokesman declined to comment on how the Obama administration planned to respond.”
According to the New York Times, the director of the Federation of American Scientists project on government secrecy, Steven Aftergood, said he could recall no analogous case of the Senate’s trying to get the executive branch to return a document.