WASHINGTON, DC –The Senate Intelligence Committee is today releasing a document describing the early approval of the CIA interrogation program by the Bush Administration, and the preparation of the Office of Legal Counsel opinions that gave legal approval for the use of specific interrogation techniques, Chairman Dianne Feinstein announced.

The Committee, under then-Chairman Jay Rockefeller’s leadership, has been working with the Bush and Obama Administrations since August 2008 to have this document declassified, long before the decision to release four OLC legal opinions last week.

The Committee’s document describes:

  • The capture of al Qa’ida facilitator Abu Zubaydah;
  • The discussions between officials at the CIA, the Department of Justice, and the National Security Council that led to policy approval by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice on July 17, 2002;
  • The OLC opinions and how they were drafted with input from the CIA;
  • How the Administration briefings to the Chairman and Vice Chairman on aspects of the interrogation program didn’t begin until after it had been approved and implemented. And the full Committee was not briefed until September 6, 2006.   
  • How the passage of legislation and Supreme Court cases caused the CIA and the Office of Legal Counsel to re-evaluate the program and write new legal opinions to justify it.

The document has been posted to the Intelligence Committee website, http://intelligence.senate.gov/

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