Senator Dianne Feinstein: CIA torture report coming out next week
Sen. Dianne Feinstein arrives at a briefing on July 31, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC (AFP Photo/Alex Wong)

The US Senate Intelligence Committee will release a long-delayed, damning report next week on Bush-era "enhanced interrogation" practices by the CIA that President Barack Obama and others have described as torture.


On Thursday the panel's chairwoman, Senator Dianne Feinstein, confirmed to AFP that a declassified version of the controversial study would be released "next week" after her committee and the White House ironed out differences.

Feinstein and the administration sparred for months over disputes about proposed redactions in the 6,200-page report.

In April the committee voted overwhelmingly to release the 500-page executive summary and 20 conclusions of the secret document, which severely criticized the Central Intelligence Agency's interrogation techniques at CIA-run prisons overseas, including the use of "waterboarding."

At the time Feinstein called the results "shocking" and pledged to work with the White House on negotiating the redactions in order to release the summary to the public. Obama also vowed swift declassification.

But the undertaking caused deep friction between the intelligence community and the lawmakers and Senate staffers tasked with providing oversight.

Some senators have charged that the agency spied on their investigation and deleted computer files, while the CIA countered that Senate staffers illegally accessed sensitive information.

The report is the result of three years of exhaustive investigation aimed at shedding light on the secret program to interrogate more than 100 detainees suspected of links to Al-Qaeda between 2001 and 2009, including the use of waterboarding and sleep deprivation.

Several Republicans have opposed the declassification and a re-opening of a public debate about CIA practices.

But Feinstein said clearing the air was important, especially because in her view the report demonstrated that the brutal tactics brought intelligence agents no closer to finding terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.

"I strongly believe that the creation of long-term, clandestine 'black sites' and the use of so-called 'enhanced-interrogation techniques' were terrible mistakes," Feinstein said in late 2012.

In an acknowledgement that brought criticism for the way it was delivered, Obama said last August that US intelligence operatives "tortured some folks" in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks of 2001.

When he arrived in the White House in early 2009 he officially halted the CIA program.

"When we engaged in some of these enhanced interrogation techniques, techniques that I believe and I think any fair-minded person would believe were torture, we crossed a line," he said.