Federal court order results in release of Bush interrogation memos

The Obama administration will release interrogation memos written by Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel lawyers during President George W. Bush’s administration. A federal court required the Obama administration to release them or to provide a good reason to withhold them in response to an ACLU lawsuit.

My guess is that the documents may drop with a thud, since most of the information was previously leaked. Some people may scream for charges to be brought against former Vice President Cheney or even Bush himself, but nothing will come of this. Even the names of the operators in the memos (there are four) will be redacted.

These so called torture techniques – better described as extreme interrogation methods – actually do work, and if you are one of the individuals who think that extreme measures are never to be used to gather intelligence, we’ll agree to disagree.

LGF notes that the White House confirms CIA officers will not be prosecuted.

Here’s a news story over on Yahoo! News

The memos were authored by Jay Bybee and Steven Bradbury, who at the time were lawyers for the then-president George W. Bush‘s Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel.

The memos provided the legal framework for a program of interrogations of “war on terror” detainees that included techniques widely regarded as torture such as waterboarding, in which a detainee is made to feel like he is drowning.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that intense debate was underway within the new administration over whether to release the memos.

The report said Attorney General Eric Holder and others in the Justice Department had argued aggressively in favor of release, but the CIA has countered that disclosure of such secrets would undermine its credibility and effectiveness.

Allah at Hot Air notes – and I surmise – the left wing will start screaming because the names are redacted.

Think The One was going to compound the problem by putting their guys in the dock for belly slaps? What choice did he have here realistically, lefty commenters?

From Jonathan Alder over at The Volokh Conspiracy

President Obama has decided to release OLC “torture memos” drafted between 2002 and 2005. In his statement (reproduced here), he cited “exceptional circumstances” justifying the memos’ release (reportedly over the objection of some intelligence officials). He also said that those who relied upon the memos “in good faith” would not be prosecuted for their actions.

For those of you who are against extreme measures, I’ll ask you to comment on this snippet from a book I recently read.

[Wasson] “… You ask the people if they are pro-torture, and ninety plus percent say no. You then ask them what the CIA should do if they catch a senior al-Qaeda member who has carried out attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq that have killed thousands. You then tell them that the CIA has solid information an attack is looming and this man has information that could help stop it. You then ask them if they are okay with slapping this guy around and making him think he’s about to drown and all of a sudden seventy percent of them are pro-torture.

“Now” – Wassen wagged a finger at his boss – “I can get that number to over ninety percent if you give the people a third option.”

“What’s that?”

“Don’t tell me what’s going on. Just take care of it. I don’t need to know everything my government does.”

“So the options are torture, don’t torture, or stick you head in the sand.”


“That’s ridiculous.”

“That’s reality, Babs.”

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Dimsdale on April 16, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Did they also release the notes for the meetings with members of Congress, such as Hillary, who approved these measures, or did not object to them?

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