Two partially declassified reports issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee last week that were critical of pre-war intelligence on Iraq remain significantly overclassified, according to Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who said he would seek further disclosure.
Furthermore, portions of the two Intelligence Committee reports that were withheld conceal “certain highly offensive activities” and “deeply disturbing information,” said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.).
“I am very troubled that some information in these reports has been classified even though its release would have no impact on national security,” Sen. Wyden said.
“I am particularly concerned it appears that information may have been classified to shield individuals from accountability,” he said in a September 8 news release.
“Portions of the report which the intelligence community leaders have determined to keep from public view provide some of the most damaging evidence of this administration’s falsehoods and distortions,” said Senator Levin in a September 8 floor statement.
“What remains classified, and therefore covered up, includes deeply disturbing information,” he said.
“Much of the information redacted from the public report does not jeopardize any intelligence source or method but serves effectively to cover up certain highly offensive activities.”
“Even the partially released picture is plenty bleak, about the administration’s use of falsehoods and distortions to build public support for the war. But the public is entitled to the full picture. Unless this report is further declassified, they won’t get it,” Sen. Levin said.
Senator Wyden announced that he would ask the Public Interest Declassification Board, an advisory board originally created by statute in 2000, to review the two reports and to render a judgment as to whether they were properly declassified.
This would be the first time that a Member of Congress has tasked the Board to perform such a declassification oversight function.
The two Senate Intelligence Committee reports, released last week in redacted form, are:
“The Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress” (211 pages, 9 MB PDF file).
“Postwar Findings About Iraq’s WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How They Compare with Prewar Assessments” (151 pages, 7 MB PDF file).