Lots of enhanced interrogation technique (EIT) information floating about news circles today, so I’ll add one more. After the release of the four so-called torture memo a few weeks ago, Cheney officially requested the Obama administration release two memos that showed what intelligence was gathered from detainees after the use of the EITs.
The request was denied, supposedly because the two memos are the subject of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request tied up in court. From Stephen Hayes at The Weekly Standard (do read the full post)…
The Obama administration has turned down former Vice President Dick Cheney’s request for the declassification of two CIA reports on the effectiveness of the Agency’s detainee program, THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned. A letter dated May 7, 2009, from the CIA’s Information and Privacy Coordinator, Delores M. Nelson, rejected Cheney’s request because the documents he has requested are involved in a Freedom of Information Act court battle. …
Initially, Obama administration officials seemed open to releasing the Cheney memos. Representative Frank Wolf asked Attorney General Eric Holder about the Cheney memos during at House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on April 23. Holder said he had not seen the documents. But added: “It is certainly the intention of this administration not to play hide and seek or not to release certain things in a way that is not consistent with other things. It is not our intention to try to advance a political agenda or to hide things from the American people.”
But that is exactly what critics, with some justification, contend the administration has done. In a letter to his intelligence community colleagues sent to explain the release of the OLC memos, Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, wrote: “High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qaeda organization that was attacking this country.” But when Blair’s office released parts of his letter as a public statement on the subject, that sentence was cut. Blair also noted that members of Congress had been briefed on the methods, but that section was also cut from the public statement.
So, release the “torture” memos in the guise of being transparent so the people in other countries will see that we are now a “better class” of folks, but don’t release the additional pictures from Abu Ghraib since…
“The publication of these photos would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of individuals,” Mr. Obama told reporters on the South Lawn. “In fact, the most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger.”
Then, don’t release the memos that describe the after-effects of using EITs referencing a FOIA request technicality. (Obama can declassify them immediately if he wishes.)
And they actually want us to believe these moves are not political.