The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

Bush-Era Controversies Follow Obama

By Ben Pershing
President Obama may be on vacation this week but he'll get no respite from the past. From new details of controversial interrogation tactics to the "deteriorating" situation in Afghanistan, this weekend brought fresh reminders that Obama still has a host of thorny problems left to sort through from the Bush administration.

Seven months into his presidency, Obama has yet to determine whether to prosecute alleged detainee abuses, where to move prisoners from Guantanamo Bay and how to reverse decreasing U.S. public support and increasing pressure from the enemy in the Afghanistan war. Revelations in the last few days have made none of those questions any easier to answer.

A long-awaited report from the CIA's inspector general on the agency's interrogation practices is due to be unveiled today, and the administration appears eager to get out in front of its findings. "Obama has approved the creation of an elite team of interrogators to question key terrorism suspects," reports the Washington Post, with the new "High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group" to be staffed by several different agencies and housed at the FBI. As for the IG report, the goriest details seem already to have been leaked, including that at least one prisoner was threatened with a gun and a power drill and that CIA interrogators staged mock executions.

At the same time, according to the New York Times, "The Justice Department's ethics office has recommended reversing the Bush administration and reopening nearly a dozen prisoner-abuse cases," encouraging Eric Holder to consider prosecuting CIA officials. But Jeffrey Smith, the former CIA general counsel, today provides "six reasons prosecutions are not in the nation's best interests."

Continue reading at Political Browser »

Posted at 8:03 AM ET on Aug 24, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

seriously, nothing has changed. I can't fathom why people continue to defend Obama with Bush-bashing rhetoric. Our latest example, the failed closing of Gitmo and interrogation techniques supervised by the WH. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Wake up people!

Posted by: emcb1230 | August 25, 2009 3:13 PM

Until this boil is lanced, we can not return to the nation we were before 9-11!

Posted by: asclepious2 | August 24, 2009 8:58 PM

bush/cheney became the terrorists they feared, and damaged the US around the world.

Posted by: jama452 | August 24, 2009 12:49 PM

TO: "bgreen2224" @ 12:01 p.m.

Please read the post below headlined, LATEST CIA TORTURE MEMO RELEASE.

The "drill" bit is the DISINFO that allows paid blog-spammers to post "Oh My!? Isn't it TERRIBLE!" agit-propaganda on media political blogs...

...polluting the dialog here with agit propaganda from the dark corners of the bureaucracy, perhaps.

But you knew that, right?


Posted by: scrivener50 | August 24, 2009 12:39 PM

Threatened with a gun and a power drill...mock executions...? OOOOOH, MY!!!

So, finally, interview techniques used by Southern/Chicago/Boston/LA cops will come under scrutiny??

Backs up the idea that terrorists should be left to the police.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | August 24, 2009 12:01 PM

Correction and amplification:

In "scrivener" post, below, the phrase was typed as "the rule of law" and came out garbled.

No, the author is not dyslexic. Maybe THIS explains it:

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 24, 2009 9:11 AM



• When will President Obama wake up and smell the police state that threatens democracy, makes a mockery of the law of rule -- and subverts his agenda?

Today's the day the Justice Department is supposed to release more redacted CIA torture memos.

So far, the big "revelation" is that a power drill was held to a prisoner's head.

Now quite as dramatic as the likely truth:

That microwave and laser radiation "directed energy weapons" have been used to -- in the words of a recent Senate Armed Services Commmitee report -- "induce" weakness, fatigue, exhaustion, mood changes and confusion...

The same sort of ELECTROMAGNETIC TORTURE widely reported by victims of a what is reputed to be a "multi-agency coordinated action program" of DOMESTIC extrajudicial targeting and punishment aimed at U.S. citizens deemed to be "dissidents" and "undesirables."

Is THIS what today's torture memo redactions are trying to whitewash?

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 24, 2009 9:04 AM

What happened to all the anti war protester that Bush had to contend with? why are they not on Obama for ramping up the war on terror? why are they not protesting about torture abuse? Because the media was falsely reporting events. They would report on a protest with 50 people as if it was 50,000. All to get Obama elected.

Posted by: GaryP1 | August 24, 2009 8:57 AM

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