"The Mideast is a tinderbox right now and this could be the spark that ignites quite a fire," said one U.S. intelligence official who was briefed on the findings.
That concern was echoed Friday by a former top U.S. intelligence official who helped oversee the interrogation program. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out if you release a report like this at a time when terrorism is surging all over the Mideast you are handing the other side a recruitment tool," John McLaughlin, a former CIA deputy director, told Yahoo News. "It's blindingly obvious."
But Senate committee officials have countered that the intelligence community's concerns are overblown and that the State Department has already taken steps to guard against any potential protests by ramping up security at U.S. embassies.