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.As mcjoan, who has done so much superb work on the torture issue, puts it:
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.
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.