December 9th, 2014

Hagel on torture report release: ‘We want to be prepared’

To see Jim Sciutto’s full interview with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, watch “The Lead with Jake Tapper” at 4 p.m. EST and “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” at 5 p.m. EST.

Washington (CNN) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday the military is prepared to handle any potential fallout from the impending release of a Senate panel’s torture report.

All U.S. military combatant commanders are on alert Tuesday on his orders, though they are not facing any specific threats, Hagel told CNN’s Jim Sciutto in an interview Tuesday.

“We want to be prepared. Just in case,” Hagel said. “We want to be prepared and we are.”

Several senators, defense officials and diplomats have raised concerns that the report’s release could endanger U.S. personnel abroad. The report, the climax to a $50 million Senate Intelligence Committee investigation, will provide grisly details of Bush-era CIA “enhanced interrogation” tactics in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Hagel noted that the administration has worked “very closely” with Congress to minimize potential fallout from the report.

The administration declassified the report and delivered it to committee chair Sen. Diane Feinstein’s office Monday evening, a senior administration official said.

The 600-700 page report is 93% unredacted, another administration official said.

“This has been a long period of engagement and negotiation, but we feel we have been able to protect our people,” Hagel said.