Politico reported this morning that Sen. Diane Feinstein is now claiming she has the votes she needs to get her 6,300-page report on the CIA’s Cheney-era torture and rendition program sanctioned by both her Committee and by the full Senate. That said, they acknowledge that they have not heard from Senator Mark Warner (although he has said he would vote for release), and that the “swing” vote, Independent Sen. Angus King (Maine) is now hedging, telling Politico that, although he is “inclined” to support it, he “still want[s] to think about it,” and review the CIA’s response one more time. It is still possible that the Republicans could issue their own version of the report, but some of them are not so eager to defend Cheney’s program in their own name now that the enforcer has departed.
Although the vote is almost straight “party line,” it would nonetheless send the bill to the full Senate, and then to the White House, and put the pressure on Obama, who, although he has said that he supports it’s release, could still make his own redactions (in 28-page segments, no doubt) before releasing it to the public.
Just in case Obama’s determination to declassify the report might be flagging, Sen. Mark Udall sent a letter to the chief (of everything) today, reminding him of his March 12 statement that he was “absolutely committed to declassifying that report as soon as the report is completed.” After stating his support for the work of Feinstein, Udall raised concerns about the recent statements of John Brennen, in which he accused members of the Senate of making “spurious allegations” about the CIA’s actions. After again reminding Obama of his “recent commitment” to release the report, Udall says, “I have full confidence that we can finally correct the record, move past this dark chapter in our history and become a stronger nation for confronting our mistakes.”
A vote in the Committee could come this week; the full Senate by the end of the month.