Summing up – Obama torture memo indecision

The Bush administration torture memos were released last Thursday, and for those of you who want to follow the Obama administration’s bouncing ball, here we go.

On Thursday, Obama elected not to fight the release of the memos and stated he wanted to move beyond “a dark and painful chapter in our history.” It was done. CIA officials would not be prosecuted.

On Friday and Saturday, former CIA directors – including current director Leon Panetta – renew their objections to the release of the memos. The release of these memos would compromise future intelligence operations.

Administration spokespersons – but nobody from Obama’s intelligence staff – heads out to the Sunday morning talk shows to tell everyone that this is a good thing for America. Rahm Emanuel states, my emphasis added.

Asked if Obama believes that those who devised the policies should be prosecuted, Emanuel said “no“:

“Yes, but those who devised policy, he believes that they were — should not be prosecuted either, and that’s not the place that we go — as he said in that letter, and I would really recommend people look at the full statement — not the letter, the statement –in that second paragraph, “this is not a time for retribution.” It’s time for reflection. It’s not a time to use our energy and our time in looking back and any sense of anger and retribution.

Obama runs over to the CIA to shake some hands on Monday. Panetta lets them know that they can all still succeed at their job.

The White House sought to show that it is leaving the past behind by announcing that no CIA agents would be prosecuted for interrogations sanctioned under the Bush administration. Obama’s advisors also have suggested that the highest-level officials who authorized the practices will be immune.

On Monday night, former Vice President Dick Cheney calls for other memos to be released. They would show what intelligence was gathered and how well it worked to save American lives. Later that night, left wing groups are expressing their dissatisfaction that Cheney would not have a date with a firing squad.

By Tuesday, Obama had changed his mind.

“With respect to those who formulated those legal decisions, I would say that is going to be more a decision for the attorney general within the parameter of various laws, and I don’t want to prejudge that,” Obama said during a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II at the White House.

Today – Wednesday – nobody knows what he’s gonna do next. Do readers understand how this is a clear example that Obama does not have the executive experience to run the Executive Branch of the greatest country in the world? They have no idea what they are doing.

Even if you simply describe these differences as some “mixed messages” instead of expired promises, that still shows how clueless this bunch is.

Hey – Jim’s got more posted just four hours ago with video.

Krauthammer: Obama, Bush, and the torture show trials

When the young President changed his mind in less than 48 hours in regard to prosecuting lawyers and Bush Administration officials who authorized enhanced interrogation techniques, it caused confusion even among the White House Press Corps (no jokes please).

So why, after sending out your chief of staff on Sunday and your press secretary on Monday, to make it clear that there would be no prosecution of those who formulated EIT policies, would Obama make a U turn and not only allow such prosecutions … but include President Bush in the mix as well. Why?

Here’s the clip I played on the show today from Charles Krauthammer. It’s politics, it’s a distraction, it’s … you guessed it … all about George Bush.

All Bush, all the time, and why? When you having nothing to offer yourself, or when what you offer is incredibly ineffective or naive (refer to Fidel Castro’s smack down of Obama just 48 hours after his famous Latin American apology) … best to fall back on your old fall back, “It’s W’s fault.”

Update: (Steve) Oh heck, I finished writing this recap and just saw Jim’s post above. Hey, two post for the price of none!

Torture memos: NOT a dark and painful chapter in our history

Twenty-four hours have passed since the so-called torture memos have been released and as I expected, it’s not a story that has gone viral. Plenty of coverage, but not oh-my-God kind of coverage.

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Interrogation memos released – PDF scans available

I do not have time to review these right now, but my guess is that nothing will send shock waves through the media or anywhere else for that matter.

Personally, I hope that the current administration would use these techniques if needed. Again, they are extreme measures, not torture. The intelligence community is certainly not happy about this.

Look, if a Sept. 11-type event happens again -God forbid – are we going to feel alright about not using extreme measures on a detainee in custody when those techniques could have worked and prevented an attack?

How would you feel if a politician came up to you and said he or she was sorry for your loss, but there was just no way we could allow our intelligence people to keep that guy awake for 72 hours – or put him in a box with a caterpillar – to get the information we needed to save your family member.

Very little information is redacted, and those parts seem to be the intelligence information that actually was gathered using the techniques. Again… it worked.

Poll Question
Before you answer “it depends” or “no way”, have you read the memos?

[poll id=”103″]

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.”

Update-Rove “Biden Serial Exaggerator” – Another Joe Biden bedtime story?

He finally comes out of hiding and the Vice Gaffamatic is at it again. Read more

Watching how the military reacts to the president

I’ll let this video stand on it’s own without serious analysis, but I do find it interesting how the Marines reacted to visits from President Bush and more recently, President Obama.

Sister Toldjah and I have a similar opinion.

Maybe it’s the types of events that determines the reactions? I find the contrasts in the reactions to the arrivals of both respective Presidents stunning, but maybe I’m missing something in terms of how military protocol works.

We may need a bit of help here from our military readers. What is your reaction to the video? Remember that the sound levels can be manipulated by the broadcaster, the room could have different acoustics and the event may have different protocols.

If you’re current or former military, or if you are familiar with these types of presidential visits, chime in or send us an e-mail. Video courtesy The Real Revo.

TARP Transparency – $ Update

It looks like the Obama administration is actually releasing documentation on where $293 billion of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) money is going.

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Adios and God Speed

The Obama address aside, at least when they were together both President Obama and President Bush seemed to like each other very much. They are, after all, both members of a very exclusive club.

Here is a portion of the speech given this evening by now former President Geroge Bush on his return to Texas. It is worth the watch as he outlines his administration’s major accomplishments. God Bless you Mr Bush.

W’s Evil Ideological Plot

Last week President Bush gave what I thought was a very eliquent farewell address. And while I will agree the Iraq war did not go well for two years … McCain’s push and W’s willingness to change course may well have saved democracy in the Middle East. In addition, his policies have kept us safe for 7 years.

Enter Chris Matthews and his rendition of “Bush … the imperialist!”

Well at least he’s finally given up on Karl Rove.