Four former CIA directors opposed releasing classified Bush-era interrogation memos, officials say, describing objections that went all the way to the White House and slowed release of the records.
Former CIA chiefs Michael Hayden, Porter Goss, George Tenet and John Deutch all called the White House in March warning that release of the so-called “torture memos” would compromise intelligence operations, current and former officials say. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in order to detail internal government discussions.
President Barack Obama ultimately overruled those concerns after internal discussions that intensified in the weeks after the former directors intervened. The memos were released on Thursday.
Senior White House adviser David Axelrod aid the CIA directors' opposition was considered seriously but did not impede the decision-making process.