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Push Back, Mr. President

Give them an inch, they'll take a mile. Now that President Obama has shown that he can be rolled when it comes to his commitment to transparency, the defenders of torture are shamelessly pressuring him to keep their secrets even when court rulings and common sense say otherwise.

The latest attempt -- which finds complicit CIA officials pushing Obama to renege on his administration's pledge to release a highly critical 2004 CIA inspector general's report -- is so blatantly self-serving that even some former CIA officials are condemning it as unjustifiable.

Stop letting them play you for a sucker, Mr. President. Return to your principles. Let the sunshine disinfect this wound.

The CIA inspector general's report questioned the legality and the effectiveness of the CIA's interrogation program and set off a massive administration review -- and, ironically, reauthorization -- of torture techniques. Thus far, only a massively blacked-out version has been released to the public, in response to an ACLU lawsuit. After the ACLU appealed, however, the Justice Department promised a federal judge in May that it would review the report and produce by Friday any additional material that could be released.

R. Jeffrey Smith and Joby Warrick write in The Washington Post:

The CIA is pushing the Obama administration to maintain the secrecy of significant portions of a comprehensive internal account of the agency's interrogation program, according to two intelligence officials.

The officials say the CIA is urging the suppression of passages describing in graphic detail how the agency handled its detainees, arguing that the material could damage ongoing counterterrorism operations by laying bare sensitive intelligence procedures and methods.

So are they actually saying we don't want our torture secrets revealed -- because we might want to do it again? It's an amazing show of gall. And, in fact, too much even for some CIA veterans to take quietly.

Some former agency officials said that CIA insiders are fighting a rear-guard action to prevent disclosures that could embarrass the agency and lead to new calls for a so-called "truth commission" investigating the Bush administration's policies.

Two former agency officials who read the 2004 report said most of its contents could be safely released and, if anything, would seem familiar....

"[CIA Director] Leon Panetta has been captured by the people who were the ideological drivers for the interrogation program in the first place," said a former senior officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity when discussing the still-classified report....

"In essence, [Inspector General John Helgerson] was arguing in 2004 that there were clear violations of international laws and domestic laws," [said a former agency official who read the report]....

Another former official who read the report said its full text laid bare "the good, the bad, and the ugly" and added that "I believe that some people would find offensive" what was done, because it was "not in keeping with American values."

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 17, 2009; 9:09 AM ET
Categories:  Torture  
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Comments

When did the ACLU become so Anti-American??? Why is it doing everything in it's power to try to shame OUR intelligence agency? I mean who benefits?? Our enemies that's who and why? Because they can gain information on how we fight al Queda and also use it to recruit even more terrorists. Now Froomkin's an idiot so I see why he's with the ACLU.. but thank goodness Obama and Panetta have brains. Let's start with the fact in EVERY WAR things are done that are better left secret. That this time there is a rush to leak everything because some people (Froomkin being one) are obsessed with getting something on Bush and Cheney. But protecting this country is more important. The CIA did a hard job at a hard time, so now for the ACLU to go after them like this tells me they care more about revenge against Bush than about what's best for this country going forward. I hope Obama sticks to his guns and puts our country first...

Posted by: sovine08 | June 17, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

In principle I agree, but I also think it's possible that the report also describes practices which are actually legal, and which shouldn't be exposed lest the terrorists modify their activities in response.

On the one hand, I don't like this continuity of totalitarian-style practice (which was absolutely Cheney's preferred method of governance). Obama seems like he might be a little more in love with power than we'd hoped. On the other hand, how many reports have we seen about Cheney and Bush's plants all over the executive branch, their permanent-hire operatives who would resist any change whatsoever?

We'll never know what goes in inside this or any other administration, but I am curious about how these policies are continuing to exist.

Posted by: whizbang9a | June 17, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Hey sovine08, King George III called. The British could have used you in 1776.

Posted by: rthorat | June 17, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

sovine08:

Do you remember about Iraq's WMD? Your intelligence agencies at work. Do you remember all of the "disappeared" in southern South America in the 70s and 80s? Your CIA at work. Democratically elected governments overthrown in Iran, Guatemala and Chile? Your CIA at work (for BP in Iran and for United Fruit in Guatemala). Meanwhile, between about 1970 and about 1995, there was hardly a time when there was not a CIA agent selling the names of every agent to the Russians. The Indian nuclear tests? Surprise!! Fall of the Berlin Wall? Surprise!! Invasion of Afganistan (by the Russians)? Surprise!! I am sure that the CIA has done some fine work, and I mainly blame the people at the top (area chiefs and up), but the CIA has not been helpful to America.

Posted by: dickdata | June 17, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

We do make mistakes in every war, and by bringing them to light, we learn what not to do next time. If Panetta doesn't have the guts for the job, he should quit.

Posted by: seesdifferent | June 17, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I am sure that the CIA has done some fine work, and I mainly blame the people at the top (area chiefs and up), but the CIA has not been helpful to America.
Posted by: dickdata
_____
We are talking about 2 different things.. I'm all for making the CIA better but that isn't what the ACLU is trying to do. They are trying to expose methods, agents anything to make the CIA and through them hopefully Bush and Cheney look bad. But in so doing they will release information that will make our enemies stronger. Whatever information we have should be reviewed by people in government, they are the ones who can look at it and decide what worked and what didn't. The public doesn't not need to know the internal workings of the CIA.

Posted by: sovine08 | June 17, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"Why is it doing everything in it's power to try to shame OUR intelligence agency?"

I think OUR intelligence agency did that to themselves. Obviously they were not intelligent enough to think through how this was going to unfold. Everything leaks eventually and sooner or later the embarrassment would reveal itself and cause the damage you fear.

Posted by: troyd2009 | June 17, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Everything leaks eventually and sooner or later the embarrassment would reveal itself and cause the damage you fear.
Posted by: troyd2009
______
Then the ACLU has nothing to worry about and should just give up what they are trying to do. And hopefully when or IF this comes out it will be farther in the future where the damage is lessened..

Posted by: sovine08 | June 17, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

As always, sovine08 is playing the GOP flute in perfect pitch.

As long as you don't question the laughable assumption that releasing the information would strengthen our enemies, the argument makes perfect sense. On the other hand, if you consider domestic and international law pertaining to treaties we've signed, and you don't believe in the radical version of American Exceptionalism that places us above the law, then you see that these are the same pathetic fear-based arguments that typified the previous failed administration.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | June 17, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

sovine08 we are hoping that the rule of law benefits. That's who benefits from this. If you want total secrecy then perhaps Russia of the 1930's - 19980's is the time and place for you.

Posted by: m_mcmahon | June 17, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

The U.S.A. is supposed to be a democracy, a government of the people. There are no good reasons for our government to classify all of its doings as "top secret". The politicians and bureaucrats are only hiding their own anti-democratic and probably illegal actions when they keep knowledge of them from the public.

There have been too many "dirty" secrets of too many CIA "dirty" operations in the past. It is long past time for transparency in our democracy. Only those who want America to be a totalitarian state could disagree.

Posted by: frazeysburger | June 17, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I think you guys are strongly misreading Obama's level of respect and adherence for international law.

He still supports 1, Extraordinary rendition, 2, Holding terror suspects indefinitely (see 1), and 3, Targeted assasination of enemies of the state (c.f. his new commander in Afghanistans M.O.).

The reason why he won't release these documents is that later, the ACLU will want to get their hands on documents that confirm the internationally illegal actions he has authorized. The Executive branch will not have a leg to stand on in those future cases.

Face it people, if you want your governement to follow international law Obama is not your guy. Frankly as a political issue its really bad one for the President because all americans except for the very few diehard liberals want our own laws to rule our government and people.

So basically Obama is going to hold things back so that his administration can do what they want while throwing a very meagre bone to the Liberals by banning waterboarding. Everything else is the same as it always has been.

I.e. Obama won't release these documents cause its not in his best interest to set a precedent he will have to follow in the future. Its the right choice and I think the President is showing the moderate view that many of us hoped he would have after the election was over.

Posted by: DCDave11 | June 17, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"They are trying to expose methods, agents anything to make the CIA and through them hopefully Bush and Cheney look bad." sovine08
If the CIA's methods, and the Cheney admin pushing them, makes them look bad, it's not the fault of the ACLU, or their tortured clients.
Maybe the (vice) president and the intelligence services should, oh, I don't know, comply with the law, and maybe not torture people, especially the ones who have absolutely no connection to terrorism.

Posted by: StrangelyEnough | June 17, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

sovine08: Why is it doing everything in it's power to try to shame OUR intelligence agency? I mean who benefits?? Our enemies that's who and why?

WRONG! We all benefit from living in a country where the rule of law is supreme and being a powerful person in government does NOT include a get out of jail free card. When people in government break domestic and international law, finding out what happened and who is responsible makes our nation stronger. Without full disclosure and prosecution if warranted, where is the incentive to avoid this conduct in the future?

Just because Obama says no torture, what keeps the next repiglican right wing nut case president (see Bush, Jeb) from doing it all over again.

sovine08: Let's start with the fact in EVERY WAR things are done that are better left secret...The CIA did a hard job at a hard time...

Saying "Well we did some bad things because everyone was scared" is an pathetic, inadequate, nonsensical defense of extrodinary rendition, torture, illegal indefinite detention, illegal surveillance, and blatant lying to Congress and the American people. It is precisely when times are hard that laws MUST be enforced. Everyone follows rules when it is easy. When the going gets rough, the rule of law is even more important.


Posted by: srw3 | June 17, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

If you want total secrecy then perhaps Russia of the 1930's - 19980's is the time and place for you.
Posted by: m_mcmahon
____
What total secrecy? Congress was appraised of everything he CIA did (both parties) Then we had a fair and free election.. and the NEW DIFFERENT party in charge saw all the information and the President and the NEW head of the CIA made the changes that they wanted and says we should move on. How is that anything like 1930's to 1980's Russia???

Posted by: sovine08 | June 17, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

What is the most troubling about this whole issue is whether Obama will censor a report by an Inspector General that is supposed to be public information.

There is a growing trend in this country to censor information to the Public that is embarrassing; illegal or unflattering to our Govt.

We are Adults, we are Taxpayers, We are Voters and Citizens with Rights & Responsibilities and WE WANT THE [UNVARNISHED] TRUTH!

Let's see what happened. Why do those inside the Beltway think they are immune from scrutiny?

Obama cannot sit there and pick and choose what information he releases. He is not a Dictator... didn't we have enough of this crap with Bush?

Posted by: winoohno | June 17, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

When people in government break domestic and international law, finding out what happened and who is responsible makes our nation stronger. Without full disclosure and prosecution if warranted, where is the incentive to avoid this conduct in the future?
____
First off who said we broke domestic or international law? And full disclosure? Cheney has being bragging on every TV station he can find what he had been doing and why. He's not hiding anything. And all this information is in front of the Justice Department and President Obama NOW!!! Look the ACLU doesn't decide who is prosecuted it's mission is one thing.. to harm Bush/Cheney POLITICALLY!!! And if it harms America's image in the world or helps our enemies in the process.. what do they care. Well Obama cares and Obama is RIGHT!!! What was done was done to keep this country safe. This is not the time to settle political wounds.

Posted by: sovine08 | June 17, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

If the CIA's methods, and the Cheney admin pushing them, makes them look bad, it's not the fault of the ACLU, or their tortured clients.
Posted by: StrangelyEnough
_____
When the tortured client is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.. It DAM WELL IS HIS FAULT!!! And if waterboarding him provided information that saved lives then that's great.. and even if it didn't.. well it was worth a shot...

Posted by: sovine08 | June 17, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

What principals? Remember first Obama is a pragmatist and second, could care less about who tortured who, because we should put it all behind us and go quietly into the future.

Posted by: Bushy | June 17, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

What principles?!?!? His only principles are to do whatever and say whatever to get elected, then he can do whatever he wants.

Posted by: alutz08 | June 17, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Since when did you Democrats care about the rule of law?? Only when it suits your purposes, that's when.

How about the US Senate candidate swap in New Jersey for Paul Toricelli? The prior candidate in 2002 was found to be corrupt and fell in the polls behind the republican opposition and there was a 60 day cuttoff for nominated candidates to be placed on the New Jersey. Democrats freaked, and went ahead with the swap just so they could have a candidate with political history in NJ who had a higher approval rating than the incumbent they offered. Where was the respect for the rule of law for something as simple as that??

Posted by: alutz08 | June 17, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

sovine08--I hope you're not so fooled by Cheney's attempts at revisionism. It's come out, from several sources (including CIA and military) that Cheney instituted the waterboarding and other abusive regimes in order to create an Iraq-9/11 link. Cheney even denied that Richard Clarke provided any warnings (despite all the documents, including the August 6 memo, to the contrary!) about an incipient al Qaeda attack in 2001.

Dick Cheney is a serial liar. Every justification he provided for the war: Iraq's involvement; Iraq's possession of nuclear and biological weapons technology; the ease of the conquest and transition to democracy; have proved completely false. There are the reports of how Cheney's office suppressed evidence to the contrary--from the UN inspectors' reports to the CIA's own assessments--in order to push his case for war.

In this case, the CIA was the victim of the real villain, Cheney.

But you'd cite that man, a proven liar, and a war criminal by any description, as an examplar for security? When the policies he promulgated--deliberate abuse of prisoners--led to the photos which shocked the world? And alutz08, I think the same thought applies to you to: what about the rule of law concerning his crimes?

Cheney has earned the distrust, spite, and enmity of the nation (if not the world). Obama, by embracing some of the same policies, is moving down the same path, but his excesses aren't anything close to Dick's. After all, Obama isn't trying to trump up the case to invade yet another country. He's simply trying to wrap up the wars he inherited.

Posted by: whizbang9a | June 17, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

If the CIA's methods, and the Cheney admin pushing them, makes them look bad, it's not the fault of the ACLU, or their tortured clients.
Posted by: StrangelyEnough
_____
When the tortured client is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.. It DAM WELL IS HIS FAULT!!! And if waterboarding him provided information that saved lives then that's great.. and even if it didn't.. well it was worth a shot...


Posted by: sovine08
*****************
That argument is just pathetic.
It's okay to waterboard a guy because he's a suspected terrorist who might have useful info--but if not, too bad?
What sort of law do you live under, sovine08? The law of the jungle? Would you tolerate American servicemen being subjected to that kind of senseless brutality?
Please do us all a favor and think for a split-second before hitting that ENTER key. All you're doing is persuading people that you believe might makes right, America cannot be wrong and any criticism of how we've conducted ourselves in Iraq is treason.
Or have I misinterpreted your position?

Posted by: dbitt | June 17, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Since when did you Democrats care about the rule of law?? Only when it suits your purposes, that's when.

How about the US Senate candidate swap in New Jersey for Paul Toricelli? The prior candidate in 2002 was found to be corrupt and fell in the polls behind the republican opposition and there was a 60 day cuttoff for nominated candidates to be placed on the New Jersey. Democrats freaked, and went ahead with the swap just so they could have a candidate with political history in NJ who had a higher approval rating than the incumbent they offered. Where was the respect for the rule of law for something as simple as that??

Posted by: alutz08
*******************
Grow up, alutz08. Respect for the rule of law should not be a partisan issue. Going down that road is only an exercise in "yeah but you guys are WORSE!" which is stupid and futile.
How about we live within the law and not snipe about who did what and whose offenses are worse? Because if you want to play that game, Bush/Cheney will trump the Democrats for misdeeds every single time.

Posted by: dbitt | June 17, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

It's okay to waterboard a guy because he's a suspected terrorist who might have useful info--but if not, too bad?
Posted by: dbitt
_____
Oh Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is now a "suspected terrorist"??? He was the MATERMIND behind 9/11 (and that information did not come through waterboarding). So NO I'm not going to get all broken up about his rights. And if you think most Americans will.. your nuts.

Would you tolerate American servicemen being subjected to that kind of senseless brutality?
Posted by: dbitt
_____
American servicemen do not plan and execute an operation that targets and kills 3000 INNOCEINT CIVILIANS!!! But yeah IF an American was a terrorist and was responsible for a plan to murder 3000 civilians.. then I would say he got what he deserved...

Posted by: sovine08 | June 17, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Cheney even denied that Richard Clarke provided any warnings (despite all the documents, including the August 6 memo, to the contrary!) about an incipient al Qaeda attack in 2001
____
Oh please and what DETAILS were in this report??? Was there a WHO, a WHERE or a HOW anywhere mentioned?? So what Clark writes a report saying Osama wants to attack us a month before 9/11 and that is suppose to somehow be enough information to prevent 9/11?? Clark was in that post since Clinton and yet he provided NO actionable intelligence. Clark said to the 9/11 Commission "he failed." He was never so right...

Posted by: sovine08 | June 17, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

The thrust of the report was that al Qaeda was looking for means to attack. The FBI had reports of foreign nationals taking flight lessons, wanting to learn how to take off but not land. All the reports you've heard already but obviously ignored. And the point is that this get-tough-on-terror administration--the ones who insist they kept us safe--systematically ignored their anti-terror professionals for nine months in 2001.

Cheney is a lying fraud, and if you believe him, then you're a fool.

Posted by: whizbang9a | June 17, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

sovine08: First off who said we broke domestic or international law? And full disclosure? Cheney has being bragging on every TV station he can find what he had been doing and why.

For starters,waterboarding is torture and violates domestic and international law. The combination of sleep deprivation, stress positions, temperature extremes, etc. is torture and is against domestic and international law. From your comments up thread, sovine08, you don't care if these are done to "terrorists" but in the US people are innocent until proven guilty and there have been no trials yet.

What about the hundreds of detainees that have been let go from gitmo with no charges filed? What about the Uighurs who were captured and held for 7 years even though they are not terrorists? If another country started rendering Americans to our enemies and held them for years without charges or trials, you would be screaming for their heads!

sovine08: And if it harms America's image in the world or helps our enemies in the process..

What harms America's image is the torture of detainees, not bringing the torturers to justice, which is what the release of docmuments will facilitate. Its not the pictures of detainee abuse that is the problem, IT IS THE ABUSE ITSELF!

sovine08: What was done was done to keep this country safe.

Even if the intention was to keep us safe, that does remove responsibility and accountability from those at the top (cheney rumsfeld, etc) for violating domestic and international law.

During the Revolutionary War, Washington would not allow British soldiers to be tortured and those were more extreme times than we have now. Do we measure up to the standards our founders established.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. --B Franklin

Posted by: srw3 | June 17, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

sovine08: American servicemen do not plan and execute an operation that targets and kills 3000 INNOCEINT CIVILIANS!!!

True enough. Cheney, Rummy, and the rest of the bushies planned and carried out the Iraq war where 100,000+ innocent civilians were killed. We are much better at the terrorism thing than those silly 9/11 guys.

Posted by: srw3 | June 17, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

but in the US people are innocent until proven guilty and there have been no trials yet.
____
So that includes Bush and Cheney correct??? No trials try no charges filed yet you talk as if they are guilty. Look I'm confident with Obama that Bush, Cheney and no other member of the administration will ever be charged much less proven guilty. I guess that makes them all innocent...
Posted by: srw3

During the Revolutionary War, Washington would not allow British soldiers to be tortured and those were more extreme times than we have now. Do we measure up to the standards our founders established.
____
During WWII FDR rounded up and imprisoned 110,000 Japanese Americans who were guilty of nothing. Truman dropped 2 A bombs on Japanese cities, not aiming at factories but trying to kill as many Japanese as he could, he killed over 250,000 Japanese, mainly civilians, to shock the Japan into giving up.. And neither administration was ever investigated. Bush waterboarded 3 terrorists.. Compared to the standards FDR and Trunman set Bush sounds like a saint...

Posted by: sovine08 | June 17, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

True enough. Cheney, Rummy, and the rest of the bushies planned and carried out the Iraq war where 100,000+ innocent civilians were killed. We are much better at the terrorism thing than those silly 9/11 guys.
Posted by: srw3
____
Except the vast majority of those civilians were killed by OTHER IRAQIS. Using IED's and car bombs and in Sunni vs Shiite fighting. But nice try trying to blame Iraqi civilian deaths on our military. But you see our troops are BETTER than that...

Posted by: sovine08 | June 17, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. --B Franklin
Posted by: srw3
____
Yeah well first off who ever said by waterboarding terrorist leaders we are giving up an "essential liberty"? Second old Ben might have said something different if he lived in a time when terrorists flew planes into buildings and 3000 people died in a few minutes or in a time of WMD and NUKES!!!

Posted by: sovine08 | June 17, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

"When did the ACLU become so Anti-American??? Why is it doing everything in it's power to try to shame OUR intelligence agency?"

Well, actually, it was OUR intelligence agency that shamed itself. If you don't want people to find out what you did, don't do it.

Posted by: thrh | June 17, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Sovine is bovine. The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea, following the elephant....

Posted by: thrh | June 17, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeah well first off who ever said by waterboarding terrorist leaders we are giving up an "essential liberty"? Second old Ben might have said something different if he lived in a time when terrorists flew planes into buildings and 3000 people died in a few minutes or in a time of WMD and NUKES!!!
--------
How tired and what a sad fact that common sensed chatters here have to straighten you out sovine08. So, you want to torture people unconvicted of any crime (or convicted for that matter). And that has no bearing on "essential liberty"? Wow pretty divorced from reality/sense/rational thought.

I thought we fought a war against the British to eliminate this kind of arbitrary and debased punishment.

So how do you think Ben would have said it if he lived in the time of WMD, which most of us rational folks think includes NUKES? The reason for giving up liberty for purported safety are the same now as they were in Cesar's time as they were in Washington's.

Posted by: WOW9 | June 17, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

So, you want to torture people unconvicted of any crime (or convicted for that matter). And that has no bearing on "essential liberty"? Wow pretty divorced from reality/sense/rational thought.
_______
No I want to be able to interogate prisoners who have information that can prevent future attacks.. and if asking nicely works I'm all for it.. but if not well then I'll leave to the experts.. (not some people who blog).. what is the best methods to get terrorists to talk. Now IF as you say we have to wait until convicted.. we would still be waiting to ask KSM his first question no? American citizens have the right to remain silent.. terrorist leaders do not...

Posted by: sovine08 | June 17, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

The reason for giving up liberty for purported safety are the same now as they were in Cesar's time as they were in Washington's.
Posted by: WOW9
____
Really.. did Lincoln know about this when he suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War??? And here we built this nice memorial to him in Washington, guess you are all for tearing that down now huh???

Posted by: sovine08 | June 17, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

souvine08,

Enough of the childish antics and distractions.

The issue is illegal activity. Hiding illegal actions does not make it legal.

Worse, torture is NOT interrogation.

If you want revenge on KSM, let us complete the interrogation to get actionable intelligence first, but don't deceive the American people or yourself that torture has ever produced reliable intelligence.

For over a year I've suggested you read a few books written by American interrogators, as well as books about Americans who were victims of torture by the North Vietnamese.

Have you read any of those books? Did you learn anything about the subject?

Posted by: boscobobb | June 18, 2009 1:45 AM | Report abuse

The CIA is worried about revealing their crimes because it might embarrass the agency?? The CIA has been nothing but an embarrassment to this nation since its very first day. It should be discontinued at once and all everyone associated with it prohibited from ever having any government job ever again. Needless to say, most CIA employees are criminals who need to be arrested, prosecuted and jailed. America does not need a Gestapo.

But Obama is really impressed with his own new status as Espionage-Agent-In-Chief, and wants to take his turn at illegal spying, dirty tricks, torture and war crimes, just like his heroes, Cheney & Bush. "It's MY turn to cover up the kidnapping of innocents and sodomy of children! Torture, murder, rape, those are MY war crimes now!"

I hope he truly understands that every crime he covers up becomes his own as well as the original perpetrators'. Obama is in a headlong rush to join the ranks of the most despicable people on Earth since Hitler and Stalin. It MUST be what he wants, because he's going to great lengths to emulate Dick Cheney and the rest of the Bushnik traitors.

Posted by: mgloraine | June 18, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

souvine08 wrote:
"When did the ACLU become so Anti-American??? "
.....
When did you stop beating your husband?

Neither is a legitimate question.

Posted by: boscobobb | June 18, 2009 2:38 AM | Report abuse

The issue is illegal activity. Hiding illegal actions does not make it legal.
Posted by: boscobobb
____
Yeah and saying something is illegal doesn't make it illegal either.. I put forward that nothing done was illegal so until there is a trial and someone is convicted.. I'm RIGHT!!!

Worse, torture is NOT interrogation.
Posted by: boscobobb
____
Yeah and I put forward no one was tortured. Lets face it they say Khalid Shekih Mohammed was waterboarded over 180 times.. Now IF it was really torture could any man stand it that many times and live?? After 180 times using REAL torture and KSM would be dead or close to it. Now if you want to water down (pardon the pun) torture to anything.. then please include everything done on Fear Factor, Survivor, NFL training camps, and college hazings.

If you want revenge on KSM, let us complete the interrogation to get actionable intelligence first, but don't deceive the American people or yourself that torture has ever produced reliable intelligence.
Posted by: boscobobb
_____
As I said above if asking nicely works I'd be all for it. And your argument that torture being around for thousands of years has NEVER produced relable intelligence? I'm pretty sure the KGB and the MOB would disagree.

For over a year I've suggested you read a few books written by American interrogators, as well as books about Americans who were victims of torture by the North Vietnamese. Have you read any of those books? Did you learn anything about the subject?
Posted by: boscobobb
___
Haven't read your books but have read on the subject and it seems that there is disagreement on how effective it is. Never read anywhere it NEVER worked. Besides it's a moot point. I'm saying we didn't torture.. we used harsh interogations that didn't reach the level of torture, so in a sense we don't know what information we would have gotten if we did employ methods that say the French did in Algiers.

Posted by: sovine08 | June 18, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Obama is in a headlong rush to join the ranks of the most despicable people on Earth since Hitler and Stalin. It MUST be what he wants, because he's going to great lengths to emulate Dick Cheney and the rest of the Bushnik traitors.
Posted by: mgloraine
____
So are you saying we should impeach Obama??? Not sure that will make your friends on the Left happy. But please comparing Bush/Cheney and Obama to Hitler and Stalin.. You have NO UNDERSTANDING of history do you??

Posted by: sovine08 | June 18, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

sovine08:

Cheney & Bush used murder, torture, and crimes against humanity to fabricate a fraudulent rationale for launching a war for profit and conquest against Iraq. Their war crimes and atrocities, their secret gulag of dungeons and torture chambers being micro-managed from the White House, their rampant domestic spying and suspenion or elimination of all civil liberties according to their imperial whims, etc., are what qualify Cheney, Bush, and every member of their illegitimate "administration" as the most despicable people on Earth since Hitler & Stalin.

Obviously, if impeachment were truly an action our invertebrate Congress would undertake for LEGAL or CONSTITUTIONAL reasons, then Cheney & Bush would have been impeached and removed from office. Instead, impeachment (or the suppression thereof) is merely another service which can be purchased from Congress by corporate or special interest (AIPAC, NRA etc.) lobbyists for business or political reasons. Thus we saw Bill Clinton impeached over trivial nonsense, while for gangsters and war criminals like Cheney-Bush, impeachment is "off the table". So there's no point talking about impeachment unless you have the bucks to buy one (I don't).

If Obama does not prosecute the criminals, but instead PROTECTS or IMMUNIZES them, then ADOPTS their policies and methodologies, then he will be joining their gang, and should be charged for aiding and abetting the Cheney-Bush Criminal Enterprise, as well as for any new violations which will certainly occur as he tries to out-Cheney Cheney.

As for how those charges can be brought - I suppose we will still be waiting and hoping for a return to an ACTUAL Department of Justice which investigates criminal activities and holds people accountable for their actions, etc., ...you know, all that stuff Obama promised as a candidate before casting it aside for short-term advantage and political expediency.

Posted by: mgloraine | June 18, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

If Obama does not prosecute the criminals, but instead PROTECTS or IMMUNIZES them, then ADOPTS their policies and methodologies, then he will be joining their gang, and should be charged for aiding and abetting the Cheney-Bush Criminal Enterprise, as well as for any new violations which will certainly occur as he tries to out-Cheney Cheney.
Posted by: mgloraine
____
Well Obama is not going to prosecute Bush or Cheney so i guess I be looking for you at those impeach Obama rallies... And don't forget to vote for Romney in 2012.

Posted by: sovine08 | June 18, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

First, we - US citizens - paid for the report and so, with the exception of classified information annotated therein, we have the right in an open governemnt to read i ... even if it is embarrassing and even if it leads to consequences for the parties mentioned.

Second, Fromkin is better than the Washington Post will ever be so fck'em and go get your dream job. There's a market for it, believe me.

Posted by: NeilSagan | June 18, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm so sorry that this paper let you go, Mr. Froomkin. Your blog was one of the only true source of information that was truly reliable. Please keep us posted on where you will continue to blog. I will no longer scan the WaPo. You were the only real deal. Bless

Posted by: smtripoli | June 19, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry to hear that you will no longer be writing for the Post. Looks like now I will have one less reason for visiting this site.

I remember when General Taguba accused the Bush administration of war crimes and amazingly the only place in the Post where it was covered was on your blog. I guess the people making the decisions decided that a former General accusing a president of war crimes was not newsworthy.

You know, maybe they let you go because you were doing your job too well and you were showing them up.

I hope whoever snatches you up will give you the prominent position you deserve. Whoever it is I'm sure that I will be reading another Froomkin column very soon.

Posted by: pmorlan1 | June 19, 2009 1:35 AM | Report abuse

sovine08 ~ ~ about the only leg your analysis seems to stand on, is that waterboarding (for example) isn't torture.
But the Inquisition made no bones about calling it "el agua tortura"... the water torture.

I'm quite certain the founding fathers were correct when they said over and over, that civil rights and liberties are more important to the people of the United States than SAFETY. They were loudly unanimous in rejecting torture at any time, for any reason, and those truths hold today more than ever.

Further, your comment.... "American servicemen do not plan and execute an operation that targets and kills 3000 INNOCEINT CIVILIANS!!! But yeah IF an American was a terrorist and was responsible for a plan to murder 3000 civilians.. then I would say he got what he deserved... "

That's flat un-fact. What do you consider firebombing cities in Iraq? What do you consider, for that matter, carpet bombing in general? I agree that there is a form of legitimacy in a declared war vs. what the terrorists did in nyc. Unfortunately, firebombing doesn't meet our own law.
As far as an American terrorist... was McVeigh tortured? Nah.

The reason these reports were not released when they were written (2004) is quite simple - there would have been an absolute outraged call for impeachment from all 50 states.
The only way out of this with the United States able to hold its head up, is to hold trials. Open, fair, impartial and speedy trials - no secret chamber tribunals, no tortured evidence, no being held without access to legal assistance for years - of all who authorized these atrocities.
The US has captured and tried terrorists before without resorting to these methods. They must be stopped, period. And any found guilty of using them, must be punished.
Period.

Posted by: TramplingGrapes | June 21, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

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