August 7, 2014 - The Constantine Report    
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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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Book Review – Surviving Evil: CIA Mind Control Experiments in Vermont

This is a modified py-6 that occupies the entire horizontal space of its parent.

“… We all owe Karen Wetmore a debt of gratitude. I know the impulse is to turn away from such evil as she reports, but we owe it to her, and to ourselves, not to do that. The people who did terrible things to Karen, and hundreds or thousands of others, were never held to account for it. …”

By Jeff Kaye

Firedoglake, June 19, 2014

While the CIA’s MK-ULTRA mind control research, and associated experimental programs concerned with interrogation, torture, and use of incapacitating agents and lethal weapons, involved many dozens, if not hundreds of top U.S. researchers, and cost many millions of dollars, actual testimony from its victims is extremely difficult to find.

Publishers, news agencies, and mainstream bloggers have shunned such stories, while most victims have been either too psychologically and physically damaged, or too frightened, to come forward. Others have been written off as “crazy.” Indeed, CIA stories about “mind control” have sometimes brought out persecutory delusions in the purely mentally ill.

An Involuntary Experimental Subject 

But this is not one of those stories. This victim of CIA mind control research will not be dismissed, and her book, Surviving Evil – CIA Mind Control Experiments in Vermontis largely the tale of how she documents what happened to her.

While former MK-ULTRA subject Karen Wetmore was made an involuntary subject of CIA experiments from the age of 13, and suffered from ongoing psychiatric breakdowns over the years, involving major depression, PTSD, serious dissociation (including dissociative identity disorder), autoimmune disorders and psychotic episodes, her journey from powerless victim to intrepid researcher, whistleblower, and champion of historical truth is admirable.

Wetmore used FOIA, wide-ranging research, and a dogged determination, to gather materials that would document what happened to her. In the course of her journey — meant to reconstruct both her life and her sense of unified self — she discovered that the story was bigger than just her own life and experience. By luck or circumstance, she was trapped inside a tremendously large, bureaucratic, inhumane, covert program in mind control and interrogation research, run by the CIA and the Department of Defense, with tentacles spread throughout the government, academia, and medical and pharmaceutical companies and associations.

Surviving Evil  is published by Manitou Comunications, a small firm owned by Colin A. Ross, M.D, who himself published an important book on the doctors who worked for the CIA in MK-ULTRA, and to whom Wetmore turned for advice and counsel during her journey. In the end, Ross helped her publish her memoir.

The book has all the strengths and a few of the weaknesses of a personal document and testimony. It is first of all an amazing story of Wetmore’s recovery from psychiatric illness and trauma, made all the more impressive when you realize that she was not only combatting her own psychic demons but also government agents who did not want her to tell her story, or even know what had happened to her. Just as frustrating is the lack of help or interest in those to whom she repeatedly reached out for assistance, documentation, and just plain human empathy.

Luckily for Karen, at crucial times she found people who were supportive or sympathetic. None of these were probably more important than Kathy Judge, the therapist that guided her out of the hell that is Dissociative Identity Disorder. It worth noting that while the Vermont native was horribly abused by many doctors and other medical personnel — whose crime in many cases was silence in the face of unethical and illegal behavior — she finds some doctors and nurses to praise for their humanity, kindness, and assistance.

Karen Wetmore was psychiatrically hospitalized at Vermont State Hospital (VSH) in the 1960s and early 1970s, and spent years there and in other psychiatric facilities. She was given powerful antipsychotic and tranquilizing drugs (and also likely hallucinogens like LSD), massive electroshock therapy, metrazol chemically-induced shock, was straightjacketed for months, probably hypnotized, and also likely sexually abused.

Recovering a History

Wetmore has searched diligently for records of her treatment, but was told they were destroyed. Yet by persistence and possibly luck — including at one point a hint from an otherwise unhelpful CIA FOIA office — she was able to put together some of the story, finally finding a link between psychological testing she was given at VSH and the CIA’s MK-ULTRA testing psychologist, John Gittinger of Psychological Assessment Associates. (Gittinger’s story was recounted in John Marks’ classic book, Search for the Manchurian Candidate.)

Before she’s done, Wetmore impressively linked her abuse to the operations of top CIA researcher, Dr. Robert Hyde, and others who occupied powerful medical and academic positions in the 1950s-1970s. An earlier version of her story was published in an important newspaper investigation at the Rutland Herald in November 2008. Journalist Louis Porter concentrated on following the links between Hyde and VSH. It’s a rare instance of investigative journalism into the nationwide scandal that was MKULTRA (and associated programs), all-too-unique as for the most part researchers over the past 15 years have ignored the scandal. One major exception is H.P. Albarelli, who wrote an encyclopedic work on the subject, centered around the death of CIA-DoD researcher Frank Olson.

At one point in her book, Karen confronts Dr. Frederick Curlin, who had been Assistant Superintendent at VSH during part of her stay there. Her account of her conversation with the doctor is chilling. After telling Wetmore to look into his eyes, and telling her he will buy a plane or bus ticket so she can leave Vermont, Karen confronts Curlin:

“… Did you know that VSH was conducting CIA experiments?”

“Call me Doc. I love you Karen.”

“Are you CIA, Dr. Curlin?”

“Not every good Indian is a dead Indian. I do love you.” (p. 35)

The book is an exciting read, almost like a detective story, as Wetmore tries to put together the truth of what happened to her. At times the story rambles, and the book could sorely use an index. But in the end, her narrative holds together. When I looked up obscure references that relied on documentary evidence — like the very little known Rockland Project, or the matter involved in MK-ULTRA subproject 8— the facts always checked out. Karen Wetmore has done her homework, and paid in blood and tears for having had to do it.

The narrative is often heart-breaking, and even the occasional repetitiveness works to help the reader understand how Karen’s story was revealed to her over long periods of time, with sporadic new pieces of information or memories added after many iterations. The intrusive and often partial memories are like the heavy, persistent, if sometimes halting music played by PTSD, that can’t be escaped.

Standing Witness

In the end, I can’t review this as I would any book, for it’s not just any book. It is an historical document, and the voice within is authentic. Wetmore can be plaintive, angry, sometimes confused, but more often authoritative. In my mind, she is a hero. She opens new avenues for researchers.

The best example of this is her research into deaths at VSH during the period it was presumably a CIA research facility. Wetmore documents inpatient death rates at the hospital of 11-15% per year from 1953-1972. While I could not find what normal death rates in hospitals were during that period, a CDC document I found states that normal hospital inpatient death rates from 2000-2010 were 2-2.5%. I believe that rates from thirty years earlier could not have been much more. In any case, this is a prime example of work still yet to be done.

Surviving Evil is the testimony of a witness and must be respected. We all owe Karen Wetmore a debt of gratitude. I know the impulse is to turn away from such evil as she reports, but we owe it to her, and to ourselves, not to do that. The people who did terrible things to Karen, and hundreds or thousands of others, were never held to account for it. Now a new generation practices their dark arts at CIA black sites, Guantanamo, and who knows where else. The archives remain mostly closed. Thousands of documents have been destroyed. Some few voices are still trying to speak out. Here’s one. Listen.

 

Re a signally dangerous public menace: perception-managing “trade groups” — “… Public health advocates critical of food industry influence say the Calorie Control Council’s public relations strategy … follows a well-established industry playbook: ‘Attack the science, recruit sympathetic scientists, do public relations, and then do everything possible behind the scenes to protect the industry,’ says Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. …”

Conflicts abound among industry’s defenders, even on national TV

Editor’s note: This story is one in a continuing series onWashington, D.C.’s misinformation industry. The series seeks to illuminate the sometimes-misleading methods used by special interest groups to gain support for their agendas from government and average Americans.

By Chris Young

Susan Swithers is no stranger to food industry criticism. In fact, the Purdue University professor anticipates a swift public relations blitz from trade groups representing diet- and low-calorie food companies every time she publishes a study about the health effects of artificial sweeteners.

“They reflexively put out a press release that spins it as, ‘Here’s what’s wrong with the study,’” says Swithers, a professor of behavioral neuroscience who has been researching artificial sweeteners for the past decade. “I’m sure I’m on somebody’s Google Alert at this point.”

Still, even Swithers was surprised by the way in which the diet food industry attacked a paper she published last summer that raised health concerns about popular sugar substitutes used in snack foods and diet drinks. In her widely publicized work, published as an opinion article in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, Swithers reviewed recent studies on artificial sweeteners and concluded that people who frequently consume sugar substitutes “may … be at increased risk of excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.”

Seizing on the “opinion” tag, the food and beverage industry responded quickly. The American Beverage Association, for example, dismissed the paper’s findings, arguing that it was “not a scientific study.”

But perhaps the strongest, most wide-ranging attacks came from the Calorie Control Council, a lesser-known industry group with an innocuous-sounding name, a long history and a penchant for stealthy public relations tactics. The organization, which is run by an account executive with a global management and public relations firm, represents the low- and reduced-calorie food and beverage industry. But it functions more like an industry front group than a trade association.

In criticizing Swithers, the Council relied on industry-funded scientists, bloggers and dietitians — it even wrote a letter to the professor’s university demanding that the school stop promoting “biased science.”

“The intimidation tactics, going to somebody’s employer, it just seems to go beyond the realm of what’s reasonable,” says Swithers, who disputes the “opinion” critiques by noting that her paper was peer-reviewed and based on her assessment of recent scientific studies conducted about artificial sweeteners. “But I guess that’s par for the course in their world.”

Indeed, tracking the Calorie Control Council’s efforts to discredit Swithers’ paper on artificial sweeteners provides a lesson in how the food and beverage industry will go to great lengths — and often use questionable tactics — to protect its interests. With a brand new artificial sweetener about to hit the market, and with the science still unclear about the safety of sugar substitutes, industry’s efforts to discredit science unfavorable to their interests are unlikely to end anytime soon.

“This isn’t personal,” Swithers acknowledges. “This is about somebody’s bottom line.”

Uncertain science

The global market for artificial sweeteners is expected to reach $2 billion by 2020. Fueled by weight-loss campaigns that promote low-calorie diets, sugar substitutes like aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) and sucralose (Splenda) have become increasingly popular as consumers seek to shed calories without giving up sweet foods and beverages.

Artificial sweeteners are considered safe food additives by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To date, the federal agency has approved six “high-intensity” sweeteners to be used in products like soft drinks, baked goods and chewing gum. Advantame, a powerful sweetener 20,000 times sweeter than table sugar, was approved by the federal agency in May.

“All of the approved high-intensity sweeteners have been thoroughly studied and have a reasonable certainty of no harm to consumers under their approved conditions of use,” FDA spokeswoman Theresa Eisenman wrote in an emailed response to questions.

But while many studies — some funded by the food industry — have concluded that artificial sweeteners are safe additives that can help people lose weight, others have associated them with short- and long-term health problems, including weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease — even cancer. The conflicting studies have sparked seemingly endless debate among scientists, health professionals and consumers.

Walter Willett, chair of the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, says artificial sweeteners should be used like a nicotine patch to help wean people off of sugary foods and beverages that are more clearly tied to weight gain and diabetes. But when it comes to long-term health effects, he says, “There is some element of unknown in most of the artificial sweeteners.”

“Industry will of course say, ‘This has been approved by the FDA and tested,’” says Willett, who was the target of industry criticism for a 2012 study he co-authored that raised the possibility that aspartame could be linked to cancer. “But I think the public needs to be aware that this is not absolute evidence of safety.”

Industry attacks

If the public had any fears about the safety of the artificial sweeteners, Swithers’ paper only added to them. That’s probably why the Calorie Control Council acted so swiftly —and strongly — when the scientist’s conclusions made national headlines.

“Today an opinion article published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism claimed to review ‘surprising evidence on the negative impact of artificial sweeteners,’” Beth Hubrich, the Council’s executive director, wrote in a blog post on Council-run website TheSkinnyOnLowCal.org. “But what’s really surprising, especially for a scientific journal, was the lack of sound data to back up the author’s highly speculative assertions.”

Hubrich quoted from a Council press release citing John Fernstrom, a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who expressed skepticism about Swithers’ conclusions.

“Dr. Swithers largely fails to point out that many intervention studies have been conducted over the past few decades, and uniformly show that when artificial sweeteners are introduced into the diet … fewer sugars and calories are ingested, and body fat content and body weight are reduced,” Fernstrom said. “So, artificial sweeteners by themselves do not make people fat (or diabetic).”

Not mentioned is that Fernstrom is a scientific consultant for Ajinomoto, a Japanese food and chemical company that makes aspartame. Nor did the Council’s press release mention that he and his wife, Madelyn Fernstrom, a professor of psychiatry, epidemiology and surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, have ties to industry groups.

John Fernstrom is the scientific advisor to the Committee on Low-Calorie Sweeteners, whose members include Ajinomoto, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. His wife, who is the diet and nutrition editor for the NBC Today show, is on the board of trustees for the International Food Information Council Foundation, which has been labeled an industry front group by public health advocates.

In May, Madelyn Fernstrom appeared on a Today show segment to talk about sugars and artificial sweeteners. During the segment, she noted that low-calorie sweeteners were recognized as safe by the FDA, and she cited a just-released study that found that drinking diet beverages containing artificial sweeteners might help people lose more weight than drinking water.

The Today show’s nutrition editor did not mention to viewers that the study was funded entirely by the American Beverage Association and that two of the study’s authors received consulting fees from Coca-Cola. She also did not mention her husband’s ties to the manufacturer of aspartame.

John Fernstrom told the Center for Public Integrity that his industry ties have “no impact on my work.” He says the most reliable scientific studies show that sugar substitutes are safe, and he notes that “some of the best research is done” by industry. Fernstrom says companies have a strong incentive to thoroughly test their products to make sure they are safe. Otherwise, if they turn out to be harmful to consumers, “you’re out of business,” he says. “Industry is not the enemy.”

A University of Pittsburgh Medical Center spokeswoman for Madelyn Fernstrom did not respond to requests for comment by press time. Megan Kopf, a spokeswoman for NBC, issued a statement: “We take disclosure issues seriously and are currently looking into this.  Madelyn has been a long-time contributor to NBC News and has always reported with integrity.”

Not only did the Council attack Swithers’ paper from the perspective of a scientist, but it also criticized it from the perspective of the everyday mom. Blogging at ILoveDietSoda.com, Council writer “Jenni PS” — a “busy woman” who gets through the day thanks to “the little things, like a can of diet soda” —lamented “another ridiculous opinion piece about the ‘downsides’ of low-calorie sweeteners.”

Council consultant Robyn Flipse, a dietitian who also represents food companies like Splenda, Coca-Cola and Kraft Foods, took to the comments section of an NPR story to critique Swithers’ paper. “Low calorie sweeteners are not making us fat or sick,” Flipse wrote in a lengthy comment. “Inactivity, excess calories and unbalanced food choices are.”

In an interview, Flipse told the Center that her ties to industry, including the Council, have no influence on her work. “I’m never told what to say,” she says, adding that she tries to help correct misinformation spread online and in the media about artificial sweeteners. Talking points “are not fed to me,” and she says the Council never tells her where or when to comment.

Perhaps the most brazen of all the Council’s attacks was its formal letter to Purdue University.

“The Council has serious concerns with the University’s actions in promoting Dr. Swithers’ opinion,” Council President Haley Curtis Stevens wrote to Purdue’s assistant vice president of marketing, noting that the paper “ignored decades of research affirming the safety of low-calorie sweeteners.”

“Promoting biased science, we feel, is not acting in the best interest of public health,” she wrote.

Amy Patterson Neubert, a Purdue spokeswoman, wrote in an email to the Center that the university has always supported Swithers’ work. “Even a year after the publication of her peer-reviewed opinion piece,” she wrote, “she still receives requests for interviews, which we help facilitate.”

The Council’s letter to Purdue was followed by more criticism from yet another industry ally.

In response to the Purdue professor’s conclusions, two scientists from Baylor College of Medicine — Craig A. Johnston and John Foreyt — submitted a letter to Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, the journal that published Swithers’ paper.

In their letter published online, the authors called Swithers’ paper “highly selective, misleading, and biased” and noted that artificial sweeteners “are safe and provide individuals seeking to lose or maintain weight a healthy alternative to help to decrease caloric consumption.”

But the authors did not submit a conflict of interest statement with their letter. Only after the journal posted the letter online did editors learn that Foreyt had ties to industry. A spokeswoman for the journal confirmed that editors contacted the authors asking them to submit a disclosure statement to be published in the journal’s print edition.

“Dr. John P. Foreyt received grants, honoraria, donations, and consulting fees from numerous food, beverage, and pharmaceutical companies, as well as other commercial and nonprofit entities with interests in obesity,” the conflict of interest statement read. “He has served and is currently serving as a board member for multiple food, beverage, and pharmaceutical companies.”

Foreyt is listed on a Council website as an advisor to the trade group, but Dipali Pathak, a spokeswoman for Baylor College of Medicine, wrote in an email to the Center that “he has not worked with them for years.”

As for the authors’ omitted disclosure statement, she wrote, Foreyt and Johnston “were not asked to disclose any information on ties to the industry. Once the editor asked them to disclose this, they sent the information and the letter was republished with this information.”

Trade association or front group?

The Calorie Control Council, established in 1966, isn’t your typical trade association. For one thing, it’s run by Kellen Company, a global management and public relations firm. Stevens, the Council’s president, is an account executive at the PR firm.

Unlike other trade associations, including the International Sweeteners Association and the American Beverage Association, the Council does not publicly list its members. Nor does its website reveal its board of directors, which can be found on the trade group’s annual tax documents.

According to the Council’s 2012 tax filing, the board  includes officials from soda companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, as well as artificial sweetener manufacturers like Ajinomoto and Merisant Company.

The Council orchestrated its first major public relations campaign in 1977. In response to an FDA proposal to ban the first artificial sweetener —saccharin — after studies linked it to cancer in rats, the industry group took out full-page advertisements in national newspapers discrediting the science behind the proposed ban. The ads encouraged readers to contact government officials and “let them know that you support postponement of a ban” until further studies on saccharin were completed.

The Council’s “media campaign was phenomenally effective at mobilizing consumers of artificial sweeteners for political action,” Carolyn de la Pena, a professor of American studies at the University of California at Davis, wrote in her 2010 book “Empty Pleasures: The Story of Artificial Sweeteners from Saccharin to Splenda.”

The ban on saccharin was never implemented, and the food additive remains on the market today.

Despite playing an integral role in helping save saccharin, de la Pena says the Calorie Control Council never became a household name. Nor did it become widely known during the debate over aspartame.

The Calorie Control Council was “the invisible force behind the approval of aspartame,” she says.

Today, most Americans have probably never heard of the Council, but they may have come across a website run by the trade group — without realizing that it’s controlled by industry.

The Council operates a number of industry-friendly websites, including aspartame.orgsucralose.org and saccharin.org. None of the sites disclose that the Council represents companies that make low-calorie, reduced-fat foods.

On the aspartame site, for example, the Calorie Control Council only describes itself — in small print at the bottom of the home page — as a “non-profit association” that “seeks to provide an objective channel of scientific-based communications about low-calorie foods and beverages, to assure that scientific and consumer research and information is made available to all interested parties.”

Government posts industry sites

Even the government has  fed into the impression that the Council is an independent source of information about artificial sweeteners. Type “FDA and artificial sweeteners” into Google, and the top search result is a webpage run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The page about sweeteners includes two links to Council-run webpages, including one called the “Aspartame Information Center.”

In an emailed statement, Stevens indicated that the Calorie Control Council clearly states on its “About” page on its CalorieControl.org website that the group represents “the low- and reduced-calorie food and beverage industry.”

But the description of the organization is not included on all of the other websites the Council runs.

In her statement, Stevens wrote that artificial sweeteners “can be important tools for people who wish to manage their carbohydrate and/or caloric intake.” Without directly mentioning Swithers, she also defended the Council’s response to the Purdue scientist’s paper.

“When studies do not meet certain acceptable scientific criteria, including peer review, reproducibility, and study design quality,” Stevens wrote, “the Council addresses those studies through thoughtful outreach to relevant parties.”

Public health advocates critical of food industry influence say the Calorie Control Council’s public relations strategy, as evidenced by its attempts to discredit Swithers’ paper, follows a well-established industry playbook: “Attack the science, recruit sympathetic scientists, do public relations, and then do everything possible behind the scenes to protect the industry,” says Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University.

Michele Simon, a public health lawyer who has written a guide to food industry front groups, says the Council operates “mostly under the radar, which is part of what makes them effective.” But despite being relatively unknown, she adds, “the fact that they’ve been able to create confusion and doubt over the studies that question the safety of artificial sweeteners means they are highly effective.”

Further Reading:

“… The redactions ‘are totally unacceptable. Classification should be used to protect sources and methods or the disclosure of information which could compromise national security, not to avoid disclosure of improper acts or embarrassing information’ …”

BY JONATHAN S. LANDAY

MCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU

WASHINGTON — Senate Intelligence Committee members protested Tuesday over the Obama administration’s censorship of a report on the CIA’s use of “brutal” interrogation methods, charging that the deletions hid key facts and blacked out information that was made public years ago.

The senators raised their objections to the redactions in emailed statements sent within minutes of each other, indicating a coordinated effort to drive home their anger and further highlighted the serious frictions between the Democratic administration and Democrat-run panel that oversees the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies.

Relations between the committee and the CIA also have soured over the agency’s admission last week that it had broken into a computer database that by agreement was supposed to have been accessed only by the panel staffers who compiled the report.

The latest uproar came four days after the completion of a declassification process in which the CIA and then the White House blacked out details from the nearly 500-page executive summary —  the only part of the 6,300-page report that will be released — what they considered as sensitive national security information.

In their emailed statements, four of the committee members, including the chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., charged that the deletions were excessive and hid critical information dug up by the five-year, $40 million probe of the interrogation methods employed by the CIA under the former George W. Bush administration.

“After further review of the redacted version of the executive summary, I have concluded the redactions eliminate or obscure key facts that support the report’s findings and conclusions,” said Feinstein. “Until these redactions are addressed to the committee’s satisfaction, the report will not be made public.

“I am sending a letter today to the president laying out a series of changes to the redactions that we believe are necessary prior to public release,” she continued. “The White House and the intelligence community have committed to working through these changes in good faith.”

The White House had no immediate comment.

The White House and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have defended the blackouts, contending that more than 85 percent of the executive summary was left untouched and that half the deletions were made to footnotes.

The statements from Feinstein and Democratic Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and Mark Udall of Utah and Angus King, an independent from Maine, indicated that the dispute goes beyond redactions of pseudonyms of covert CIA officers and foreign countries that a Feinstein spokesman said Tuesday were in contention.

The redactions “are totally unacceptable. Classification should be used to protect sources and methods or the disclosure of information which could compromise national security, not to avoid disclosure of improper acts or embarrassing information,” said Levin.

Levin, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that he’d found “multiple instances” where blackouts were made to information that had been publicly disclosed in a report on detainee abuses that his panel made public in 2009.

“The White House needs to take hold of this process and ensure that all information that should be declassified is declassified,” said Levin, who is an ex-officio member of the Intelligence Committee.

King, who caucuses with the Senate’s majority Democrats, said: “The American public should be given the opportunity to read the report and reach their own conclusions about the conduct of the program. Getting to that point requires that we ensure the administration’s proposed redactions do not obscure the facts.”

Udall, an outspoken critic of the CIA’s interrogation program, dismissed Clapper’s defense of the deletions.

“While Director Clapper may be technically correct that the document has been 85 percent declassified, it is also true that strategically placed redactions can make a narrative incomprehensible and can certainly make it more difficult to understand the basis for the findings and conclusions reached in the report,” he said.

“The CIA should not face its past with a redaction pen, and the White House must not allow it to do so,” said Udall, who called the CIA program “brutal and ineffective.”

His comments reflected the report’s main conclusion, that the agency’s use of simulated drowning known as waterboarding, wall-slamming and other harsh interrogation techniques on suspect terrorists held in secret overseas prisons produced little valuable intelligence.

Other conclusions, obtained by McClatchy in April, said that the agency misled the Bush administration, Congress and the public about the efficacy of the program and called into question the legal justifications for the techniques, which Obama, some lawmakers and human rights experts have denounced as torture.

The CIA and former Bush administration officials say that valuable intelligence was gained from the program and dispute that the techniques constituted torture.