Thursday, April 16, 2009

Let sunlight do its healing work - UPDATED

After a tense internal debate, the Obama administration this afternoon will make public a number of detailed memos describing the harsh interrogation techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency against al Qaeda suspects in secret overseas prisons.
--Mark Mazzetti at The New York Times

There has been some hot debate on this issue.
But the most immediate concern of C.I.A. officials is that the revelations could give new momentum to a full-blown congressional investigation into covert activities under the Bush Administration.

Other Obama administration officials, including Gregory B. Craig, the White House counsel, and Attorney General Eric H. Holder, argued that releasing the documents not only would satisfy the government’s obligation in the lawsuit, but would also put distance between President Obama and some of his predecessor’s most controversial policies.
As mcjoan, who has done so much superb work on the torture issue, puts it:
This is excellent news from the Obama administration.
Needless to say, I am all in favor of "a full-blown congressional investigation into covert activities under the Bush Administration."

The memos have been released with minor redactions. Mcjoan comments and cites statements by the President and AG Holder. You may read her post here.

Glenn Greenwald shares some of the contents and comments here. One tidbit:
One can certainly criticize Obama for vowing that no CIA officials will be prosecuted if they followed DOJ memos (though that vow, notably, does not extend to Bush officials), but -- assuming the reports about redactions are correct -- there is no grounds for criticizing Obama here and substantial grounds for praising him.
Marcy has links to the four memos at the ACLU site.

--the BB


Grandmère Mimi said...

Excellent! Obama surely needs the distance between him and the Bush maladministration.

Lis said...

funny the one thing they didnt mention in there TOP SECERET report was how many lives they may have saved. didnt expect the full story from a libersl media

Paul said...

Lis, you may have watched too many episodes of 24. Those who were involved in interrogation noted that anything of value that was learned was learned before torture was involved. Torture almost never produces anything reliable or useful - and this has been observed and demonstrated for many years. In fact, what they got under torture led them on many wild goose chases but did not save any lives.

Lis said...

I am not going to argue with you over this I served my country for 12yrs 3 of wich were in Iraq I my self was not involved with these actions but I was taught to do whatever it may take to save my fellow AMERICANS until you have been in those shoes I wouldnt expect you to understand that.Again I dont blame you for your thoughts on this matter you get one view back here in the states and that is the views of a liberal media. It will take another
attack on our country to wake everyone up to this.

Paul said...

I thank you for our service to our country, which we both love, though with differing perspectives. I have not been in your boots, but I admire, respect, and appreciate those who serve.

One reason I oppose torture is because I don't want another nation to do it our troops claiming that it's OK because we do it too. The interrogators in WWII were able to get incredible amounts of information out of our enemies without resorting to torture and they came out recently opposing the use of torture.

I do, however, care about American lives; I value good intelligence and wise decisions.

Again, I sincerely thank you for your service to the United States.