tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 9, 2014 10:00am-12:01pm EST
6300 page analysis produced by the committee that still remains classified. you can read more at thehill.com. in the senate today, expect a recess until 1:00 eastern time for party lunches, then general speeches ahead of the 6 p.m. confirmation votes for those tennessee valley authority nominations. the president pro tempore:. the senate will come to order. today's opening prayer will be offered by guest chaplain father pomerleau also holy cross church in oregon and also a vermonter. the guest chaplain: let us pray. father, whose presence is so immediate and mysterious, whose
personal care brings this planet, and the entire universe into existence by your creative word. may we not lose our capacity for wonder, to listen and care for your creation. it is wisdom and contemplation that allow us to read the signs of the times. you put these signs in our hearts through music and dance, poetry and prose, arts and sciences. we thank you as day begins, and the energies of your daughters and sons are focused on the day's business. inspire those here assembled with the gifts of peace and justice, as your word inspires them to courage and compassion for all.
amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. mr. reid: mr. president? the president pro tempore: majority leader. mr. reid: mr. president, we know that you help in the senate every day, but today you had a little extra step and a gleam in your eye because of the guest chaplain who is your lovely wife, march -- marcel's brother. following my remarks and those of the republican leader the senate will be in a period of morning business until 10:30 this morning. at 10:30 the senate will proceed to two roll call votes on lodge and walter nominations. if cloture is invoked on either
nomination or confirmation votes will occur at 6:00 p.m. this evening. the senate will recess from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. to allow for weekly caucus lunches. mr. president, i'm told there are two bills at the desk due for second reidings. the president pro tempore: -- due for second readings. the president pro tempore: the leader is correct. the clerk will read the title of the bills. mr. reid: h.r. 5759, an act to clarify the rule on executive authority to provide certain forms of immigration relief. the clerk: h.r. 5771, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to make technical corrections and so forth and for other purposes. mr. reid: mr. president, i would object to any further proceedings with respect to both of these bills. the president pro tempore: objection is heard and the bills will be placed on the calendar. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that commerce
committee be discharged from further action on h.r. 1204. the president pro tempore: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 1204, an act to amend title 49 united states code to direct the assistant secretary of homeland security to establish an aviation security advisory committee and for other purposes. the president pro tempore: is there objection? without objection the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: thanks, mr. president. i ask further that the rockefeller-tester substitute amendment which is at the desk be agreed to the bill as amended be read a third time and passed and there be no intervening action or debate. the president pro tempore: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the committee on commerce and science be discharged from further action on h.r. 2719. the president pro tempore: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 2719, an act to require the transportation security administration to
implement best practices and improve transparency with regard to technology acquisition programs and for other purposes. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent -- i'm sorry. the clerk just reported out. i ask for the chair's ruling. the president pro tempore: without objection the committee is discharged. the senate will proceed. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the ayotte amendment which is a substitute, be agreed to. the bill as amended be read a third time, passed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table. the president pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: mr. president, understanding what hemmingway said so clearly, a man is not made for defeat. that's what he said. if it ever applied to anyone in the world, it applies to tim johnson. it's a testament to his
sentiment, because he never, ever acknowledged defeat. he refuses to be defeated. he's never lost an election. he's served in the house of representatives for ten years, from 1987 to 1997. he served in the state legislature. they weren't all easy votes. they weren't all easy elections. he won his election in 2002 by 524 votes. hundreds of thousands of votes were cast but he won by 524 votes. senator tim johnson refused to succomb to defeat because he knew he was fighting for the people of south dakota. he fought for south dakota jobs. to keep ellsworth air force base open and running, a base near rapid city; saved it from closing. he worked to this end, saving thousands of jobs and preserved a thriving economy based on that ellsworth air force base.
during his tenure in the house and the senate, he fought for water, which is so important. people don't realize that foreign minister states, but -- don't realize that from many states but states like south dakota and many western states, really water is an important, something you always have to keep your eye on, mr. president. he secured funding for the rural water project, lewis and clarke rural water systems. combined these two projects will provide drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people. that's half the population of the state of south dakota. without question, tim's biggest fight took place in 2006. i can still remember that so clearly. i got a call from his chief of staff saying, you need to go to the hospital. tim's being taken by ambulance to george washington. so i went there because tim had
suffered a very bad bleed on the brain. it was something involved -- he was born with this situation. no one knew, but of course it hit him. lots of people have this condition, but most people don't have a bleed on the brain. he did. i was there in the hospital with him. barbara was there, his daughter kelsey, and his two boys brendan and brooks came in as soon as they could. one was serving in the military after having combat duty, a member of the united states army. the other boy is a lawyer who is now the u.s. attorney for south dakota. it was a very difficult time his family had and he had especially. he was in surgery on more than one occasion. his life was threatened.
many people don't survive this difficult situation that he was hit with. but i frankly, mr. president, never realized how physically big and strong he was until i saw him laying there in the hospital. he met these challenges. physical, they were very difficult. and ten months later he was back working in the united states senate. he was here on the floor. now after this incident, his physical body will never be the same, but his mental capacity is better than ever. with the support of barbara, his wife, since 1969; their three children whose names i've already mentioned, he made this remarkable recovery. it was all very difficult. he had to learn to talk again. he had to learn to walk again.
and much of his life now is different than it was physically. he a lot of times is now in a wheelchair, but he's never asked for any sympathy. he's pushed forward as he always has his whole life. regardless of the changes to his body, mr. president, his honorable indomitable spirit is the same. one newspaper recently said -- quote -- "lost integrity is a greater handicap to any politician and once lost cannot be regained with confidence. johnson's integrity has never been in question." that's a quote. tim johnson has his integrity and he has his unbreakable determination to fight for the people of ohio and just fight to do the things he needs to do. he's retiring after 18 years in the senate and 10 years in the house. to say he will be lost by the people of south dakota is a
gross understatement. he worked here with my predecessor, the democratic leader, tom daschle and they got so many good things done for the state of south dakota. they're both missed but their friendship is something i've long admired. to show you the type of person he is, the person he beat by 524 votes came back the next election and endorsed him. a republican long-term member of the house and senate, larry pressler, endorsed tim johnson in his reelection. that is the kind of integrity tim johnson has. people admire him very, very much. but tim johnson leaves the senate as he entered it: undefeated. i'll miss him very, very much. my wife will miss barbara, a member of the book club.
i've seen their exchange of e-mails back and forth as to what books they should read and what they thought of the book and where they're going to meet. so the reids will miss the johnsons. south dakota will miss the johnsons. but he'll still proceed forward and be a great blessing to the state of south dakota as he's always been. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the next statement i make will appear at a different place in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: abraham lincoln said -- quote -- "i want it said of me by those who knew me best that i always planted a thistle or planted a flower where i thought a flower would grow." close quote. today i stand for a few minutes in honor of a man by the name of tom harkin who throughout his time here in the senate planted many, many flowers, so many you can't count them all. harkin's legacy of fighting for all americans, particularly
those who are disadvantaged, will never be forgotten. in fact, no one in the history of this institution has done more for people who have physical disadvantages and emotional disadvantages and mental disadvantages and disadvantages generally than tom harkin. tom's life wasn't easy. his tweart feart was a -- his father was a minor, his mother a slow -- slovenian immigrant died when he was ten years old. he attended iowa university and obtained a scholarship. upon graduating he enlisted in the navy and became an active duty pilot, a naval pilot. i have such admiration for naval
pilots; i have for all pilots. but thinking of landing an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean, a postage stamp size you have to try to find and land out there is something navy pilots do, and tom harkin did this. in 1974 he was elected to represent iowa's fifth congressional district, a seat he held for ten years. when he came to the senate in 1984, tom, like president lincoln before him, encountered many thistles. he was especially motivated to help millions of americans with disabilities as i've already said. here's what tom harkin said once -- and i quote -- "i heard stories from individuals who had to crawl on their hands and knees to go up a flight of stairs, who couldn't ride a bus because there wasn't a lift, who could not even cross the street in a wheelchair because there were no curb cuts. millions of americans were denied access to their own communities and to the american dream." close quote.
tom did a lot to make sure people did have the ability to dream. and what did he do? encountered the injustice faced by millions of disabled americans and responded by authoring the americans with disabilities act. people don't realize now what those disabled people had to go through. it was a big dispute, mr. president, here in the senate and the house as to whether members of congress should vote for this. it created a lot of issues for businesses. but, mr. president, former member of the house of representatives congressman james bilbray of nevada was getting a lot of pressure not to vote for this, but he voted for this. here is why he voted for it. just like tom harkin saw this long before many of us did. congressman bilbray had a friend -- daughter had a friend who was confined to a wheelchair. this man wanted to visit congressman bilbray and his family here in washington, d.c.
what an ordeal it was. couldn't find a place for hotel rooms. had trouble getting airline reservations. it was extremely difficult. and so jimmy bilbray said that's enough for me, i'm voting for this. this landmark legislation that was pushed and pushed by tom harkin has helped remove barriers to employment, public services, transportation, telecommunications for people with disabilities. tom harkin's work to protect the disadvantaged hasn't been just reactive. it's been preventative. tom has lost four of his siblings to cancer. in response to that heartbreak, what has he done? senator harkin fought to double the funding for ground-breaking medical research at the national institutes of health. he had a partner in this for many years, arlen specter from pennsylvania. they worked on that subcommittee, labor-h.h.s. and
appropriation, and some will remember that this was an unbelievable thing they did to force, force us to spend more money on medical research. in hindsight, what a blessing this was for america and for members of the senate that they voted for this because it was good for us, it was good for the country, it was good for our constituents. and with the funds at n.i.h., the extra money they got, they have made a landmark effort to cure cancer, heart disease, myriad other diseases. we have a long, long way to go. funding hasn't been adequate the last six years. the only boost we got in n.i.h. funding was in the stimulus, the first short time obama -- the first few months of the obama
administration where we got additional money. that was done as a result of work done by harkin and arlen specter, and that money now is not there. we need to do more for the national institutes of health. but tom harkin has been tireless. he worked to triple the funding for the center for disease control. in fact, in the obamacare, he is the one that had -- that was responsible for the prevention title in that bill. he has spent his career coming to the defense of the defenseless. a long-time defender of human rights, tom has worked to fight child labor, both domestically and abroad. he has been awarded recognition for the elimination of child labor. now, tom harkin also has had -- in my estimation -- i have spent much of my life on the senate floor -- much of my work life on
the senate floor. i remember. i would look and see one of his staff come to the floor. i thought oh, no. i knew we were in for some trouble. his name was richard bender. i really have such admiration for senator harkin's staff, but it's epitomized with richard bender walking in this door because i knew that harkin was going to do something that we had not planned. sometimes it took a lot longer to get things done because of bender and harkin, but in the end, it was always better for our country. so after a lifetime of service, tom will finally be able to spend his post-senate time in another direction. still involved in a form of public service. so i have such great admiration for ruth who i know extremely well. i don't know amy and jenny, his daughters, but i do know that they are going to be able to spend a little more time with their dad and their husband --
her husband. i want to just say one short side note. tom harkin's one of the few senators who has been to my home in searchlight. i was there one day and i got a call. he said are you going to be home? yeah. he said do you mind if we drop by? no, i don't mind if you drop by. so within an hour, he was at my home in searchlight. so as tom harkin closes a chapter of service to the american people, i salute tom harkin on a job very well done. he has become the longest serving democratic senator in iowa's history, and he will be greatly missed.
mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i rise to pay tribute to a fallen soldier from kentucky who was lost in battle. private first class brandon t. pickering of fort thomas, kentucky, died on april 10, 2011. he died in germany from wounds sustained on april 8 in wardock province in afghanistan. when enemy combatants attacked his unit with small arms fire and a rocket-propelled grenade. he was 21 years old. for his service in uniform, private first class pickering received several awards, medals and decorations, including the bronze star medal, the purple heart medal, the national
defense service medal, the afghanistan campaign medal, the global war on terrorism service medal, the army service ribbon, the overseas service ribbon, the army good conduct medal, the nato medal and the combat infantryman badge. to know brandon was to know love and laughter, says tammy moore, brandon's mother. when brandon was boarding the plane to go back to afghanistan, he turned and looked at me and i thought my god, my son's a man. it was the first time i looked at him and didn't see him as my little boy. brandon grew up in fort thomas in northern kentucky and attended woodfield elementary school, highlands middle school and highlands high school. as a kid growing up, he loved to fish and played baseball and
football. brandon also practiced tae kwon do when he was a kid and he earned his black belt by age 10. high school classmates and teachers of brandon's remember him as an unassuming student with a big heart and a good sense of humor and a dedication to helping others. as a school, we joined the fort thomas community and the family in mourning his loss, said highland's principal brian robinson. even on bad days, i was able to turn to brandon and bring out a smile to my face says former high school classmate stephanie orling. brandon also had a mischievous side. brandon loved a good prank, his mother tammy recalls. in high school, he decided it would be funny to place a mousetrap in another student's locker. when the principal called him, he admitted it right away. that was the worst trouble
brandon ever gave his parents. as a teenager, brandon also enjoyed the freedom that came with his driver's license. while teaching brandon how to drive, he told me mom, mom, i know you don't want to hear this, but this is the happiest i've ever been. tammy says i told him brandon, i know you don't want to hear this, but this is the most scared i have ever been. after graduating high school in 2008, brandon attended cincinnati state. after two semisters, he told me he was thinking of joining the army. tammy said i asked him to give school another semester, and if he still felt the same, i would support his decision. the third semester came and went, and brandon was firm on his decision. he enlisted, and in september, 2009, he left for basic training
in fort benning, georgia. after basic training, he was stationed at fort polk, louisiana. there is a small town outside fort polk named pickering. brandon thought that was neat and so did i, tammy says. brandon was an only child, but when he got to fort polk, he found brothers. assigned to fort polk in april of 2010, brandon was assigned to the first platoon company -- first platoon, company sea, fourth infantry brigade combat team, tenth mountain division. he was soon deployed to afghanistan for operation enduring freedom in october of 2010. part of a two-man machine gun team, brandon was six months into his first combat tour when he was fatally wounded. brandon was flown to the regional medical center in germany before he died.
because of this, his family was able to be with him before he passed away. brandon made one final gift by volunteering to be an organ donor. his final sacrifice was an offering of life for four germans, including a 6-year-old girl. even in his death, brandon saved the lives of four people, tammy says. i often wondered how i could have raised such a wonderful human being, and then i think only by the grace of god. at fort -- the fort thomas, kentucky, road where brandon grew up was fittingly renamed in his honor as a permanent reminder of his life and his deeds. the portion of river road in fort thomas that runs from state route 8 along the ohio river to south fort thomas avenue next to the cincinnati v.a. medical center is now named the private first class brandon t. pickering memorial highway. mr. president, we're thinking of
brandon's family as i recount his story for my senate colleagues, including his mother tammy moore, his father david pickering, his grandfather thomas pickering and many other beloved family members and friends. brandon was laid to rest with full military honors at the alexandria cemetery in alexandria, kentucky. his tombstone bears the words -- "live a life worthy of my sacrifice." tammy has some final thoughts on the words that mark her son's grave. people should think about that, not just for my son but for all the sons and daughters and the ones in the past. she says what people have sacrificed to keep this country free, freedom isn't free and is not cheap. it comes at a high cost, and we all have a responsibility to each other and to this nation. mr. president, i couldn't agree more with tammy moore's
thoughts, and i want her to know that this united states senate certainly does recognize the responsibility we have as a nation to honor and always remember the sacrifices of brave heroes like her son, private first class brandon t. pickering. we are in awe of his life of service, and we're humbled by his final sacrifice. from germany to afghanistan to fort thomas, we can see the lives he touched and the people he left better off for having known him. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business for debate only until 10:30 a.m., with the time equally divided in the usual form. a senator: mr. president?
the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, i'm looking at the clock, and i ask the senate to be able to continue morning business for up to five minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, the congressional record will show the introduction of and the prayer by our visiting chaplain today from the university of portland, oregon, and a member of the order of holy cross fathers. now, that is as much of a thumbnail as saying any one of us is a united states senator, period. there is a lot more to it. claude pomerleau has been nearly 50 years a priest. i know. he is my brother-in-law and my wife marcel and i, as well as
his wonderful parents, phyllis and cecil pomerleau joined him in rome nearly 50 years ago when he was ordained a priest. my family, my parents, my brothers and sisters, also our children have always had such a wonderful relationship with father pomerleau. it is great now to see the young grandchildren come in and give him a hug and "hi, uncle claude." but i'd also look at his distinguished career. it's not just the brother and brother-in-law and uncle and friend; he was a man who speaks many languages, a ph.d. from the university of denver, teaches now at the university of
portland, even in semiretirement; also in santiago where he was a visiting professor and well respected and where i'm told his spanish is like a native. but he also was born in vermont, french canadian parents, two people strongly practiced their religion, believes in it, brought up their children speaking french at home. but instilled them with the values that really make our country great and make a human being even greater. he's been a mentor. he's been a moral anchor for our family for decades. i think of him being on the altar when marcel and i,
basically a young altar boy at that time when marcel were married 52 years ago. he's been part of our life, our marriage ever since. he is the man that we turn to when we want guidance. he is the man that both of us love greatly, and i feel as the longest-serving member of this senate an honor to have him open us in prayer. mr. president, i thank my colleagues for allowing this, and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: morning business is now closed. under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the lodge nomination. without objection, all time is yielded back. the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture.
the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the nomination of virginia tyler lodge of tennessee to be a member of the board of directors of the tennessee valley authority. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on the nomination of virginia tyler lodge of tennessee to be a member of the board of directors ftd tennessee valley authority shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
ordered. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: tennessee valley authority, virginia tyler lodge of tennessee to be a member of the board of directors. the presiding officer: under the previous order, -- under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the walter nomination. who yields time? without objection. all time is yielded back.
the clerk will report the nomination to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the nomination of ronald anderson walter of tennessee to be a member of the board of directors of the tennessee valley authority signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent the morning hour deemed -- by unanimous consent the mandatory quashing has been waived. the question is is it the sense of the senate that the nomination of ronald anderson walter to be a member of the board of directors of the tennessee valley authority shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
walter of tennessee to be a member of the board of directors. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business for debate only until 6:00 p.m., with the time equally divided in the usual form. mr. reid: mr. president, what is the matter before the senate? the presiding officer: the senate is currently in a period of morning business for debate only. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: today for the first time, the american people are going to learn the full truth about torture that took place under the c.i.a. during the bush administration. i have served for 22 years with the chairman of the intelligence committee, dianne feinstein. she is dignified. she is very thorough in whatever she does.
she is intelligent. and she cares a great deal. she has proven herself to be one of the most thoughtful and hardworking members in the history of this body. the people of california are, as well they should be, very proud of this good woman. i'm appreciative of the work that the senate intelligence committee has done under her direction. we're here today because of her efforts. she has persevered, overcome obstacles that have been significant to make this study available to the american people. i'm gratified of the work done by democrats on the intelligence committee. we're here today, again i repeat, because of their efforts. we don't often mention certainly as we should, the work of our staffs. i want to throw a big bouquet to
the intelligence staff. they have worked so hard. under the direction of senator feinstein, they've worked for seven years, seven years working on this vitally important matter. it's a report. it wasn't easy, but they did it. mr. president, here's what they did. committee members and staff combed through more than six million pages, six million pages of documents to formulate the report. the full committee report is 6,700 pages long. seven years, i repeat, in the making. the unclassified executive summary is going to be released today is more than 500 pages. i want everyone to understand the select committee on intelligence, along with the house committee on intelligence, the only group of people who provide oversight over our
intelligence community. and they actually have the ability to investigate what happened. no one else. not the press, not the senators nor the public or outside organizations actually have the ability to investigate the c.i.a. but we did it. and the implications of
this report are profound. not only is torture wrong but it doesn't work. and for people, we hear them coming from different places, saying it was great, it was terrific what we did, it got us so much. it got us nothing except a bad name. without this report, the american people would not know what actually took place under the c.i.a.'s torture program. this critical report highlights the importance of senate oversight and the role that congress must play in overseeing the executive branch of government. the only way our country can put this episode in the past is to come to terms with what happened
and commit to ensuring it will never happen again. this is how we as americans make our nation stronger. when we realize there is a problem, we seek the evidence. we study it, we learn from it, and then we set
about to enact change. americans must learn from our mistakes. we learned with the pentagon papers. they were helpful to us as a country. the iran-contra affair, i was here when it went on. it was hard on us but it was important that we did this. and more recently, what happened in that prison in iraq, abu ghraib. mr. president, we have three separate branches of government -- the judicial, the executive and the legislative branch of government. to me, this work done by the intelligence committee, which the presiding officer is a member, cries out for our
constitution, three separate, equal branches of government. we are here today to talk about the work done by the legislative branch of government. we can protect our national security, mr. president, as a country without resorting to methods like torture. they are contrary to the fundamental values of america. so i call upon the administration, the intelligence committee and my colleagues in congress to join me in that commitment. what took place, the torture program, was not in keeping with our country. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. feinstein: mr. president, i want to thank the leader for his words and for his support. they are extraordinarily welcome and appreciated. today, a 500-page executive summary of the senate intelligence committee's five
and a half-year review of the c.i.a.'s detention and interrogation program, which was conducted between 2002 and 2009, is being released publicly. the executive summary which is going out today is backed by a 6,700-page classified and unredacted report with 38,000 footnotes, which can be released, if necessary, at a later time. the report released today examines the c.i.a.'s secret overseas detention of at least 119 individuals and the use of coercive interrogation techniques, in some cases amounting to torture. over the past couple of weeks, i have gone through a great deal of interspecs about whether to delay the release of this report to a later time. this clearly
is a period of
turmoil and instability in many parts of the world. unfortunately, that's going to continue for the foreseeable future whether this report is released or not. there are those who will seize upon the report and say see what the americans did? and they will try to use it to justify evil actions or incite more violence. we can't prevent that, but history will judge us by our commitment to a just society governed by law and the willingness to face an ugly truth and say never again. there may never be the right time to release this report. the instability we see today will not be resolved in months or years, but this report is too important
to shelve indefinitely. my determination to release it has also increased due to a
campaign of mistaken statements and press articles launched against the report before anyone has had the chance to read it. as a matter of fact, the report is just now as i speak being released. this is what it looks like. senator chambliss asked me if we could have the minority report bound with the majority report for this draft that is not possible, but in the final draft, it will be bound together. but this is what the summary of the 6,000 pages look like. my words give me no pleasure. i'm releasing this report because i know there are thousands of employees at the c.i.a. who do not condone what i will speak about this morning and who work day out, day and night, long hours, within the law, for america's security in
what is certainly a difficult world. my colleagues on the intelligence committee and i am proud of them just as everyone in this chamber is, and we will always support them. in reviewing the study in the past few days with the decision looming over the public release, i was struck by a quote found on page 126 of the executive summary. it cites the former c.i.a. inspector general, john hell garyson, who in 2005 wrote the following to the then director of the c.i.a., which clearly states the situation with respect to this report years later as well, -- and i quote -- "we have found that the agency over the decades has continued to get itself into messes related to interrogation programs for one overriding
reason. we do not document and learn from our experience. each generation of officers is left to immaterial pro advisea -- improvise anew with problematic results for individuals and for our agency." i believe that to be true. i agree with mr. helgerson. his comments are true today but this must change. on march 11, 2009, the committee voted 14-1 to begin a review of the c.i.a.'s detention and interrogation program. over the past five
years, a small team of committee investigators pored over the more than 6.3 million pages of c.i.a. records the leader spoke about to complete this report or what we call the study. it shows that the c.i.a.'s actions a decade ago are a stain
on our value and on our history. the release of this 500-page summary cannot remove that stain, but it can and does say to our people and the world that america is big enough to admit when it's wrong and confident enough to learn from its mistakes. releasing this report is an important step to restore our values and show the world that we are, in fact, a just and lawful society. over the next hour i'd
like to lay out for senators and the american public the report's key findings and conclusions, and i ask that when i complete this, senator mccain be recognized. before i get to the substance of the report, i'd like to make a few comments about why it's so important that we make this study public. all of us have vivid memories of
that tuesday morning when terror struck new york, washington, and pennsylvania. make no mids take, september 11, 2011, war was declared on the united states. terrorists struck our financial center, they struck our military center, and they tried to strike our political center and would have had brave and courageous passengers not brought down the plane. we still vividly remember the mix of outrage and deep despair and sadness as we watched from washington. smoke rising from the pentagon. the passenger plane lying in a pennsylvania field. the sound of bodies striking can owe anies at ground level as innocents jumped to the ground below from the world trade center. mass terror that we often see
abroad had struck us directly in our front yard, killing 3,000 innocent men, women, and children. what happened? we came together as a nation with one singular mission -- bring those who committed these acts to justice. but it's at this point where the values of america come into play, where the rule of law and the fundamental principles of right and wrong become important. in 1990, the united states senate ratified the convention against torture. the convention makes clear that this ban against torture is absolute. it says -- and i quote -- "no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, including what i just read, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency
may be invoked as a justification for torture" -- end quote. nonetheless, it was argued that the need for information on possible additional terrorist plots after 9/11 made extraordinary interrogation techniques necessary. even if one were to set aside all of the moral arguments, our review was a meticulous and detailed examination of records. it finds that coercive interrogation techniques did not produce the vital otherwise unavailable intelligence the c.i.a. has claimed. i will go into further detail on this issue in a moment, but let me make clear, these comments are not a condemnation of the c.i.a. as a whole. the c.i.a. plays an incredibly important part in our nation's
security, and has thousands of dedicated and talented employees. what we have found is that a surprisingly few people were responsible for designing, carrying out, and managing this program. two contractors developed and led the interrogations. there was little effective oversight. analysts -- analysts -- on occasion gave operational orders that interrogations and c.i.a. management of the program was weak and diffused. our final report was approved by a bipartisan vote of 9-6 in december, 2012, and exposes brutality in stark contrast to our values as a nation. this effort was focused on the actions of the c.i.a. from late
2001 to january of 2009. the report does not include considerable detail on the c.i.a.'s interactions with the white house, the -- excuse me, it does include considerable detail on the c.i.a.'s interactions with the white house, the departments of justice, state, defense, and the senate intelligence committee. the review is based on contemporaneous records and documents during the time the program was in place and active. now, these documents are important because they aren't based on recollection. they aren't based on revision. and they aren't a rationalization a decade later. it's these documents referenced repeatedly in thousands of footnotes that provide the factual basis for the study's conclusions. the committee's majority staff
reviewed more than 6.3 million pages of these documents provided by the c.i.a. as well as records from other departments and agencies. these records include finished intelligence assessments, c.i.a. operational and intelligence cables, memoranda, emails, real-time chat sessions, inspector general reports, testimony before congress, pictures, and other internal records. it's true, we didn't conduct our own interviews, and let me tell you why that was the case. in 2009, there was an ongoing review by department of justice special prosecutor john durham. on august 24, attorney general holder expanded that review. this occurred six months after our study had begun.
durham's original investigation of the c.i.a.'s destruction of interrogation videotapes was broadened to include possible criminal actions of c.i.a. employees in the course of c.i.a. detention and interrogation activities. at the time, the committee's vice chairman, kit bond, withdrew the minority's participation in the study, citing the attorney general's expanded investigation as the reason. the department of justice refused to coordinate its investigation with the intelligence committee's review. as a result, possible interviewees could be subject to additional liability if they were interviewed. and the c.i.a., citing the attorney general's investigation, would not instruct its employees to
participate in interviews. notwithstanding this, i am really confident of the factual accuracy and comprehensive nature of this report for three reasons. first, it's the 6.3 million pages of documents reviewed, and they reveal records of actions as those actions took place, not through recollections more than a decade later. second, the c.i.a. and c.i.a. senior officers have taken the opportunity to explain their views on c.i.a. detention and interrogation of operations. they have done this in on-the-record statements and classified committee hearings, written testimony, and answers to questions, and through the formal response to the committee in june, 2013, after reading the study. and third, the committee had
access to and utilized an extensive set of reports of interviews conducted by the c.i.a. inspector general, and the c.i.a.'s oral history program. so while we could not conduct new interviews of individuals, we did utilize transcripts or summaries of interviews of those directly engaged in detention and interrogation operations. these interviews occurred at the time the program was operational, and covered the exact topics we would have asked about had we conducted interviews ourselves. these interview reports and transcripts included but were not limited to the following -- george tenant, director of the c.i.a., when the agency took tuft and interrogated the majority ofdownees --
detaineeees. jose rodriguez, a key player in the program. c.i.a. general counsel scott mueller, c.i.a. deputy director of operations, james pavitt. c.i.a. acting general counsel, john rizo and c.i.a. deputy director, john mclaughlin. and a variety of lawyers, medical personnel, senior counterterrorism analysts and managers of the detention and interrogation program. the best place to start about how we got into this -- and i'm delighted that senator rockefeller is on the floor -- is a little more than eight years ago on september 6, 2006, when the committee met to be briefed by then-director michael hayden. at that 2006 meeting, the full committee learned for the first
time -- for the first time, of the use of so-called enhanceed interrogation techniques or iit's. it was a short meeting in part because president bush was making a public speech later that day disclosing officially for the first time the existence of c.i.a. black sites and announcing the transfer of 14 detainees from c.i.a. custody to guantanamo bay, cuba. it was the first time the interrogation program was explained to the full committee as details had previously been limited to the chairman and vice chairman. then on december 7, 2007, "the new york times" reported that c.i.a. personnel in 2005 had destroyed videotapes of the interrogation of two c.i.a.
detainees. the c.i.a.'s first detainee as well as abwal rashime. the committee had not been informed of the destruction of the tapes of the days later on september 11 -- december 11, 2007, the committee held a hearing on the destruction of the video tames. director hayden testified that the c.i.a. had concluded that the destruction of videotapes was acceptable, in part because congress had not yet requested to see them. my source is our committee's transcript, december 11, 2007. director hayden stated that, if the committee had asked for the videotapes, they would have been provided. but, of course, the committee had not known that the videotapes existed. and we now know from c.i.a. e-mails and records that the
videotapes were destroyed shortly after c.i.a. attorneys raised concerns that congress might find out about the tapes. in any case, at that same december 11 committee hearing, director hayden told the committee that c.i.a. cables related to the interrogation sessions depicted in the videotapes were -- and i quote -- "a more-than-adequate representation of the tapes and, therefore, if you want them, we'll give you access to them." that's our transcript, december 11, 2007 hearing. senator rockefeller, then chairman of the committee, designated two members of the committee staff to review the cables describing the interrogation sessions of abu
zbabieda. senator bond similar directed two of his staffers to review the cables. the designated staff members completed their review and compiled a summary of the content of the c.i.a. cables by early 2009. by which time i had become chairman. the description in the cables of c.i.a.'s interrogations and the treatment of detainees presented a starkly different picture from director hayden's testimony before the committee. they describe brutal around-the-clock interrogations, especially of zbabaida, in which multiple coercive techniques were used in combination and with substantial repetition. it was an ugly, visceral description. the summary also indicated that the two did not result, as a
result of the use of these so-called e.i.t.'s, provide the kind of intelligence that led the c.i.a. to stop terrorist plots or arrest additional suspects. as a result, i think it's fair to say the entire committee was concerned and it approved the scope of an investigation by a vote of 14-1, and the work began. in my march 11, 2014, floor speech about the study, i described how in 2009 the committee came to an agreement with the new c.i.a. director leon panetta for access to documents and other records about the c.i.a.'s detention and interrogation program, so i won't repeat that here. from 2009 to 2012, our staff conducted a massive and unprecedented review of c.i.a.
records. draft sections of the report were produced by late-2011 and shared with the full committee. the final report was completed in december 2012 and approved by the committee by a bipartisan vote of 9-6. after that vote, i sent the full report to the president and asked the administration to provide comments on it before it was released. six months later, in june of 2013, the c.i.a. responded, "i directed them that if the c.i.a. pointed out any error in our report, we would fix it. and we did fix one bullet point that did not impact our findings and conclusions. if the c.i.a. came to a different conclusion than the report did, we would note that in the report and explain our reasons for disagreeing, if we disagreed. and you will see some of that
documented in the footnotes of that executive summary as well as in the 6,000 pages. in april 2014, the committee prepared an updated version of the full study and voted 12-3 to declassify and release the executive summary, findings, and conclusions and minority and additional views. on august 1, we received a declassified version from the executive branch. it was immediately apparent that the redactions to our report prevented a clear and understandable reading of the study and prevented us from substantiating the findings and conclusions. so we, obviously, objected. for the past four months, the committee and the c.i.a., the director of national intelligence, and the white house have engaged in a lengthy
negotiation over the redactions to the report. we have been able to include some more information in the report today without sacrificing sources and methods or our national security. i'd like to ask, following my remarks, that a letter from the white house dated yesterday conveying the report also points out that the report is 93% complete and that the redactions amount to 7% of the bulk of the report. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. feinstein: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. president, this has been a long process. the work began seven years ago when senator rockefeller directed committee staff to review the c.i.a. cables describing the interrogation sessions of abu zubaydah.
it's been very difficult but i believe documentation and the findings' inclusions will make clear how this program was morally, legally, and administratively misguided and that this nation should never again engage in these tactics. let me now turn to the contents of the study. as i noted, we have 20 findings and conclusions, which fall into four general categories. first, the c.i.a.'s enhanced interrogation techniques were not an effective way to gather intelligence information. second, the c.i.a. provided extensive amounts of inaccurate information about the operation of the program and its effectiveness to the white house, the department of justice, congress, the c.i.a. inspector general, the media, and the american public. third, the c.i.a.'s management
of the program was inadequate and deeply flawed. and, fourth, the c.i.a. program was far more brutal than people were led to believe. let me describe each category in more detail. the first set of findings and conclusions concern the effectiveness or lack thereof of the interrogation program. the committee found that the c.i.a.'s coercive interrogation techniques were not an effective means of acquiring accurate intelligence or gaining detainee cooperation. the c.i.a. and other defenders of the program have repeatedly claimed that the use of so-called interrogation techniques was necessary to get detainees to provide critical information and to bring detainees to a -- quote -- "state of compliance" -- end que
-- in which they would cooperate and provide information. the study concludes that both claims are inaccurate. the report is very specific in how it evaluates the c.i.a.'s claims on the effectiveness and necessity of its enhanced interrogation techniques. specifically, we use the c.i.a.'s own definition of "tect an"--of "effectiveness." the c.i.a.'s claims that the e.i.t.'s were necessary to obtain -- quote -- "otherwise available" -- end quote -- information that could not be obtained from any other source to stop terrorist attacks and save american lives, that's a claim we conclude is inaccurate. we took 20 examples that the c.i.a. itself claimed to show
the success of these interrogations. these include cases of terrorist plots stopped or terrorists captured. the c.i.a. used these examples in presentations to the white house, in testimony to congress, in submissions to the department of justice, and ultimately to the american people. some of the claims are well-known. the capture of khalid sheikh mohammed, the prevention of attacks against the library tower of los angeles, and the takedown of osama bin laden. other claims were made only in classified settings, to the white house, congress, and department of justice. in each case, the c.i.a. claimed that critical oon and unique
information came from one or more detainees in its custody after they were subjected to the c.i.a.'s coercive techniques. and that information led to specific counterterrorism success. our staff reviewed every one of the 20 cases, and not a single case holds up. in every single one of these cases, at least one of the following was true: one, the intelligence community had information separate from the use of e.i.t.'s that led to the terrorist disruption or capture; two, information from a detainee subjected to e.i. t.'s played no role in the claimed disruption or capture; and, three, the purported terrorist plot either did not exist or posed no real threat to americans or united states interests.
some critics have suggested the study concludes that no intelligence was ever provided from any detainee the c.i.a. held. that is false, and the study makes no such claim. what is true is that actionable intelligence that was -- quote -- "otherwise unavailable" -- otherwise unavailable -- was not obtained using these coercive interrogation techniques. the report also chronicles where the use of interrogation techniques that do not involve physical force were effective. specifically, the report provides examples where interrogators had sufficient information to confront detainees with facts, know when they were lying, and when they a-- and where they applied rapport-building techniques that
were developed and honed by the united states military, the f.b.i., and more recently the interagency high-valued detainee interrogation group called the hague that these techniques produced good intelligence. let me make a couple of additional comments on the claimed effectiveness of c.i.a. interrogations. at no time did the c.i.a.'s coercive interrogation techniques lead to the collection of intelligence on an imminent threat that many believe was the justification for the use of these techniques. the committee never found an example of this hypothetical
ticking time bomb scenario. the use of coercive technique methods regularly resulted in fabricated information. sometimes the c.i.a. actually knew detainees were lying. other times the c.i.a. acted on
false information, diverting resources and leading officers or contractors to falsely believe they were acquiring unique or actionable intelligence and that its interrogations were working
when they were not. internally, c.i.a. officers often called into question the effectiveness of the c.i.a.'s interrogation techniques, noting how the techniques failed to elicit detainee cooperation or produce accurate information. the report includes numerous examples of c.i.a. officers questioning the agency's claims, but these contradictions were marginalized and not presented externally. the second set of findings and conclusions is that the c.i.a. ov