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Feinstein Sends Obama Recs ‘To Prevent the Future Use of Torture’

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Dianne Feinstein is proposing recommendations "to prevent the future use of torture by the government."

In a letter sent to President Barack Obama last week but made public Monday, Feinstein lists recommendations that emerged from her panel's report on the CIA's detention and interrogation program.

"These recommendations are intended to make sure that the United States never again engages in actions that you have acknowledged were torture," she wrote. "I believe that several of the Committee's findings should prompt additional oversight and better sharing of information for all covert action and significant intelligence collection programs."

Feinstein said that she plans to introduce four of those recommendations as legislation early this year; that would include what she calls the closing of torture "loopholes" as well as a requirement that the the U.S. Army Field Manual be designated as the only set of rules for interrogation techniques. She also proposed legislation to ensure that the government notifies the International Committee of the Red Cross about any new detainees, as well as a ban on long-term CIA detention of detainees.

The report issued late last year prompted criticism from Republicans, who called it partisan and said it unfairly questioned the effectiveness of interrogation techniques in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

In the letter, the California Democrat also suggested numerous administrative changes to the nation's intelligence agencies, including increased oversight of covert action programs.

- Carrie Dann