While the Senate Intelligence Committee's torture report garnered a lot of discussion over the past couple of months, another investigative report on the subject is starting to get some attention.

The report was completed by the CIA and is referred to as the Panetta Review, after Leon Panetta, former CIA director, who ordered a review of the CIA's interrogation practices between 2002 and 2006 in response to the Senate Intelligence Committee's initial request for information at the start of their investigation.


According to Ali Watkins of the Huffington Post, "the CIA agreed to provide a massive trove of documents to the committee investigators. In an effort to catalog those documents, then-CIA Director Leon Panetta commissioned an internal review group tasked with summarizing the millions of records."

While the Panetta Review remains classified, a significant portion of the CIA's internal review was made available to the Senate's Intelligence Committee. Many of the Senate findings are sourced from the CIA's own investigation. It is interesting, then, to listen to the current CIA Director John O. Brennan refute the findings of the Senate report.

At the heart of the CIA's report is that, yes, the CIA was not honest with either the White House or the Senate Intelligence Committee about the effectiveness of their tactics. According to the Panetta Review, writes Watkins, citing members of the Senate's Intelligence Committee as his source, "the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques -- the spy agency's often-used euphemism for what is widely considered to be torture -- did not make detainees any more willing to talk, despite the CIA's public insistence that the program was successful."

According to Watkins, the Panetta Review "admits that the agency lied about the program to Congress, the White House and the public -- another conclusion that aligns with the findings of the Senate report, and one that the CIA's official response vehemently denies."

The release of the Panetta Review, or at least a summary of its major findings, would certainly clarify the discrepancies between the Senate's report and recent public statements by Brannan and members of the George W. Bush administration. But don't expect to see that report any time soon. A Freedom of Information request for a copy of the report has been denied by the CIA. Sen. Diane Feinstein, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, stated that she will not release the report because, "It's classified." She added, "We know what the Panetta Review says, and it essentially backs up our findings" outlined in the Senate report.

Brennan has stated that, "I think there's more than enough transparency that has happened over the last couple days. I think it's over the top." But Sen. John McCain disagrees. "The truth is sometimes a hard pill to swallow. But the American people are entitled to it nonetheless" said McCain about the Senate's torture report.

The Panetta Review will eventually be released. The Senate Intelligence Committee actually has a copy. How they received access to the CIA's file is still a question. Some believe that the CIA unintentionally included the report when they downloaded other documents to the Senate committee. How the Senate committee secured a paper copy of the report, however, is not a mystery. According to Watkins, Feinstein was mindful "of prior instances in which the agency had made important documents disappear." Thus, "committee staffers slipped a printed copy of the internal review from the secure agency facility back to Capitol Hill." Feinstein confirmed this last March when she announced on the Senate floor that the committee had a paper copy of the Panetta Review.

In response, the CIA broke into Senate staffs' computers. This resulted in an outcry from the Senate, and an eventual apology by Brennan.

A recent poll by ABC News reports that a majority of Americans support the use of torture by the CIA as an effective strategy in fighting terrorism. If Brennan has anything to do with it, his own agency's report disproving such misinformation will remain undercover.

Tom Zirpoli writes from Westminster. His column appears Wednesdays. Email him at tzirpoli@mcdaniel.edu