Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) is an outgoing member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has prepared a 6,300 page study on CIA torture. The CIA has blocked it from publication. Should he follow the Vietnam-era lead of then Sen. Mike Gravel (D-AK) — who famously read the suppressed “Pentagon Papers” on the Vietnam War into the Senate’s public record to force their release — and (legally) leak the torture report, perhaps along with other state secrets on surveillance abuses that he has access to? Conor Friedersdorf (among others) definitely thinks Udall should:
Using the speech or debate privilege to reveal abuses could be costly for a sitting Senator, who’d risk being stripped of his or her clearance to see classified information or even expelled from the Senate for violating the legislative chamber’s rules. Udall is a lame duck anyway, so his calculus is simpler. He need only ask himself what is right: What fulfills his obligations to his constituents, his country, and the oath of office he took to support and defend the Constitution? Preserving his ability to fight for civil liberties another day is no longer an option.