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(Via Andrew Malcolm) Former Vice President Dick Cheney has indicated that last week’s disclosure / distraction involving four CIA ‘torture’ memos is critically incomplete, as it fails to give results. He wants the full story released:
“One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure,” Cheney tells Hannity, “is they put out the legal memos, the memos that the CIA got from the Office of Legal Counsel, but they didn’t put out the memos that showed the success of the effort. And there are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity. They have not been declassified.”
“I formally asked that they be declassified now. I haven’t announced this up until now, I haven’t talked about it, but I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country.”
“And I’ve now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was, as well as to see this debate over the legal opinions.”
More details here and here. This is not an unreasonable request… if you accept that the primary purpose of the Obama administration was to actually inform the voting public about the program. Alas, it’s not, particularly. They’re actually looking to obscure the matter: after all, it’s not as if they’re really planning to change the original program to any significant, non-cosmetic degree. If they were, they wouldn’t be trying to reassure the CIA that this White House wasn’t planning to treat them as domestic enemies. Which I personally believe, if only because pragmatically speaking the CIA can leak Obama to political death over this, particularly when rendition kicks into high gear.
As AoSHQ notes, the Obama administration has no really good response to Cheney’s gambit. They can either reveal the memos, and risk having the voting public not care some more*… or they can ignore the whole thing, which will do nothing to persuade their own supporters that there isn’t a cover-up/whitewash going on. Well, actually, there is a cover-up going on: it’s the one that the Democrats are engaging in to try to make sure that their base never comes to the realization that they were manipulated for their money and votes.
Which will probably work, too. Said base has certainly been determined to ignore this up to now.
*A rather straightforward observation which will no doubt cause some consternation in comments. But not as much as this one… which also illustrates a point that I don’t know that I’ve ever made before, and I probably should have. When it comes to the decision of how to prosecute the GWOT, the dispute was never between the progressives and the neoconservatives. It was between the neoconservatives and the outright Jacksonians. Which is why the progressive position is still being ignored in this debate, even though they thought that they had actually won an election or two. The American people don’t really want to reach any sort of understanding of terrorists (“Why do they hate us?”); they just want them dead, or wishing that they were, or at least blowing somebody else up. Military-action-plus-nation-building proved able to successfully restrain just-kill-them; once we have another attack on American soil, outreach-and-understanding won’t stand a chance.
Sorry, but somebody had to say it.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.