Cheney Asks For Further Declassification Of Torture Memos

Via Drudge (reporting on Fox News, so should be reliable):

CHENEY: One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure is they put out the legal memos, the memos that the CIA got from the Office of Legal Counsel, but they didn't put out the memos that showed the success of the effort. And there are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity. They have not been declassified. I formally asked that they be declassified now. . . I've now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was, as well as to see this debate over the legal opinions.

Fair enough. Let's get it ALL out there, not just the memos Cheney wants out there. Sounds like Cheney is in on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Let's do it.

Speaking for me only

< Harman: I Never Contacted The DOJ About AIPAC Prosecutions | Short Memories on Wall Street >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Has Cheney submitted an FOIA (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 04:58:04 PM EST

    heh. (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by scribe on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 04:59:59 PM EST
    All he really has to do is look in his safe.

    Of course, some of the videos of (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:02:44 PM EST
    interrogations have already been destroyed.  

    I was under the impression (none / 0) (#10)
    by lilburro on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:08:03 PM EST
    all of the tapes were destroyed, but who knows.

    At some point these revelatory efforts are going to run smack into Obama's new embrace of the state secrets privilege, dontcha think?  Where is the line as far as what we are allowed and not allowed to see goes?


    You have lots more info on this topic (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:16:53 PM EST
    than I do.  

    WSJ (none / 0) (#21)
    by lilburro on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:35:32 PM EST
    article here.

    If they were going to take the legal risk of destroying 92 tapes, I would think they'd have made sure to destroy them all.  I mean, a special prosecutor is looking into this...but the Bushies and the CIA have no fear of the law obviously.


    If I were in their position, I wouldn't have (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 06:13:21 PM EST
    any fear of the law either.  See Gibbs, Obama, et al.

    That torture pron was just too good (none / 0) (#11)
    by scribe on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:09:13 PM EST
    for the connoisseurs of such to allow it all to get tossed.  It's no different from last week, when someone I know was checking whether, in fact, those old Marilyn Chambers pronos were still watchable....

    You can bet Deadeye's got a copy available to him somewhere.

    On a more serious note, let's let Deadeye deal with all the fun the ACLU has had to work through to get the documents released....  See how he likes it.


    His "man-sized" safe (none / 0) (#35)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 07:15:47 PM EST
    It might be full you know.

    That's (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:21:52 PM EST
    what I'm wondering. Does he still think he's acting President or something where he can just demand that someone release them?

    I dont think there's ever been a more condescending man on this earth.


    Unfortunately (none / 0) (#22)
    by CDN Ctzn on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:47:23 PM EST
    If there were a rule of law in this Country that smirking lying faced Bastard, Cheney, and all his evil minions would be irrelevant because they'd be neutered, put behind bars and exiled to the seventh circle of Hell for their crimes against humanity.

    True (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 06:10:29 PM EST
    but Obama is complicit in this too. He's letting them get away with it.

    No Arguement Here! (none / 0) (#37)
    by CDN Ctzn on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 07:25:02 PM EST
    Of Course (none / 0) (#24)
    by CDN Ctzn on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:52:05 PM EST
    for them, it would be tantamount to going home!

    Well, I think that (none / 0) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:53:15 PM EST
    Cheney sees himself as a viable Republican candidate for president in 2012.  He has looked around and observed the competition in his party and thinks he is tops. Given the state of the Republican party, he may be on to something. Remember, too, he does feel that he creates reality.  And, his visibility is way too oversized for just an attempt to shape his own history.

    Even (none / 0) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 06:17:05 PM EST
    considering the sorry bunch the GOP has running so far, Cheney is pretty much at the bottom. I don't think any of the others have an approval rating in the teens like he does.

    Mark Foley's (none / 0) (#36)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 07:16:57 PM EST
    more viable than Cheney.

    What I said earlier, but in spades. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by scribe on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:05:15 PM EST
    In responding to an earlier post, I commented that Obama had facilitated, not killed, a continuing argument over whether torture is justified.

    Knowing now that the coast is clear, it is time for Cheney to come out of his lair and join the chorus.

    What we have here is a wholly needless, false dispute over whether torture is appropriate.  Obama's cowardice and subsequent cave on prosecuting anyone for these atrocities, he has managed to facilitate those who would spin Hayden's bullsh*t lines about efficacy into pure gold.

    In so many words, if only one historical narrative is to have validity (as should be the case with torture and "torture is effective"), then the alternate narrative (pitched by Bushco and their fellow-travelers) has to be destroyed.  The most efficacious way of doing that is proving, in open court, that what the pro-torture folks have said are ... lies.

    No reasonable person questions today that, in fact, Scooter Libby was and remains a liar.  He was proven to be one.  And his claims are no longer respectable or even tenable.

    Given Obama's cowardice, the discussion about torture will continue into the foreseeable future and it will remain both respectable and within the bounds of reason for people to argue that torture is, in fact, effective.

    Thanks, Barry.

    And now, Deadeye is reveling in your having proven him right when he said you'd come around to agreeing with him.

    For an allegedly smart guy, Barry, you're proving out as pretty clueless.

    Wow (none / 0) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:25:57 PM EST
    that's a really great post. Well thought out. Anyway, I hadn't thought that it would turn out this way but it apparently has. Obama has given tacit approval to torture by failing to prosecute.

    it's irrelevant whether it worked or not (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Xclusionary Rule 4ever on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 07:01:05 PM EST
    Isn't it? Do our treaty obligations have an escape clause if really juicy intel is gathered thru torture? I think not.

    exactly. (none / 0) (#43)
    by cpinva on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 11:50:16 PM EST
    it's irrelevant whether it worked or not Isn't it? Do our treaty obligations have an escape clause if really juicy intel is gathered thru torture? I think not.

    this is the classic "the ends justified the means" defense. fine, release them all, let everyone see what great intelligence was gathered, by use of torture, that couldn't have been gotten any other way. of course, that still wouldn't change the basic fact that the acts themselves were barbaric and illegal.

    dick cheney proves, on a daily basis, just how much of a total scumbag he really is. my hope is that, at some point in time, his peers wake up from their fantasyland, realize what an oozing pustule on the ass of humanity he is, and shun him like the plague.


    Um (none / 0) (#1)
    by lilburro on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 04:49:38 PM EST
    is the intelligence that Iraq trained Al-Qaeda fighters?  It would not surprise me.

    Shrug (none / 0) (#2)
    by Steve M on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 04:56:33 PM EST
    I think Marcy's analysis establishes in fairly convincing fashion that we're not going to get documents that provide an honest assessment of what we learned, we're going to get self-serving and false documents created for the express purpose of justifying the torture program after the fact.  We have no way of verifying whether a particular bit of information came as the result of torture or as a part of voluntary interrogation, and in fact we often can't verify whether a given person was the real source at all.  In large part we're left to take their word for it.

    It's become clear over the last several years that we have a number of factual disputes that are simply not susceptible to resolution.  We have people who claim to this day that Zubaydah was a high-ranking member of al-Qaeda who gave us a wealth of valuable information; we also have people who claim that he was essentially their travel agent and his information sent us on one wild-goose chase after another.  While I think the latter set of stories withstand scrutiny better than the former, there's really no way to get to the bottom of it once and for all.  So declassify if you like but I don't see where it gets us any closer to the truth.

    I disagree (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 04:59:00 PM EST
    There should be raw reports of interrogation. to the degree any report is not backed by a video or a raw report, then it is simply not credible.

    Disagree with both you and Marcy.


    Never happen (none / 0) (#12)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:11:41 PM EST
    See the second paragraph of my post below.

    Well sure (none / 0) (#14)
    by Steve M on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:16:04 PM EST
    if we can get everyone to stipulate to those rules of evidence in advance, it works fine.  But the pro-torture folks simply won't.

    There are people out there who believe, right now, that we obtained a wealth of valuable information through torture.  Like that silly commentor who told you the other day that you can't handle the truth.  Obviously these people do not agree that nothing should be believed unless and until it is backed by a raw report.  They're not going to go along with your stipulation.

    Frankly I think the fact of 183 waterboardings speaks as much to the efficacy as anything else could.


    Well, between Mohammed and Zubaydah (none / 0) (#19)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:29:13 PM EST
    it was reportedly 226 waterboardings - and who knows how many others got the treatment; at some point, the numbers are such that one wonders about the enjoyment factor, which is just so utterly creepy and evil that I can't wonder about it for too long.

    I have little to no interest in hearing from Cheney, unless he wants to confess to being the chief proponent of "harsh interrogation techniques" who tasked the OLC to write those memos.  When evil speaks, no one should listen, so for my money, he could just STFU.


    Oops - having a bad math day... (none / 0) (#30)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 06:24:39 PM EST
    that would be 266, 183 for Mohammed and 83 for Zubaydah.

    The recent memos discuss (none / 0) (#31)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 06:25:28 PM EST
    the valuable information obtained from the enhanced interrogation. There are general statements, as well as specifics.

    Essentially, the CIA said that the enhanced techniques had allowed the CIA to obtain critical information, from KSM, Zubaydah and others, that they couldn't have otherwise obtained.

    I provided a quote in the Torture Not Effective thread below.

    Judging from the citations in the recent memos, I assume there is lots in writing on the information obtained.

    Looks like another poster who can't handle the truth.


    There ya go (none / 0) (#32)
    by Steve M on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 06:48:10 PM EST
    Anything that agrees with your pre-conceived worldview is gospel, no matter what contrary evidence might exist.  Doesn't matter how many people say that Zubaydah wasn't the al-Qaeda mastermind they portrayed him as, doesn't matter if the FBI's top al-Qaeda expert says he was simply insane, doesn't matter how many senior officials say that everything useful that was obtained from him came before the torture regimen was instituted and that not a single significant plot was foiled as a result of his torture.

    Nope, whatever the WSJ Op-Ed page happens to say, that's the undisputed truth.  Honestly, I don't expect any better from the sort of person who goes around saying that liberals rooted for the surge in Iraq to fail.  Mindless repetition of talking points seems to be all we're likely to get.


    Steve, get a grip. (none / 0) (#41)
    by Green26 on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 10:33:19 PM EST
    The information I cited came from the recently released memos. It cited specific memos and faxes from the CIA.

    My information is presumably better than the stuff you mention, some of which I don't believe, because it's close to being a primary source. Your stuff comes from a supposed quote from the media.

    Why can't you accept information quoted directly from CIA memos and faxes?

    Does everything you believe have to be blessed by Krugman?


    Heh (none / 0) (#42)
    by Steve M on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 11:11:04 PM EST
    There is nothing inherently credible about an "official" CIA memo.  If an "official" source and an "unofficial" source say contradictory things, one of them is lying.

    As this story has developed over the years, far too much of the "official" CIA story simply has not checked out.  That doesn't mean that there couldn't possibly be a smidge of useful info that was acquired from torture.  But it does suggest that the CIA has a demonstrated ability to generate self-serving propaganda in furtherance of its own agenda.  

    All I'm saying is that the sort of person who goes around claiming that liberals were rooting for the surge to fail is not likely to be particularly open-minded.  Cite the side of the story that agrees with your narrative as gospel truth and call it a day, that seems to be your methodology.


    I disagree. (none / 0) (#45)
    by Green26 on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 01:51:07 AM EST
    The CIA memos and faxes being cited and quoted are primary sources. Some of them appear to have been done contemporaneously with and/or based on the actual interrogations. They are not PR memos or releases.

    You can't handle the truth.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#46)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 07:47:22 AM EST
    Maybe you should add "Check and mate" to your posts to make them even more convincing!

    Maybe you should read the memos (none / 0) (#48)
    by Green26 on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:44:46 AM EST
    before you go spouting off.

    Anyone who saw, read or listened to (none / 0) (#39)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 08:40:43 PM EST
    Matthew Alexander, former US Airforce Intelligence Officer, on Olbermann show last week knows there is evidence to refute clearly the bogus claims that torture is useful to collecting intelligence essential to saving U.S. lives.

    More to the point, is this a valid point of discussion?  Our international treaties and U.S. Constitution prohibit torture.  So why are we engaging with Cheney in an argument that the ends justify the means?  Killing someone effectively eliminates a dreaded competitor, etc., but murder is still against the law.  


    so what? (none / 0) (#44)
    by cpinva on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 12:03:06 AM EST
    There should be raw reports of interrogation. to the degree any report is not backed by a video or a raw report, then it is simply not credible.

    let's assume, purely for the sake of discussion, that they got intel good as gold, with jesus christ and mohammed both vouching for its accuracy.

    again, so what? all that a vouchin' doesn't change the fact that the methods used to extract it were illegal, and an embarassment to the united states.

    it also doesn't change the fact that we don't want people capable of either approving of,  or performing those acts running around loose on our streets, they are all clearly psychopaths.

    they are no better than the torturers during the spanish inquisition, they just have better personal hygiene.


    And really disagree (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 04:59:46 PM EST
    with the notion the truth can not be reached.

    It can be reached.


    At least for the 75% of Americans that still (none / 0) (#13)
    by steviez314 on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:12:18 PM EST
    believe in an objective truth in a reality based universe.

    If the documents (none / 0) (#9)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:06:49 PM EST
    that Cheney wants declassified exist and they are eventually declassified I wouldn't go so far as to say he is in on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He is freelancing here and only wants his truth to be heard. I'd bet the house he could care less about what the other side has to say. And he sure in the heck isn't interested in Reconciliation. Nor are any of his friends.

    But let's get to the TRUTH of the matter here. Cheney is hoodwinking everyone. There is NO WAY that that Mr. States Secrets (aka Obama) is going to declassify any information that was gained by torture or any other means. That would never happen. And Cheney knows that! So Cheney can claim anything he wants about what was gained and it will never be confirmed or denied by the Obama administration.

    So Cheney gets a free swing at the ball and you can believe him or not. For my part - NOT!

    I would (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 07:08:39 PM EST
    like to read one documented example of one specific terrorist act that was thwarted by some named individual who gave accurate information as a direct result of torture.

    I don't believe even one actually exists.


    Hyperbole, I suspect. (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:18:50 PM EST
    this weekend of FOX (none / 0) (#20)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:34:42 PM EST
    the heads seemed to be saying "well since Obama released this, why classify anything?  just release everything".

    an interesting position for them I think.
    they must be pretty sure nothing else is coming out.

    Apparently Feinstein says (none / 0) (#23)
    by lilburro on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 05:48:35 PM EST
    not to talk about accountability until she is done with her (currently secret) Senate Intelligence Committee investigation.  She has never seemed interested in holding CIA officials accountable...so I am not sure what this means.

    Feinstein's letter was sent to the White House at the same time Obama paid a visit to CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., to reassure agency employees that they would not face prosecution for participating in "enhanced interrogations" as long as they followed Justice Department legal advice.  

    But Feinstein asked Obama not to make further comments like that.

    "I am writing to respectfully request that comments regarding holding individuals accountable for detention and interrogation related activities be held in reserve until the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is able to complete its review of the conditions and interrogations of certain high value detainees," Feinstein's letter says.

    - Jason Leopold

    Is there still some hope for prosecutions?  I dunno.

    Well (none / 0) (#27)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 06:12:04 PM EST
    it sounds like they'll have to go it on their own, congress that is, without Obama if there are going to be prosecutions.

    It's possible. (none / 0) (#38)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 07:28:08 PM EST
    There are some individuals with integrity, maybe.
    They don't need Obama's blessing or permission.

    I would hope that if there are prosecutions (none / 0) (#40)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 08:42:42 PM EST
    they start from the top down, not from the bottom as they did with Abu Gharaib.  

    Agreed (none / 0) (#47)
    by lilburro on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 08:06:27 AM EST
    but for instance, a few detainees died in custody.  That's an issue.  And the CIA's lawyers are in the same boat as Bybee & Yoo more or less.

    Many detainees died in (none / 0) (#49)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 01:30:18 PM EST
    custody at Guantanamo.  Can't just be CIA involvement or action, could it?