WASHINGTON — The House intelligence committee pressed the Obama administration on Friday to speed up the release of documents and other materials seized during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said the 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act called for a complete declassification review of the documents within 120 days. The documents from the May 2011 raid came from information on more than 100 thumb drives, hard drives, cell phones, paper files and other materials — enough to fill a “small college library,” Nunes wrote in a letter to intelligence officials, which his office released.
“Making the material widely available for public analysis will serve the public interest and help to demystify bin Laden and al-Qaida without compromising national security,” Nunes wrote.
Nunes sent the letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and Marcel Lettre, undersecretary of defense for intelligence. The letter calls for the materials to be quickly declassified wherever possible to give the public insight into al-Qaida’s operations and tradecraft.
One batch of documents was released on May 20, 2015, and a second was released on March 1, 2016.
“The 216 documents released to date represent only a minuscule percentage of the documents deemed to have intelligence value and an exponentially smaller percentage of the total Abbottabad document collection,” the letter said. “The anemic pace of the declassification review and release of the Abbottabad documents is an insufficient response to congressional direction.”
Nunes also asked that the committee be provided by Oct. 11 with several other internal documents, including a detailed status report on the declassification effort and all CIA reports based on the Abbottabad materials that have not yet been given to Congress.