Hayden suggests Feinstein too ’emotional’ about CIA interrogation techniques


Michael Hayden. (Mandel Ngan/ AFP/Getty Images)

Updated 2:20 p.m.

Former CIA and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden suggested Sunday that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) might have compromised the objectivity of a report on CIA interrogation techniques because she personally wants to change them.

On "Fox News Sunday," Hayden cited comments Feinstein made last month in which she said declassifying the report would "ensure that an un-American, brutal program of detention and interrogation will never again be considered or permitted."

Hayden suggested Feinstein feels too strongly about the issue on an "emotional" level.

"That sentence -- that motivation for the report -- may show deep, emotional feeling on the part of the senator, but I don't think it leads you to an objective report," Hayden said.

Hayden noted that people still haven't seen what's all in the report, despite leaks about what is contained in it.

The Washington Post reported last week that the report accuses the CIA of having misled the government and the American public about aspects of its interrogation techniques.

Feinstein struck back at Hayden's comments later Sunday by calling her committee's forthcoming report "objective, based on fact, thoroughly footnoted, and I am certain it will stand on its own merits."

In a statement, Feinstein noted that the committee's investigation began in 2009 and the report's conclusions "came from documents provided by the CIA and the result is a comprehensive history of the CIA program. The only direction I gave staff was to let the facts speak for themselves."

“I believe last week's 11-3 vote to declassify the report demonstrates that both sides agree that Americans should see the facts and reach their own conclusions about the program," she added.

Originally posted at 10:19 a.m. This post has been updated.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.
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