“The CIA is lying.”
That’s how Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., an early critic of the harsh interrogation techniques, put it as he spent 48 minutes on the Senate floor Wednesday protesting the White House and CIA operations.
"The CIA is lying. This is not a problem of the past....this is a problem that needed to be dealt with today," said Udall, an intelligence committee member who last month lost his re-election bid.
"The CIA has lied to its overseers and the public, destroyed and tried to hold back evidence, spied on the Senate, made false charges against our staff, and lied about torture and the results of torture," Udall charged.
Udall was also tough on the White House.
"Far from being a disinterested observer in the committee's CIA battles, the White House has played a central role from the start," the senator said. "There are more questions that need answers about the role of the White House in the committee's study."
The senator had allies.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has called current CIA leaders "alarmingly resistant to acknowledging the full scope of the mistakes and misrepresentations that surrounded this program for so many years."
Wyden, a committee member, hoped the report is the "catalyst CIA leaders need to acknowledge that torture did not work and close this disgraceful chapter in our country’s history."
Sen. Angus King, Ind.-Maine, also a committee member, saw Justice’s decision to launch a criminal probe five years ago as blocking the committee from conducting many interviews it needed.
Republicans took a very different approach. Obama has "returned to the pre 9-11 practice of treating terrorists like ordinary criminals," said Committee Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.
"It seems as though this study takes every opportunity to unfairly portrary the CIA in the worst light possible," he said.