DanielJJones Profile picture
Nov 23, 2020 27 tweets 8 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1. Today, in @just_security, I urged the Biden Administration to reject personnel complicit in torture, as well as those who frustrated accountability for the torture program. Hours later, Biden announced Avril Haines as his choice for Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Image
2. The @just_security piece can be found here: "On Accountability and the Next Presidency, Starting With the Cabinet: Biden and Harris Must Eschew Anyone Complicit in Torture or Who Frustrated Oversight." justsecurity.org/73495/on-accou…
3. In any confirmation, the Senate should review Haines’ decision to hold no CIA personnel accountable for the CIA’s efforts to thwart and undermine the Senate’s research, writing, and publication of the 2014 Senate "Torture Report." Image
4. Background: On March 11, 2014, @SenFeinstein & @SenatorLeahy announced on the Senate Floor that the CIA had searched computers used by the U.S. Senate to research & write a classified oversight report on the CIA’s post-9/11 detention & interrogation program.
5. @SenatorLeahy said that out of the thousands of speeches he had heard in his 40 years in the Senate, none were as important as the one Senator Feinstein had just given. c-span.org/video/?318232-…
6. The CIA’s own Inspector General began an investigation of the CIA’s actions, and referred its initial findings to the Department of Justice, identifying potential violations of law by the CIA, including Title 18 U.S.C. § 2511 and 18 U.S.C. § 1030.
7. More than a year later, on July 31, 2014, the CIA’s Inspector General released a one-page summary of his investigation of the CIA’s actions to thwart U.S. Senate oversight. fas.org/sgp/othergov/i… Image
8. The CIA’s Inspector General had Four Key Findings: *Finding One* 5 CIA employees, 2 CIA attorneys, and 3 CIA IT personnel “improperly accessed or caused access” to computers used by the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence.
9. *Finding Two* The CIA filed a false crimes report to the DOJ against the Senate staff who were conducting oversight of the CIA (the staff required outside legal counsel). The IG found the crimes report filed by the CIA was “not supported” and based on “inaccurate information.”
10. *Finding Three* After CIA Director Brennan instructed CIA personnel to cease their search of U.S. Senate computers, CIA personnel searched and reviewed the emails of the staff who were tasked by the U.S. Senate to conduct oversight of the CIA.
11. *Finding Four* CIA personnel “demonstrated a lack of candor about their activities” in their interviews with the CIA Inspector General.
12. As a result of the CIA Inspector General findings, the CIA Director established an “Accountability Board” to ensure CIA officers were held accountable for their actions. Given Brennan’s involvement, Deputy Director Avril Haines oversaw the Accountability Board.
13. The resulting CIA Accountability Board absolved CIA officers of any wrong doing, while ignoring the factual findings of the CIA’s own Inspector General (This is not uncommon at the CIA, see washingtonpost.com/news/global-op…).
14. In addition to the Inspector General findings, the CIA Accountability Board also ignored 15 errors and omissions identified by @SenFeinstein. That document can be found here: feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.c…
15. @SenFeinstein wrote: “The bottom line is that the CIA accessed a Senate… computer network without authorization…That access, and the subsequent review of… staff emails, breaches the constitutional separation of powers between Congress and the executive branch.”
16. On July 6, 2020, The Daily Beast wrote: “[Haines] approved [a CIA] ‘accountability board’ that spared CIA personnel reprisal for spying on the Senate’s torture investigators, and was part of the team that redacted their landmark report.” thedailybeast.com/the-proxy-war-…
17. Haines states in The Daily Beast piece: “I found the Board’s review and conclusions to be persuasive and consequently, I accepted their recommendations. I have no trouble believing that people disagreed with the Board’s conclusions or, for that matter, my acceptance of them.”
18. Excusing the CIA’s behavior and defending her decision, Haines said, “Personnel on the agency side felt wronged, like the Senate staff had gone after them…”
19.Haines further, and inexplicably, said: “this has nothing to do with the RDI [Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation] report or the program and what I think about torture, which I believe is immoral and unacceptable.”
20. Of course, Haines decision to hold no one at the CIA accountable for potentially unlawful efforts to undermine a congressional oversight report on CIA torture (approved by a vote of 14-1), has everything to do with the torture program.
21. Mark Udall told The Daily Beast: “If our country is going to turn the page on the dark chapter of our history that was the CIA's torture program, we need to stop nominating and confirming individuals who led this terrible program and helped cover it up.”
22. Haines' decision to ignore the CIA Inspector General's factual findings to absolve officers of wrongdoing should give the Senate much to consider, not only about her time as Deputy Director of the CIA, but also her ability to lead the U.S. Intelligence Community.
23.President Elect-Biden wrote the following about Haines today: “Under her leadership, our intelligence community will be supported, trusted, and empowered to protect our national security, without being undermined or politicized.”
23. The question for the Senate, and for all of us who care about accountability & national security, is shouldn’t we be able to support, empower, & trust our intelligence community, while also holding it accountable? And if so, is Haines the right nominee to do that?
As background, the CIA conducted the search of CIA computers after U.S. Senator Mark Udall announced that the Senate had access to the CIA’s own internal & damning review of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program (the “Panetta Review”).
Senator Udall noted that the CIA’s official response to the Senate Torture Report (led by once acting-CIA Director Mike Morell) clashed with the CIA’s own internal report. vice.com/en/article/43m…
Also, see this piece in The Atlantic by @conor64, theatlantic.com/politics/archi…

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More from @DanielJJonesUS

Sep 11, 2021
1/ On the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, here are some of the best resources to learn more about the events leading up to the attacks, as well as the many U.S. policy failures that followed. May we prevent both in the future. ⬇️
2/ Books: The Looming Tower - Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (2006)
By @lawrence_wright at @NewYorker
3/ Books: The Dark Side - The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals (2006) by @JaneMayerNYer at @NewYorker
Read 17 tweets
Sep 9, 2021
It's disheartening that long debunked propaganda related to the CIA's detention & torture program persists -- even in articles critical of the program. abc.net.au/news/2021-09-0…
The article states Zubaydah was subjected to the waterboard "in a handful of sessions." The Senate Torture Report debunked this claim after an examination of CIA records. Image
Page 42/499 of the Senate Report describes how CIA records state that Zubaydah was subjected to the CIA's "techniques" "24 hours a day" for 17 days, with the waterboard used "2-4 times a day... with multiple iterations of the watering cycle during each application." Image
Read 7 tweets
Dec 2, 2020
1/ Fact Check: Contrary to reporting, Michael Morell did NOT “write in his 2015 book that he believed waterboarding is indeed torture.” As this thread shows, Morell has never called the CIA’s techniques “torture” & has consistently defended the CIA torture program. @JennaMC_Laugh
2/ As I detailed in another thread, Morell’s defense of torture and his continued propagation of inaccurate facts about the CIA torture program are well documented.
3/ In Morell’s 2015 book, he defends the use of torture by the CIA. Morell insists that to call waterboarding and other CIA tactics “torture” is “a great disservice.”
Read 7 tweets
Nov 28, 2020
1/ This thread is intended to highlight some of the reasons the Senate might oppose the nomination of Michael Morell to be CIA Director. For background, see reporting on the possible nomination by @attackerman, @ZcohenCNN, @mattshuham, @NatashaBertrand, & others. Image
2/ While it’s unclear if Morell will be nominated, Morell’s defense of torture, continued propagation of inaccurate facts about the CIA torture program, dismissal of oversight, & failure to hold CIA officers accountable; appear incompatible w/President-Elect @JoeBiden Image
3/ Biden was one of the first elected officials, along with Senator McCain, to eloquently detail the need to “straight forwardly” acknowledge the facts of the CIA torture program. See April 2013 @McCainInstitute video@39.46mins bit.ly/39ibVV3 @SenWhitehouse @cindymccain Image
Read 26 tweets
Dec 28, 2019
“The truth is sometimes a hard pill to swallow.” - Senator John McCain, 12/9/2014. Resources for @SecPompeo -
(1) @thereportmovie Annotated Script with Sourcing Information: genius.com/Scott-z-burns-…
(2) Audiobook of Senate Torture Report: audible.com/search?keyword…
(3) PDF of the Senate Torture Report: intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/…
Read 5 tweets

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