Government watchdogs who have been alarmed by national security overreach lost a champion on Capitol Hill this week when U.S. Senator Mark Udall failed in his bid for re-election, but they see a silver lining in his defeat. They’re telling him that he is now free to leak a likely bombshell classified report on Central Intelligence Agency torture programs.
Udall is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee that compiled the report, and he has been no friend to the agency gone rogue in the War on Terror era. Udall was among the first to publicly call for the resignation of Director John Brennan when it came out that members of his agency hacked into the computers of Senate staffers investigating CIA abuses.
Colorado’s senior senator has already been vocal in his opposition to the level of redaction the CIA is demanding be made before the report made public.
“While Director Clapper may be technically correct that the document has been 85 percent declassified, it is also true that strategically placed redactions can make a narrative incomprehensible and can certainly make it more difficult to understand the basis for the findings and conclusions reached in the report,” Udall said in August.
Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, is one of a growing number of people calling on Udall to leak the report.
“On his way out the door, Udall can use congressional immunity provided to him by the Constitution’s Speech and Debate clause to read the Senate’s still-classified 6,000-page CIA torture report into the congressional record — on the floor, on TV, for the world to see,” Timm suggests in an op-ed in The Guardian.
Udall has not commented on the proposed plan.
[Photo by Julie Podair]