The AP received an email from the White House on Wednesday which they were not supposed to see. The email contained talking points on a 6,300 page Senate report which revealed information about the CIA’s interrogation program, as well as secret prisons.
The email also exposed how the CIA withheld this information from US officials and then-Secretary of State Colin Powell. Additionally, US ambassadors at the time were instructed to keep their mouths closed about the interrogations of terrorists taking place and about “black sites” set up in other countries.
The 6,300-page Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation program has been years in the making. The findings are expected to reveal additional details about the CIA’s program and renew criticisms that the U.S. engaged in torture as it questioned terrorism suspects after the 2001 attacks.
A congressional official who has read the Senate report confirmed that it makes the findings outlined in the document. A former senior CIA official said the secretary of state at the time, Colin Powell, eventually was informed about the program and sat in meetings in which harsh interrogation techniques were discussed. But Powell may not have been informed when the techniques were first used in 2002, the official said. A spokeswoman Wednesday said Powell would not comment.
The former CIA official said it would be standard practice for ambassadors informed about a covert operation to be instructed not to share it with others who did not have a “need to know,” as determined by the National Security Council. Ambassadors in countries in which the CIA set up black sites to interrogate prisoners were usually told about it, said the official, who, like others interviewed for this story, would not be quoted by name because some of the information remains classified.
Matt Apuzza from the New York Times attempted to put a positive spin on the leaked email by saying he is choosing to “see it not as a mistake but as an exciting move toward transparency for this White House.” Transparency….White House…those are two words you don’t see often in the same sentence. Just because the White House accidently sends an email doesn’t mean they’re attempting to be transparent, but keep telling yourself that Matt.