"Damn right, we did. I ordered it. So what? Nobody will ever prove it ..."
(ho ho hee hee ha ha)
This post relates to the following headlines and then a few details on the subject that got us here with the Judge’s decision. Here is the headline that got my attention and that warrants this review:
Judge Who Blocked Release of Osama bin-Laden Death Photos Now Blocks Release of Senate Torture Report
The background then goes back to the Senate in 2014 with this re: The CIA Torture Report
Senate Votes to Declassify Parts of CIA Torture Report
Also, I wanted to remind everyone what former President George Walker Bush said about torture: In his recent memoir “Decision Points,” Mr. Bush admitted that he enthusiastically authorized that certain detainees be water boarded – or tortured, which has been a Federal and war crime for decades under both domestic and international law. When asked if he would authorize the torture of detainees again, the former president declared “Damn right!”
The release of his memoir coincides with reports that no one will face criminal charges for the destruction of CIA videotapes which contained interrogations using water boarding (since President Obama said, “We need to look forward, not backward.” (Sic) here on Youtube – in his words.
The Bush clip is here on Youtube and also is in his own words about why he said okay to water boarding ... it is perhaps the weakest excuse in American history ranking up there with former Army Lt. William Calley who said about his ordering of the My Lai massacre, “I was just following orders.” (Mr. Bush apparently was just following his lawyers’ orders - oops).
Now here we are today: The basic premised why the Senate report is being blocked is simple and by careful design, in a nutshell as the Judge states this way:
The (ACLU) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s full report on the CIA program. The executive summary of the report was previously made public, albeit with numerous redactions.
Now, U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg (appointed by Mr. Obama) has rejected the ACLU’s request, that the report remains a congressional record and thus isn’t subject to the FOIA. When Congress created FOIA in 1966, it made sure to exempt the legislative branch from its provisions.
That may be true (can’t be released under FOIA rules), but Congress can waive that and allow the release of the report for the public read – why? This government acted on our behalf and by all accounts broke a lot of laws regarding treatment of detainees and that report will shed light on the program. The public does indeed in my view have a compelling right to know – then we can make up our mind to judge whether our government acted on our best behalf or not. That is fundamental to our system, isn’t it?
If this ruling stands, it keeps the spotlight on an ugly chapter in our history and the country that will forever remain a terrible stain ... that should matter - so why doesn't it?