TIME Congress

House Democrats Upset Over Proposed Rollback of Wall Street Regulation

Five Years After Start Of Financial Crisis, Wall Street Continues To Hum
A street sign for Wall Street hangs outside the New York Stock Exchange on September 16, 2013 in New York City. John Moore—Getty Images

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday night that she was “hopeful” the House would pass a bill to avert a government shutdown once lawmakers read the final language. But now it appears that top House Democrats have read the bill, and they’re furious with provisions that roll back the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law passed in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

“Buried in the more than 1,600 pages of the omnibus package Republicans posted in the dead of night are provisions to put hard-working taxpayers back on the hook for Wall Street’s riskiest behavior,” said Pelosi in a statement. “This provision, allowing big banks to gamble with money insured by the FDIC, opens the door to another taxpayer-funded bailout of big banks—forcing middle class families to bear the burden of Wall Street’s mistakes.”

The Dodd-Frank provision in question forces huge commercial banks to “push out” some derivatives trading—like risky credit default swaps—into units that aren’t backed by the federal government’s deposit insurance fund, the FDIC. The top Democrats on the House Budget and the Ways and Means committees, respectively Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen and Michigan Rep. Sandy Levin, staunchly oppose the provision’s repeal.

“They should be responsible for their actions,” said Levin of the banks involved in such derivatives trading. “This is a terrible mistake to put it in this bill…It should be taken out.”

“This jumps off the page as something that is inexcusable,” he added.

Pelosi’s office blasted out statements by Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, FDIC Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka calling on Congress to drum up support and media attention to preserve the Dodd-Frank provision. Pelosi’s office also sent out an email from campaign finance groups urging members to vote against the bill, as it triples the caps donors are allowed to give to national parties for presidential nominating conventions, building expenses and election recounts. As the Washington Post noted, that would allow a donor to give the Democratic National Committee or the Republican National Committee a maximum amount of $324,000, which is ten times the current limit. Pelosi’s sentiment that Democrats should get both provisions out of the bill were echoed by Van Hollen and others.

“The combination again speaks to everything that’s wrong with this process—special interest giveaways and more openings for special interest funding [for] the congressional political committees,” said Van Hollen, who would vote no against the bill in its current form. “As to these two provisions, these are news to me.”

“It’s a bad deal for the public,” he added. “You got a 1,600 page bill and they thought they would be able to tuck these provisions in maybe with nobody noticing. But people notice.”

It’s unclear if the Democratic and conservative opposition is so strong that the trillion-dollar appropriations bill won’t pass as is. Van Hollen said that Democratic resistance is “deep and getting deeper.” House conservatives, meanwhile, have stated that the bill doesn’t go far enough in protesting President Obama’s executive action on immigration temporarily deferring deportations for up to five million immigrants who came to the country illegally. Congress could pass a short-term bill funding the government for a matter of days to avert a shutdown on December 11.

Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, the top Democratic negotiator for the trillion-dollar legislation, said that the bill was a “monumental achievement” both for Congress and their constituents. Knowing that Democrats’ negotiating position would be weaker next year with Republicans taking over the Senate after the midterm elections, Mikulski told her colleagues to “stay steady.”

TIME Congress

What Happens When You Lie To Congress?

CIA Michael Hayden
Central Intelligence Agency Director Michael Hayden listens to questioning during a hearing before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 18, 2007. Win McNamee—Getty Images

A lawyer says not much

The Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation program included a lengthy section outlining ways in which former CIA director Michael Hayden misled Congress. It’s against the law to lie to Congress, but proving that Hayden did that would be so difficult that it would verge on impossible, says a D.C. lawyer specializing in white-collar government litigation.

There are two statutes of U.S. Code that govern perjury before Congress. Section 1621 of Title 18, often called the “general perjury” statute, prohibits individuals from lying to Congress while under oath, while Section 1001, also known as the “false statement” statute, covers testimony given while not under oath. A person convicted of perjury could face fines up to $100,000 or up to five years in jail.

But the narrow language of the statutes makes convictions extremely hard to come by. “The perjury statute is a technical statute,” explains Mark Hopson, managing partner at Sidney Austin LLP’s Washington office. “It is especially difficult, if not impossible to prosecute statements that may be misleading or evasive but subject to an arguably truthful interpretation.”

The proof is in the numbers. According to Reuters, lawyer P.J. Meitl conducted a study in 2007 and found only six people who were convicted of perjury or related charges before Congress, going back to the 1940s. Two of the most famous convictions arose from the Watergate scandal during Richard Nixon’s presidency.

In another notable conviction in recent memory, Clair George, a high-ranking CIA official in the 1980s, was found guilty of lying to Congress about his knowledge of the Iran-contra scandal, though he was later pardoned. And one of the highest profile cases in recent years ended in acquittal: legendary baseball player Roger Clemens was charged with lying to Congress in 2008 about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, but he was acquitted of all charges.

Hayden denies that he lied to Congress. But even if he were deliberately evasive or deceptive, it’s likely that he wouldn’t be convicted of any crime.

TIME Congress

Mark Udall Outlines Secret CIA Torture Review on Senate Floor

Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall outlined a secret internal review conducted by former CIA director Leon Panetta on the chamber floor Wednesday, as he delivered a blistering critique of the agency’s torture during the George W. Bush Administration and President Obama Administration’s subsequent efforts to protect the CIA from accountability.

“In my view the Panetta Review is a smoking gun,” said Udall, who has pushed for access to the entire report as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “One disturbing finding: [CIA] Director Brennan and the CIA are continuing to willfully provide inaccurate information and misrepresent the efficacy of torture. In other words, the CIA is lying.”

Udall called again for Brennan to resign and blamed the White House for providing cover for the agency, calling for Obama to “purge” the CIA of high-level officials “instrumental” to the development of the enhanced interrogation program.

“So while the study clearly shows that the CIA’s detention and interrogation program itself was deeply flawed, the deeper more endemic problem lies in a CIA assisted by a White House that continues to try to cover up the truth,” he said. Obama, he charged, has made “no effort” to “rein” Brennan in.

He then made public what he said were some of the key points of the secret review, finding that the agency has lied to its “overseers and the public, destroyed and tried to hold back evidence, spied on the Senate, made false charges against our staff, and lied about torture and the results of torture” without proper accountability:

The Panetta Review found that the CIA repeatedly provided inaccurate information to the Congress, the President and the public on the efficacy of its coercive techniques. The Brennan response, in contrast, continues to insist the CIA’s interrogations produced unique intelligence to save lives, yet the Panetta review identifies dozens of documents that include inaccurate information used to justify the use of torture and indicates that the inaccuracies it identifies do not represent an exhaustive list. The Panetta Review further describes how detainees provided intelligence prior to the use of torture against them…It describes how the CIA, contrary to its own representations, often tortured detainees before trying an other approach. It describes how the CIA tortured detainees even when less coercive methods were yielding intelligence. The Panetta Review further identified cases in which the CIA used coercive techniques when it had no basis for determining whether a detainee had critical intelligence at all. In other words, CIA personnel tortured detainees to confirm they didn’t have intelligence, not because they thought they did.

Udall’s remarks came a day after Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee released a summary of its five-year, 6,000-page report on the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques—that are no longer used—concluding that it was ineffective and brutal, if not at times illegal. The CIA has rebutted those charges.

“Our review indicates that interrogations of detainees on whom EITs were used did produce intelligence that helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists, and save lives,” said Brennan in a statement Tuesday. “The intelligence gained from the program was critical to our understanding of al-Qaeda and continues to inform our counterterrorism efforts to this day.”

“We also disagree with the Study’s characterization of how CIA briefed the program to the Congress, various entities within the Executive Branch, and the public,” he added. “While we made mistakes, the record does not support the Study’s inference that the Agency systematically and intentionally misled each of these audiences on the effectiveness of the program.”

Udall’s speech is likely the last of his career. He was defeated by Republican Rep. Cory Gardner last month.

TIME Congress

Congress Introduces $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill to Avoid Shutdown

John Boehner
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio in Congress on Nov. 21, 2014 in Washington. J. Scott Applewhite—AP

Republicans and Democrats cheered the bill

Congress introduced a massive, $1.1 trillion spending bill Tuesday night, two days before a government shutdown-inducing deadline. It covers almost all aspects of discretionary funding for the federal government, from training and equipping forces to defeat Islamic terrorists in Syria and Iraq to blocking Washington D.C.’s recent ballot measure legalizing marijuana.

Stretching 1,603 pages, the bill will fund almost everything except the Department of Homeland Security through the end of September 2015. Congress will fund DHS through Feb. 27 as Republicans protest President Obama’s executive action on immigration providing temporary deportation relief for up to five million immigrants who came to the country illegally. With that nod to conservatives, congressional appropriators on both sides of the aisle cheered the bill.

“In today’s era of slam-down politics, we were able to set aside our differences,” said Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski. “Working across the aisle and across the dome, we created compromise without capitulation.”

“This bill will allow us to fulfill our Constitutional duty to responsibly fund the federal government and avoid a shutdown,” said House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers.

The bill provides the President with a few high-profile wins, including $5.4 billion in funding for Ebola research and treatment and $500 million to train and equip foreign forces to fight Islamic terrorists in Syria and Iraq. Yet some key government agencies reflect Republican sway, including a $345.6 million cut to the Internal Revenue Service, and domestic expenditures overall have fallen flat: Politico’s David Rogers (no relation) reports that President Obama will leave office with fewer “real dollars” for such purposes than President George W. Bush.

The wide-ranging bill also, surprisingly, tripled the allowable amount individuals could give to national political parties to support presidential nominating conventions, building expenses and election recounts, infuriating opponents to big money in politics.

“This backroom deal represents everything Americans detest about Washington and about Congress,” wrote Meredith McGehee, the policy director for the Campaign Legal Center in a statement. “Both parties are complicit [in] this dirty deal that was made based on incumbents’ fears of money from outside groups.”

The bill is expected to pass despite the time crunch; Congress will even pass a short-term bill to fund the government for a few extra days if necessary. While some conservatives noted their disgust that the bill does not “defund” the President’s executive action—”To me the old adage ‘he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day’ is a coward,” said Republican Rep. Matt Salmon on Tuesday—enough House Democrats should support the bill to push it forward. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has previously indicated that she would not support funding DHS on a short-term basis, said she was “hopeful” House Democrats could support the bill once they review the “final language.”

Considering the bill’s length and imminent vote, it would be a surprise to few if many members couldn’t complete that task.

TIME Congress

Lawmakers Agree on $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid speaks to members of the media after the Senate Democratic Policy Luncheon at the Capitol Dec. 9, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid speaks to members of the media after the Senate Democratic Policy Luncheon at the Capitol Dec. 9, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Alex Wong—Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — Time running short, Republicans and Democrats agreed Tuesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill to avoid a government shutdown and delay a politically-charged struggle over President Barack Obama’s new immigration policy until the new year.

In an unexpected move, lawmakers also agreed on legislation expected to be incorporated into the spending measure that will permit a reduction in benefits to current retirees at economically distressed multiemployer pension plans. Supporters said it was part of an effort to prevent a slow-motion collapse of a system that provides retirement income to millions, but critics objected vehemently.

Officials said final details of the sweeping bill to fund the government would be available later Tuesday, after it was posted online.

“The federal government’s going to run out of money in two days. … We’ve been trying to work with Republican leaders to avoid a shutdown,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said at midafternoon as final negotiations dragged on.

Speaker John Boehner said he hoped for a vote on the measure on Thursday, and officials expressed confidence they could overcome opposition from tea party-backed Republicans and avoid a government shutdown.

Senate approval would then be required to send it to Obama — one of the final acts of a two-year Congress far better known for gridlock than for accomplishment.

Not only a two-year Congress, but also a political era was drawing to a close as the lights burned late inside the Capitol on a December night.

For the first time in eight years, Republicans will have a Senate majority in January after a hugely successful midterm election, and newly elected GOP senators-elect participated in closed-door strategy sessions during the day.

Before time runs out on his majority, Reid said he wanted to assure confirmation of nine more of Obama’s judicial nominees and approve the appointment of Vivek Murthy as surgeon general.

Also on Congress’ must-do list is legislation to renew a series of expiring tax breaks, and a bill to authorize the Pentagon to train and equip Syrian rebels to fight Islamic State forces in the Middle East.

The compromise spending bill will permit virtually the entire government to operate normally through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year, with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security.

Funds for that one agency will run out again in late winter. That will give Republicans an opportunity to try to use the expiration as leverage to force Obama to roll back a decision that will suspend the threat of deportation for an estimated 4 million immigrants living in the country illegally.

Not all Republicans agreed with the strategy of postponing a fight over immigration. Some conservative lawmakers demanded a change in the spending measure to deny the use of federal funds to carry out the president’s new policy. The leadership ruled otherwise, gambling that even with conservative defections, enough bipartisan support existed for the funding bill to assure its passage.

Earlier in the day, House Republicans removed one obstacle to passage of the spending measure by announcing they would pass legislation separately to renew a requirement for the federal government to assume some of the insurance risk in losses arising from terrorism.

In talks with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Republicans led by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas., agreed to the renewal, but said they wanted to roll back portions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law that tightened federal regulation on the financial sector.

The stand-alone bill seemed likely to clear the House, but its fate in the Senate was uncertain.

By contrast, disagreement over an emerging proposal relating to multi-employer pension funds was not along party lines.

Officials said the talks between Rep. John Kline, R-Min., and George Miller, D-Calif., were designed to preserve benefits of current and future retirees at lower levels than currently exist, but higher than they would be if their pension funds ran out of money.

“We have a plan here that first and foremost works for the members of the unions, the workers in these companies and it works for the companies,” said Miller, retiring at year’s end after four decades in Congress.

Not everyone agreed.

The AARP, which claims to represent millions of retirement-age Americans, attacked the agreement as a “secret, last-minute closed door deal between a group of companies, unions and Washington politicians to cut the retirement benefits that have been promised to them.”

Also driving the talks was concern over the financial fate of the fund that assures multi-employer pensions at the government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. The agency said in its most recent annual report that the fund’s deficit rose to $42.2 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept, 30, up from $8.3 billion the previous year, and that the likelihood of its bankruptcy is 90 percent by 2025.

Agency figures show as many as 1.5 million retirees could be affected by any change in law to permit a reduction. An estimated 400,000 of them receive benefits from the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund.

___

Associated Press writers Alan Fram, Connie Cass and Erica Werner contributed to this report.

TIME intelligence

What Did Top Democrats Know About CIA Interrogation?

The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in McLean, Virginia
The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in McLean, Va. Larry Downing—Reuters

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee during much of the George W. Bush Administration, has a message for Jose Rodriguez, a former top CIA official in charge of the post-9/11 interrogation program.

“The man’s an idiot,” he told TIME.

In a Washington Post op-ed Friday, Rodriguez accused Rockefeller and other Democrats of hypocrisy for opposing the torture of terrorism suspects after being briefed on such actions and giving their tacit support, a claim Rockefeller clearly felt was ridiculous given his years of investigating the agency’s use of torture and efforts to publicly release the Senate Democrats’ CIA torture report, which finally occurred on Tuesday.

But Rodriguez’s charge of Democratic hypocrisy—shared by many Republicans on Capitol Hill—beg a review of what two top Democratic Congressmen, Rockefeller and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, knew of the CIA’s interrogation program.

In early September 2002, the CIA briefed Pelosi and other top members on the House Intelligence Committee about the enhanced interrogation techniques. The members and staffers “questioned the legality of these techniques if other countries would use them,” but the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center legal staff deleted from a draft memo that sentence, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s new report. Rodriguez, who was CTC director at the time, replied in an email, “short and sweet.”

Pelosi’s definitive response has been the same since 2009, when she said that she was not told in the briefing that waterboarding or any other enhanced methods had already been used—even though they had been. She did recall then that the Administration did say those methods are legal. She added that she heard about the use of some of the EITs in early 2003, but did not speak out due to government secrecy rules and worked to ban the use of torture through legislation and electing a Democratic President in 2008. Rodriguez charges that he briefed Pelosi of the EITs, including waterboarding, had been used in 2002.

One of Rodriguez’s main points on an alleged Democratic flip-flop is that congressional leaders like Rockefeller tacitly supported the interrogation program as they participated in dozens of briefings between 2002 and 2009. Rockefeller took to the Senate floor Tuesday to detail how exasperating those briefings were, calling them “a check box exercise that the Administration planned to use and later did use so they could disingenuously claim that they had—in a phrase I will never forget—‘fully brief the Congress.’” He called his efforts to investigate the CIA interrogation program, which led to Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein’s new study, “the hardest fight I’ve ever been through.”

“The CIA refused to provide me or anybody else with any additional information about the program,” he said of briefings that began in 2003, when he rose to a top post on the Intelligence committee and first learned about some aspects of the interrogation program. “It was absurd,” he added of the 45-minute flip chart presentations led by Vice President Dick Cheney, recalling the drives back with Senate Intelligence Chairman Pat Roberts in which they couldn’t speak to each other.

“They refused to offer anything to be of assistance,” he said of the CIA. “The briefings I received offered little or no insight into the CIA’s programs. Questions for follow-ups were rejected and at times I was not allowed to consult with legal counsel.”

Rockefeller added that he hoped that the more than 6,000-page Senate torture report is made public—so far a 500-page executive summary has been—to ensure U.S.-sanctioned torture “never happens again.”

TIME politics

The Roots of the Torture Debate

Detainee 063 Cover
The June 20, 2005, cover of TIME Cover Credit: PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID MOORE / PHOTONICA

In 2005, TIME released a special report about interrogation techniques used by the U.S. Military

Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee have released a 500-page summary of an over-6,000-page report detailing the CIA’s interrogation programs during the George W. Bush Administration. The $40 million, five-year investigation concludes that the CIA “misled” the government and the public about the effectiveness of its so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, according to the Washington Post, and will rebuff claims that that the methods—which President Barack Obama has ended—were necessary in disrupting terrorist plots.

The debate over the effectiveness of torture in the War on Terror has been going on for years. In 2005, TIME detailed how the military interrogated Mohammed al-Qahtani, known by the public as the 20th hijacker and by Guantánamo Bay officials as Detainee 063. The article included excerpts of the secret interrogation logs of al-Qahtani from the winter of 2002 and 2003—exploring techniques like “Invasion of Space by a Female,” which leads al-Qahtani to ask his captors for a crayon to write a will after his suicide. The story also documents al-Qahtani’s 12-hour interrogation sessions, hunger strikes and heartbeat dropping to 35 beats per minute.

“The interrogation log gives a rare window into the techniques used by the U.S. military, suggesting at least in this case that disclosures were sometimes obtained not when al-Qahtani was under duress but when his handlers eased up on him,” wrote the article’s authors, Adam Zagorin and Michael Duffy. “How should a democratic nation proceed when it captures a high-value prisoner like al-Qahtani, when unlocking a mind that might save lives? Experts acknowledge that brute torture generally doesn’t work because a person will say anything to stop the pain. So what, exactly, is effective? And when do the ends justify the means?”

“In the war on terrorism, the personal dignity of a fanatic trained for mass murder may be an inevitable casualty,” they added.

In 2006, al-Qahtani’s lawyer, Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, told TIME that his client had repudiated all of his previous statements made to his interrogators, claiming that they were made under torture, and TIME released the entire record of al-Qahtani’s treatment. Al-Qahtani’s war crimes charges were dismissed in May 2008 and he remains at the U.S. detention center at Guantánamo Bay, where he has been held for nearly 13 years. The 2005 cover story, Inside the interrogation of Detainee 063, and accompanying 84-page secret interrogation log can now be read for free here.

In recent days, Republicans and former CIA officials have shot back at the upcoming Senate Intelligence report. Jose A. Rodriguez, who ran the CIA’s interrogation program in the aftermath of 9/11, wrote in the Washington Post Friday that congressional leaders, including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi—who has said the CIA lied to her about waterboarding—were properly briefed and that the program provided valuable intelligence about al Qaeda.

“The interrogation program was authorized by the highest levels of the U.S. government, judged legal by the Justice Department and proved effective by any reasonable standard,” he wrote. “The leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees and of both parties in Congress were briefed on the program more than 40 times between 2002 and 2009. But Rep. Nancy Pelosi tried to deny that she was told in 2002 that detainees had been waterboarded. That is simply not true. I was among those who briefed her.”

Read the full 2005 report, free of charge, here in the archives: Inside the Interrogation of Detainee 063

Read the interrogation log: Detainee 063

TIME Torture Report

Torture Report: Here’s Where the Key Players Are Now

With the Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation program coming out, it’s a good time for an update on the major players. From al Qaeda-hunting CIA officers to the legal architects of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, here are the people who played key roles in the Bush administration program, and what they’re up to now.

 

  • George W. Bush

    George W. Bush
    Former U.S. President George W. Bush attends a game between the Southern Methodist Mustangs and the Baylor Bears at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas on Aug. 31, 2014. Ronald Martinez—Getty Images

    As President, George W. Bush approved the CIA’s interrogation program and when it became public, famously said, “We don’t torture.” Since leaving the White House, Bush has largely stayed off the public stage, giving infrequent interviews, opening his presidential library and learning to paint.

  • Dick Cheney

    Dick Cheney
    Former Vice President Dick Cheney appears on NBC News' "Today" show on October 21, 2013 NBC NewsWire/Getty Images

    Vice President Dick Cheney was a key behind-the-scenes advocate for harsher interrogation programs. He has remained a vocal supporter of the policies in the years since he stepped down, arguing that they helped prevent another terrorist attack after 9/11.

  • John Ashcroft

    John Ashcroft
    Former Attorney General John Ashcroft is seated before President Barack Obama and James Comey arrive for Comey's installation ceremony as FBI director in Washington on OCt. 28, 2013. Charles Dharapak—AP

    As Attorney General, Ashcroft told the CIA’s general counsel that he saw no problem with waterboarding one detainee 119 times. He now runs the Ashcroft Group, a D.C. lobbying firm, and the Ashcroft Law Firm.

  • George Tenet

    George Tenet CIA
    George Tenet, former CIA director, listens during an interview in New York City on April 30, 2007. Bebeto Matthews—AP

    The second-longest serving CIA director in history, George Tenet was in charge of the agency that ran the interrogation programs. Since stepping down in 2004, he’s written a memoir that defended the policy and now works as a managing director of the investment bank Allen & Company in New York City.

  • Michael Hayden

    Michael Hayden
    Former CIA Director Michael Hayden participates in a news conference at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. on Jan. 15, 2009. Luis Alvarez—AP

    Hayden led the CIA from 2006 to 2009, and was the first official to brief the full intelligence committees on the interrogation programs. Now he’s a principal at the Chertoff group, a security consulting firm, and a visiting professor at George Mason University.

  • John Yoo

    John Yoo
    Former Department of Justice official John Yoo testifies before the House Judiciary committee in Washington on June 26, 2008. Melissa Golden—Getty Images

    As a top lawyer at Bush’s Justice Department, Yoo was the chief author of the legal opinions that legitimized the interrogation techniques that critics say constitute torture. The opinions have shielded Bush administration officials from being charged with violating the anti-torture statute. Yoo is now a law professor at UC Berkeley.

  • Porter Goss

    Porter Goss, director of the U.S.A Centr
    Porter Goss, Former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, in Paris on Jan. 20, 2012. Jacques DeMarthon—AFP/Getty Images

    Goss served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee from 1997 to 2004. He later became the CIA director, and internal CIA documents released in 2010 showed him agreeing with the destruction of videotapes documenting the interrogations of two Al Qaeda detainees. The destruction of those tapes prompted an investigation by the Senate intelligence committee and led to the report that will be released Tuesday. Goss is now the Chairman of the Board of the Office of Congressional Ethics.

  • John McLaughlin

    John MCLAUGHLIN
    John McLaughlin, Former CIA deputy director, answers questions during a news conference at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. on July 9, 2004. Lawrence Jackson—AP

    McLaughlin was Deputy Director of Central Intelligence from 2000 to 2004, the number two at the agency during the years that waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other harsh techniques were used. Now he teaches at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

  • Marty Martin

    Marty Martin
    Ex-CIA Operative Marty Martin, from the film "Manhunt," poses for a portrait during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival at the Fender Music Lodge in Park City, Utah on Jan. 21, 2013. Victoria Will—Invision/AP

    Martin was a CIA official who oversaw the agency’s efforts to find and interrogate al Qaeda operatives from 2002 to 2004. He is now a security consultant.

  • Ali Soufan

    Ali Soufan
    Ali Soufan poses at the offices at his security firm, the Soufan Group, in New York City Sept. 13, 2011. Zinta Lundborg—Bloomberg/Getty Images

    Soufan is a former FBI interrogator who debriefed al Qaeda suspects before and after 9/11 and has been critical of the CIA’s interrogation program. He is now a security consultant.

  • Jose Rodriguez

    Jose Rodriguez
    Jose Rodriguez CIA/AP

    Rodriguez ran the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center in the aftermath of 9/11 when the CIA employed enhanced interrogation methods. He told TIME in 2011 that these techniques led to the death of Osama bin Laden. He is now a security consultant.

TIME 2014 Election

Landrieu’s Loss a Harsh Milestone for Southern Democrats

Democratic Senator Landrieu reacts while delivering a concession speech after the results of the U.S. Senate race in Louisiana during a runoff in New Orleans
Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu delivers a concession speech after the results of the U.S. Senate race in New Orleans on Dec. 6, 2014. Jonathan Bachman—Reuters

Democrats no longer hold a Senate seat, governor's mansion or legislative chamber from the Carolinas to Texas

Democrats are dead in the land of Dixie.

With the fall of three-term Sen. Mary Landrieu Saturday, Louisiana will not have a Democratic statewide elected official for the first time since 1876. And the Republican Party will control, as the Associated Press noted, every Senate seat, governor’s mansion and legislative chamber from the Carolinas to Texas.

Congress’ last white Democrat in the Deep South didn’t lose because of a superior opponent, but because of her association with a deeply unpopular President and a health-care law that destroyed the chances to extend other Democratic dynasties this cycle, including Georgia’s Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn.

Landrieu—the daughter of a former New Orleans mayor and the sister to the current one—lost more so than Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy won. Even Cassidy, who cruised to a win Saturday, acknowledges that to some extent. When asked to define the campaign’s turning point, he pointed to Landrieu’s support of the Affordable Care Act, which passed four years ago.

“I think it’s a referendum on Senator Landrieu’s support for a legacy, which the majority of people in Louisiana disapprove of,” he told TIME of his victory. “Sen. Landrieu has ceased to represent the views of the majority of the people of Louisiana but assumed that the advantages of incumbency would be adequate to ensure her reelection. But the people of Louisiana wanted a senator who represented them not Barack Obama.”

The fact that Landrieu couldn’t beat Cassidy—who Pearson Cross, an associate professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, called “not a natural,” “not charismatic,” “off-putting” and “awkward” in a six-minute telephone interview—leads Louisiana election experts to believe that a Democrat won’t win statewide office for years. For Cross, ten to fifteen.

“Early on I said that Cassidy couldn’t win unless he started to run a campaign that was more than people’s negative attitudes about Mary Landrieu,” he says. “But in fact, I was wrong. He has essentially won this campaign without bringing much to the table beyond people’s visceral dislike for Obama and Obamacare.”

In her final days, Landrieu acknowledged her disappointment that the national Democratic organization designated to defend her—the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee—abandoned her after the November 4 election turned to a runoff. Pro-Cassidy outside groups outspent her by a huge amount— a “roughly a 180-to-1 margin” on television, according to a November Associated Press article. Landrieu may be hard pressed not to partly blame the DSCC for her shellacking.

But she also could have run a better campaign. A few weeks ago she tried to display her clout as head of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources by pushing through a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which failed by one vote. Even if it had gone through it wouldn’t have helped her much, says Joshua Stockley, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

“I think that was a bad decision,” he said. “Here in Louisiana the average voter isn’t running around thinking ‘Man, I really wish we had a pipeline right now. Man, I really think oil and gas were cheaper.’ We’re already dealing with the lowest price per bill we’ve seen in decades. … Our day to day conversations aren’t dictated by the Keystone pipeline.”

Stockley says that she could have better emphasized issues like raising the minimum wage, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Violence Against Women Act and her efforts to keep some major military bases afloat and to reduce college debt. It’s clear, however, that despite Landrieu’s campaigning on these and other issues, one broad statistic—“Mary Landrieu voted with Obama 97% of the time”—was the major theme in the race.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to Cross—who called Obamacare Cassidy’s “Exhibit A” binding Landrieu to the President—or anyone else for that matter, that Cassidy’s answer to the old question “What is the first bill you’d like to introduce?” focuses on repealing and replacing the health care law. Of course, doing that proves to be an incredible hurdle.

“Will that be the first bill that we’re going to be able to get out?” asked Cassidy. “I don’t know that—probably not. But if you want to talk to the American people … they would love to see that bill, wouldn’t they?”

TIME Congress

Will You Be Able to Buy a Copy of the Senate Torture Report?

Senator Dianne Feinstein speaks to the media after a closed meeting of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill April 3, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Senator Dianne Feinstein speaks to the media after a closed meeting of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill April 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images

Why one publisher says it may not end up in bookstores

In theory, the upcoming Senate report on torture has all the makings of a government bestseller. It’s an in-depth, well-researched document on a juicy and secretive topic.

In the past, publishers have jumped on the chance to release big government reports as trade paperbacks: W. W. Norton published the 9/11 Commission Report, PublicAffairs Books put out the Starr Report on President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky and Cambridge University Press published a collection of legal documents about U.S. policy on torture, to name a few. (The Starr Report even set off something of a scramble among publishers.)

But it’s not clear yet whether the torture report will get the same treatment. Clive Priddle, publisher at PublicAffairs Books, told TIME that his company contacted the committee about publishing the document once it is released because there will be “significant public interest in the report,” but the committee has “not expressed a willingness to go forward.”

Tom Mentzer, press secretary for California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that isn’t exactly what happened. He said the committee told PublicAffairs Books that it would “look into it,” but that “the committee staff—which is quite limited in manpower—is devoting its attention to getting the executive summary released.”

To be fair, publishers don’t exactly need the committee’s cooperation to reprint a report that will be in the public record as early as next week. And the lack of a trade paperback wouldn’t mean it wasn’t available to the average citizen — a government printing office will send thousands of copies to libraries around the country and the report will be available online.

But Priddle argues there would be merit in publishing it commercially as well. “Not everybody reads everything online, and not everybody trusts everything that appears online,” he said. “And for a significant report like this I think there would be an enduring interest in it, and the durability of a physical book is better than an e-book file.”

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