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Burr: No intention to rewrite CIA torture report

Posted January 6, 2015
Updated October 30, 2015

— Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, the incoming chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday that he won't try to rewrite the report issued last month cataloging brutal interrogation tactics used by the CIA operatives on suspected terrorists although he strongly disputes portions of the report.

The so-called torture report accused the CIA of misleading Washington leaders about what it was doing with its "black site" captives and deceiving the nation about the effectiveness of its techniques.

The report was the first public accounting of tactics employed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and it described far harsher actions than had been widely known. Tactics included confinement to small boxes, weeks of sleep deprivation, simulated drowning, slapping and slamming and threats to kill, harm or sexually abuse families of the captives.

Burr called the report, which was released by Sen. Diane Feinstein, a California Democrat and former Intelligence Committee chairwoman, political in nature and said it never should have been released.

"The report was very much a one-sided production," he said in an interview with WRAL News. "It is, to some degree, a misrepresentation of what happened."

Although he contends Feinstein's investigation was far from complete, Burr said he has no plans to revisit the issue, noting that the CIA already is making changes in its interrogation practices.

"To have an end chapter of a book and go back and try to write the preface to it and other chapters is a mistake," he said. "I want to look forward and do oversight in real time and not oversight that goes 10 years back."

Burr, who accompanied freshman U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis to his swearing in on the floor of the Senate, said he looks forward to Republican leadership in the new Congress.

"It's comforting to know that any piece of legislation that comes out of the House will get the attention of the United States Senate," he said, predicting more bipartisan efforts in the coming two years than have been evident in recent years.

"The judgment of the American people will be on, can Republicans govern," he said. "This will be a defining two years for the '16 elections."

Burr said he plans to focus on regulatory reform and other measures designed to boost job creation and any changes to the Affordable Care Act that would get the backing of President Barack Obama.

"(We need) to make sure it works for the American people in a positive way, not a negative way," Burr said of the health care law.

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  • miseem Jan 8, 2015

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    Which "good" bills are you referring to? Most of the bills passed by the House are just political fluff, often with the same bill being recycled again and again. A look at the "goodness" of the bills shows nothing of substance, with almost all of them to totally or partially repeal the ACA. And of course, there is no indication of any legislation to replace the ACA with anything that would increase health care coverage in the US. Unless you consider the much touted GOP answer to the ACA that has since been buried by the GOP because it would have minimal if any impact on health insurance coverage. But by constantly bringing up "hundreds" of bills, the GOP has convinced a lot of people they are really doing something in response to a serious problem. And it shifts the focus from the GOP not having any ideas except moving back to the days of the robber barons and limited federally supported public services.

  • Ronnie Peacock Jan 8, 2015
    user avatar

    Have no problem with CIA torturing terrorists as long as it keep US citizens safe. You can't negotiate with terroists. The rest of the world can think whatever it wants; let's protect ourselves by whatever means necessary. Otherwise, we're headed for another 9/11.

  • notexactly Jan 7, 2015

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    I think that could be said of both parties! Both use these type of lame tactics when their side losses an election cycle. No matter what you think or which side you like, you cannot deny Harry reid blocked many good bills passed by both sides in the house from coming to a vote. He played block for Obama. Maybe this has been done in the past by both sides. Don't make it right. If the peoples house pass a bill and send it to the senate, then the senate should bring it to a vote. That is their job. Quoting heelhawk here " just because Reid don't like it, don't give him the right not to bring it to a vote. That's his job. And that's why the dems lost. As far as Obama goes, he has made his bed on his own. from the very start he demonized the GOP and now wants to work with them? He has done nothing but divide us. This should be pretty clear to you guys since the election. Lets work together and move on. Obama is done.

  • downtowner Jan 7, 2015

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    Either you are being sarcastic, or you have 100% faith in the government to weed out internal corruption and to be completely honest, transparent, and openly communicate to the American people when it commits injustice. I find that second scenario laughable. A little skepticism never hurt anyone.

  • flyfish42 Jan 7, 2015

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    I hope you are being sarcastic. I would hate to think otherwise.

  • miseem Jan 7, 2015

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    True. It's hard to rewrite facts. By the same token, I'm sure a lack of facts after numerous US House investigations into Benghazi, the IRS, and Fast and Furious (among others) will not keep the Senate from pursuing more useless and costly investigations. But hey, it beats actually accomplishing anything and it's taxpayer money, not coming from their pocket. It also invigorates their base, detracts from their lack of workable ideas, and keeps the dislike of anything Obama alive.

  • heelhawk Jan 7, 2015

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    Just because you don't like the outcome doesn't make it a joke. I'm just thankful they released it before the current Congress came in..... we would never have seen it then.

  • Robert J. Howarth Sr Jan 7, 2015
    user avatar

    Sen. Fiendsteins report is a joke. How do u make a report w/o questioning the actual people who were there.

  • T-ONE Jan 6, 2015

    I really don't think we tortured anyone...if we did torture, someone would be in jail for it.

  • Jack Jones Jan 6, 2015
    user avatar

    Based on Burr's responses in the interview, he knows the torture report is completely factual, and simply doesn't like the facts.