CIA Inspector General ‘Accidentally Deleted’ His Only Copy Of Torture Report

A composite showing some of the torture images from US military, among 198 photographs released in February. Photograph: Department of Defense

A composite showing some of the torture images from US military, among 198 photographs released in February. Photograph: Department of Defense

Amid a protracted battle by the CIA to bury the classified, 6,700-page Senate report on CIA torture, the agency’s inspector general’s office admitted today that it had “accidentally” deleted its only copy of the report during a routine computer upgrade.

Acting inspector general Chris Sharpley is said to have backed the file up during the upgrade, but destroyed the hard drive it was initially on, and someone else in his office saw a warning from the Justice Department “not to open the file” and decided to delete the backup too.

The three-volume report was sent to a number of government agencies upon completion, and the CIA insists it still has a copy, just that the inspector general’s office no longer does. The report is thus not “gone,” but with courts ruling it is never going to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and the Justice Department apparently warning everyone not to read it, it might as well be.

Sen. Richard Burr (R – NC) termed the torture report a “footnote in history,” and suggested that the Senate would never follow through on any of the torture, meaning the heavily redacted 540-page summary is likely to be the beginning and end of public access to the report.

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