The Torture Memos: The Day Before

The day before the due date for the scheduled court ordered release (this is no voluntary act by the Obama Administration) of the torture memos, Sully writes:

The question before the president today is not whether to prosecute his predecessors for war crimes; it is simply whether to allow the memos that the Bush administration drew up describing in gruesome detail the torture techniques they authorized - or to cover them up. . . . If Obama, for some reason, decides to prevent us from seeing exactly what was done then he will achieve only one thing: he will tell the world that the US has indeed authorized and practised war crimes while simultaneously telling the world that America will not be accountable for it. He will betray all of us who supported him to restore the rule of law. . . . There is no compromise possible here, Mr president. Do the right thing.

We'll see tomorrow if we get to congratulate the President for complying with a court order or criticize him for defying such court order.

Speaking for me only

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    Don't hold your breath. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by scribe on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 10:28:33 AM EST
    They won't be forthcoming - and you all know this to be the way it will come out.

    The Administration will come up with some bullsh*t excuse, but the end result will be the same - no memoranda.

    I'm expecting the excuse this time to be that the Spanish are investigating Yoo, Bybee, Addington, Haynes, et als. and, through some convoluted logic, releasing proof of what they actually collaborated on writing and implementing would somehow prejudice the diplomatic discussions SecState Clinton has been having with the Spanish.  For what purpose and what's been said, no one outside the room seems to know. But, I have to conclude they are along the lines of the discussions she had with the British immediately prior to their government bending over and telling their courts in the Binyam Mohammed torture case to butt out, that printing proof in a judicial opinion of the governments' complicity in torture will result in the Americans letting the terrorists run loose and not telling the British government in advance.

    I've never bought into the whole... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Romberry on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 12:47:49 PM EST
    ...Obama mystique or whatever it is, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised tomorrow by the release of these memos as ordered. I'm not expecting it mind you, but I am hoping. And if Obama does the right thing here, I will be among the first to sing his praises...for following a court order just as he should.

    criticize him? (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by nellre on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 10:33:51 AM EST
    The Bush cabal actions were consistent with Neocon principles.

    Obama is acting completely opposite of the principles he campaigned on.


    FISA (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 10:37:51 AM EST
    I have no expectation that (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 11:30:06 AM EST
    congratulations will be in order, for many reasons.

    One, regardless of what Obama said about the rule of law in order to get elected, he has been consistent in betraying that position, and I expect that consistency to continue.

    Two, he's being advised by people who have shown no interest in bringing any light to this issue, or any accountability; it makes me think that Marty Lederman must while away his days twiddling his thumbs and wishing he were still blogging, or maybe he has just lost his mind, poor fellow.

    Three, it wouldn't surprise me to find out that he is under pressure not just to protect the power of the presidency, and by extension the Bush administration, but also the dirty little - and not so little - secrets about the involvement of the Congress, and specifically, Democratic members of Congress.

    Of course, the reasons we will hear from Obama will be legal word salad, served up with a heavy dose of "let me be clear," "make no mistake," and "the notion that" - all of which will affirm for us that we are just the know-nothing citizens who must trust that really smart people are making the best decisions.

    Where's a leaker when you (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by oldpro on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 11:47:12 AM EST
    really need one?

    Time for a Pentagon Papers scenario.

    Predicted Obama statement (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 12:00:19 PM EST
    "The job of governmentis to first do no harm.  It is harmful to citizens to know what kind of sh*t the government pulls.  Knowing so destroys the citizens confidence in government.

    Therefore, we must exercise executive privilege and withhold access to all words in the memos except for "the"'s and "A"'s.  But here the redacted memos are for all the world to see in the interest of my campaign promise of transparent government."

    According to Greenwald in yesterday's (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 10:36:25 AM EST
    column, Panetta's confirmation was conditioned on fulfilling the demand of Feinstein and Jay Rockefeller that two top CIA officials, one of whom Feinstein wanted to be head of CIA instead of Panetta, stay at the top of the CIA under Panetta.  Condition was accepted.  Plus Brennan is advising Obama directly.

    So, know, the Obama admins. will not release the entire memos in compliance with court order.  "Heavily redacted" is my prediction, if not state secrets privilege.

    But wasn't "Sully," until now, an unconditional supporter of Obama?  

    For the most part, he was (none / 0) (#5)
    by AX10 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 10:42:42 AM EST
    I am expecting Obama to do what politicians do.

    Talk about lowering expectations. (none / 0) (#6)
    by lilburro on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 11:15:24 AM EST
    The battle now (domestically) isn't over prosecutions, or even investigations, but simply the release of torture memos.  Well-played I suppose by an Obama team that doesn't want to investigate Bush crimes.

    Well (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 11:23:24 AM EST
    Let's see if we get this before we go further.

    based on his actions (none / 0) (#13)
    by cpinva on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 12:56:25 PM EST
    Well Let's see if we get this before we go further.

    in his brief time in office, i think we all know how this will end.

    but sure, let's wait.


    BTW (none / 0) (#11)
    by lilburro on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 12:30:16 PM EST
    what is the point of having a DNI if the CIA is still a loud mouthed spoiled brat?  Let's just pretend Blair had the last word here.  Set him up for the fall.

    [from the WSJ article above]

    Top CIA officials have spoken out strongly against a full release, saying it would undermine the agency's credibility with foreign intelligence services and hurt the agency's work force, people involved in the discussions said. However, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair favors releasing the information, current and former senior administration officials said.

    Also the CIA folks that speak to reporters about "morale" and no longer taking risks should be ashamed of themselves.  They are holding our security hostage by projecting their personal opinion over the entire agency.  They are worms.  Sorry, it's as simple as that.  John Brennan is certainly guilty of this sin.  At least Kappes keeps his mouth shut.  I documented some of the "morale" stuff here at my blog.

    These people are ridiculous and always have been.