Daniel J. Jones

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Daniel J. Jones is president of the Penn Quarter Group,[1] an investigative advisory based in Washington, D.C. He previously worked as a researcher and investigator for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). As a staff member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, he led several prominent investigations, including the largest investigative review in U.S. Senate history, the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture. The investigation, which was based on more than 6.3 million pages of classified documents, was described by the Los Angeles Times as the "most extensive review of U.S. intelligence-gathering tactics in generations..."[2] Jones was the subject of a three-part series in The Guardian in September 2016.[3] He is currently a Fellow at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.[4]

Jones runs a nonprofit initiative called the Democracy Integrity Project.[5] He is also the president of the nonprofit Advance Democracy,[6] "an independent, non-partisan organization that promotes accountability, transparency, and good governance."[7]

Early life and education[edit]

Jones is originally from Pennsylvania and has degrees from Elizabethtown College, Johns Hopkins University, and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. After college, he worked as a middle school teacher with Teach For America, an AmeriCorps national service program. Jones spent four years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation working on international terrorism investigations. After the FBI, Jones joined the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence under the leadership of Senator Jay Rockefeller. Jones subsequently worked for Senator Dianne Feinstein when she became Chairman of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Torture report[edit]

Jones was the lead investigator and author of the "Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Report of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program", the largest investigation in U.S. Senate history at 6,700 pages with over 38,000 footnotes. He devoted thousands of hours to the investigation[8] alongside Alissa Starzak, a former CIA lawyer, who then left the committee in 2011, a year before the report's completion.[9] The report was initially launched to determine whether lawmakers were fully briefed on the CIA’s controversial interrogation tactics.[10] The report states that "the CIA misrepresented the success of the program to the president of the United States, the Congress and the United States people.”[11] The report[12] details actions by CIA officials, including torturing prisoners, providing misleading or false information[13] about classified CIA programs to the media, impeding government oversight and internal criticism, and mismanaging of the program.[14] Forms of torture included waterboarding, hypothermia, prolonged isolation, sensory deprivation, and “rectal rehydration.”[15][16] It also revealed the existence of previously unknown detainees, that more detainees were subjected to harsher treatment than was previously disclosed, and that more forms of torture were used than previously disclosed. At least half of the 39 victims of CIA torture tactics have displayed long-term psychological damage.[17] It concluded that torturing prisoners did not yield unique actionable intelligence or gain cooperation from detainees and that the program damaged[18] the United States' international standing.[19] Republican Senator John McCain noted that the report "is a thorough and thoughtful study of practices that I believe not only failed their purpose -- to secure actionable intelligence to prevent further attacks on the US and our allies -- but actually damaged our security interests, as well as our reputation as a force for good in the world."[20]

The investigation lasted more than six years[21] and found that the CIA’s torture was far more brutal than the agency had told the Bush administration or Congress. Following the completion of the report in 2014,[22] it was revealed that the CIA had been surveilling[23] the work of the committee. The Obama Department of Justice did not prosecute the officials involved in the CIA torture program after the report's release.[24] Due to public outcry[25] to release the full findings of the report before the inauguration of pro-torture[26] businessman and television producer Donald Trump to the US presidency, the Obama administration agreed to preserve[27] the findings of the report in his presidential library; however, the entire 6,700 page report will be restricted from public view for 12 years (2028).[28] A heavily redacted 500 page summary[29] of the report is public.[30]

The completion of the report and Jones' departure from the Intelligence Committee was heralded by former Intelligence Committee vice chair Dianne Feinstein in a tribute submitted to the congressional record.[31] Jones has been interviewed on the record regarding his work on the investigation and the subsequent controversy of the CIA [32] and DOJ's inadequate response to the report.[33]

Personal life[edit]

During Jones' participation in the Americorps program Teach For America, he was named to People Magazine's 100 most eligible bachelors, alongside George Clooney and Matt Damon.[34][35] He is on the Board of Advocates for Human Rights First[36] and currently leads his own research of investigative consultancy, The Penn Quarter Group. He is currently a Fellow at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Home - The Penn Quarter Group". The Penn Quarter Group. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
  2. ^ Memoli, Michael. "Plan to release report on CIA interrogation tactics prompts warnings". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  3. ^ Spencer Ackerman (9 September 2016). "Senate investigator breaks silence about CIA's 'failed coverup' of torture report". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Home - Daniel J. Jones". The Carr Center. Retrieved 2018-01-27.
  5. ^ Dexter Filkins. "Was There a Connection Between a Russian Bank and the Trump Campaign? A team of computer scientists sifted through records of unusual Web traffic in search of answers". NewYorker.com. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  6. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/12/world/europe/russian-propaganda-influence-campaign-european-elections-far-right.html
  7. ^ advancedemocracy.org
  8. ^ Vladeck, Steve. "14 National Security Law "Heroes" in 2014". Just Security. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  9. ^ Goldman, Adam; Nakashima, Ellen. "Investigation into CIA's interrogation program encountered a 'fog of secrecy'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  10. ^ Memoli, Michael. "Plan to release report on CIA interrogation tactics prompts warnings". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  11. ^ Kelly, Alexander R. "Truthdigger of the Week: Daniel Jones, the Senate's Chief Investigator Into Torture by the CIA". Truthdig. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  12. ^ "CIA torture report | US news". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  13. ^ Mazzetti, Mark (2014-12-09). "Panel Faults C.I.A. Over Brutality and Deceit in Terrorism Interrogations". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  14. ^ "Secrets, Politics, And Torture". PBS. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  15. ^ Horton, Scott. "Company Men". Harper's Magazine. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  16. ^ Ackerman, Spencer. "Tunisian men detail CIA black site torture involving electric chair and more". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  17. ^ Apuzzo, Matt; Fink, Sheri; Risen, James. "How U.S. Torture Left a Legacy of Damaged Minds". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  18. ^ Library, C. N. N. "CIA Torture Report Fast Facts - CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  19. ^ "Darkness Visible: Live-Blogging The Torture Report". Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  20. ^ Library, C. N. N. "CIA Torture Report Fast Facts - CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  21. ^ "Timeline: The Tortured History of the Senate's Torture Report". projects.propublica.org. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  22. ^ Keller, Jeremy Ashkenas, Hannah Fairfield, Josh; Volpe, Paul (2014-12-09). "7 Key Points From the C.I.A. Torture Report". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  23. ^ "The Google Search That Made the CIA Spy on the US Senate | VICE News". VICE News. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  24. ^ Watkins, Ali. "The Torture Lobby Is Excited For The Trump Years". Buzzfeed News. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  25. ^ Ackerman, Spencer (2016-12-12). "Senate torture report to be kept from public for 12 years after Obama decision". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  26. ^ CNN, Jeremy Diamond. "Donald Trump on torture: 'We have to beat the savages'". CNN. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  27. ^ Emmons2016-12-12T22:27:10+00:00, Alex EmmonsAlex. "Obama Will Preserve Senate Torture Report in His Presidential Library". The Intercept. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  28. ^ Ackerman, Spencer. "Senate torture report to be kept from public for 12 years after Obama decision". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  29. ^ MacArthur, John. "The dark comedy of the Senate torture report". The Spectator. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  30. ^ Intelligence, Senate Select Committee on; Feinstein, Dianne (2014-12-30). The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture: Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program. Melville House. ISBN 9781612194851.
  31. ^ "Torture Report Author Quietly Leaves The Senate". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  32. ^ Hattem, Julian (2016-05-16). "CIA watchdog 'accidentally destroyed' copy of 'torture report'". TheHill. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  33. ^ "Rights Group Slams DOJ's 'Inconsistent' Response To Senate Torture Report". NPR.org. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  34. ^ "Regular guy becomes Most Eligible". tribunedigital-baltimoresun. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  35. ^ "Cover Story: America's Most Wanted – Vol. 54 No. 2". PEOPLE.com. 2000-07-10. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  36. ^ "Board of Directors". Human Rights First. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  37. ^ "Home - Daniel J. Jones". The Carr Center. Retrieved 2018-01-27.