May 11, 2009
Now that former Vice President Dick Cheney wants the Obama administration to release just two secret documents (21 pages in total) to show that the Bush-Cheney torture program uncovered acts that kept us safe — after first complaining that Obama was “cherry-picking” documents to make public (after releasing 6 memos, 137 pages in total) — it appears that President Obama is taking Cheney’s advice and is inclined to declassify even more documents, including this 2004 CIA report by its inspector general which sure does seem to contradict Cheney’s claims that torture worked:
Government officials familiar with the CIA’s early interrogations say the most powerful evidence of apparent excesses is contained in the “top secret” May 7, 2004, inspector general report, based on more than 100 interviews, a review of the videotapes and 38,000 pages of documents. The full report remains closely held, although White House officials have told political allies that they intend to declassify it for public release when the debate quiets over last month’s release of the Justice Department’s interrogation memos.
According to excerpts included in those memos, the inspector general’s report concluded that interrogators initially used harsh techniques against some detainees who were not withholding information. Officials familiar with its contents said it also concluded that some of the techniques appeared to violate the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, ratified by the United States in 1994.
So, not only is Cheney defending their acts of torture (i.e., war crimes), but even the CIA question whether anything useful came from it, a fully irrelevant question if the issue is whether war crimes were committed.
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