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Dem senators take aim at CIA head

Several Democratic senators took aim at CIA Director John Brennan on Wednesday over an internal CIA review of the agency’s harsh interrogation techniques during the George W. Bush administration.

Sens. Mark UdallMark UdallColorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open Energy issues roil race for Senate Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium MORE (D-Colo.) and Martin HeinrichMartin HeinrichNew thinking on old tech for a secure future Dem senators back Navajo lawsuit against EPA Research: Infrastructure systems easy to hack, a little slow to patch MORE (D-N.M.) clashed with Brennan, as they pushed for the CIA to allow the public release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 6,300-page “torture report” on the Bush-era enhanced interrogation.

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Udall pressed Brennan to talk about the CIA’s internal review of the interrogation techniques, launched in 2009 by then-CIA Director Leon Panetta.

He asked Brennan whether he knew about the internal review when Brennan issued a statement last year criticizing portions of the Senate Intelligence report that concluded the Bush-era interrogation techniques were not effective.

“It wasn’t a review, senator, it was a summary. At the time, no, I had not gone through it,” Brennan said.

“That strikes me as a bit improbable,” Udall responded, “given that you knew about the internal review, and you spoke to us and stated that your obligation as CIA director was to make sure the CIA response was as thorough and accurate as possible.”

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