Member-supported news for Southern California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Support for KPCC comes from:

Feinstein pushes new laws to stop CIA torture

Senate Intelligence Committee chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) during a hearing in September on Capitol Hill.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introducing package of bills to prevent future CIA enhanced interrogation

Senator Dianne Feinstein has sent the President a to-do list to stop the CIA from torturing future terrorism suspects. The California Democrat also wants to change U.S. laws.

Senator Feinstein wants President Obama to take executive action to make sure the U.S. never again engages in torture.

At the top of the list: rules forbidding contractors from carrying out interrogations, closer oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency by the National Security Council, and better screening to keep those with a history of violence and abuse out of the CIA's interrogation program.

Feinstein sent a letter to the President last week, outlining her proposals. Her office released the contents of that letter Monday.

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee says she'll introduce legislation that closes loopholes in the law that seem to allow torture. She also wants to require the CIA to follow the Army's rules for interrogation and to give the Red Cross timely access to detainees. She also wants to ban the CIA's long-term detention of terror suspects.

The CIA says it has already put some of Feinstein's recommendations into place, including better screening of personnel.

Feinstein spent five years battling the CIA, the White House and GOP members of the Intelligence Committee to publish a report last year that exposed a litany of abuses that occurred as the CIA interrogated terror suspects in the years after 9-11. Those practices included waterboarding, secret prisons, and chaining one detainee to a concrete floor. That prisoner later died of hypothermia. 

Feinstein's letter to Obama