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Obama Administration Reportedly Considering Withholding Vital Information In Torture Memos

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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 01:37 AM
Original message
Obama Administration Reportedly Considering Withholding Vital Information In Torture Memos
New Administration Should Not Cover Up Bush Administration Crimes, Says ACLU

http://www.aclu.org/safefree/torture/39381prs20090415.h...

"NEW YORK In response to a troubling Wall Street Journal report that the Obama administration is considering withholding key information from Bush-era memos that authorized torture, the American Civil Liberties Union today once again urged the Justice Department to turn over the memos in full. According to a deadline set in an ACLU Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the government has until tomorrow to turn over memos authored by Jay Bybee and Steven Bradbury, then top lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel, that supplied the framework for the Bush administration interrogation program or else explain why they continue to withhold them from the public. Until now, reports have indicated that the White House wanted to release the memos but was facing pressure from CIA officials to keep them a secret.

The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project:

"The new Justice Department should turn over unredacted versions of these memos, not blacked out versions that cover up critical information. The information in these memos is vital to the historical record and to informing the public about what actions were carried out in its name. The release of the memos is also crucial to holding officials accountable for authorizing torture. Withholding this information would be completely inconsistent with the Obama administration's promise of transparency and its commitment to turn the page on the abuses of the last eight years."


ACLU Agrees To Extension Of Torture Memo Deadline Based On DOJ Pledge To Consider Releasing Bybee Memo (4/2/2009)

http://www.aclu.org/safefree/torture/39276prs20090402.h...

"NEW YORK The Justice Department has sought an extension of the government's deadline to decide whether to disclose three legal memoranda authored in May 2005 by Steven Bradbury, then a lawyer in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). The memos authorized the CIA to subject prisoners to torture methods including waterboarding. In ongoing Freedom of Information Act litigation brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, a federal judge had given the Justice Department until today to disclose the memos or explain its refusal to do so. The ACLU has consented to extend the production deadline to April 16 in return for the government's representation that high-level officials will consider the release not only of the Bradbury memos but also a memo authored in August 2002 by Jay S. Bybee, who was then the head of the OLC. The Bush administration had previously withheld the Bybee memo.

The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project:

"We reluctantly consented to this extension based on the government's representation that within two weeks it will re-review not only the May 2005 Bradbury memos included in today's deadline but also the August 2002 Bybee memo that was one of the cornerstones of the CIA's torture program. Collectively, these memos supplied the framework for an interrogation program that permitted the most barbaric forms of abuse, violated domestic and international law, alienated America's allies and yielded information that was both unreliable and unusable in court. Using national security as a pretext, the Bush administration managed to suppress these memos for years, denying the public crucial information about government policy and shielding government officials from accountability. While we are disappointed that the Bradbury memos were not released today, we are optimistic that the extension will result in the release of information that would not otherwise have been available to the public."

The Justice Department's letter seeking an extension is available online at: www.aclu.org/safefree/torture/39274lgl20090402.html







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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 01:45 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm sure he's being pulled in a few directions on this.
Edited on Thu Apr-16-09 02:30 AM by AtomicKitten
I for one am hoping he practices sunlight, and I think it's fair to wait and see what he does before prematurely opening up a can of whoop-ass on him.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I'm glad the ACLU is being proactive n/t
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Prosecuting BushCo's war crimes is really important to me.
Edited on Thu Apr-16-09 02:29 AM by AtomicKitten
I feel like I'm holding on breath on this.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. Me too, we'll know soon enough! n/t
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 03:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
14. I agree, though I won't deny I have a big can sitting beside me and if need be,
it will be opened.
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 01:45 AM
Response to Original message
2. K&R
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Thank you n/t
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masuki bance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 02:05 AM
Response to Original message
5. Screw this stuff, there is funny teabagging jokes to be made.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 02:23 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Just about every other thread contains the word tea :(( n/t
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empyreanisles Donating Member (313 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 02:56 AM
Response to Reply #5
13. I'd rather talk about teabagging. Prosecuting solves no immediate problems. Sorry but its true.
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sammythecat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #13
21. Sorry, but that's not true.
Prosecution is "the institution and carrying on of legal proceedings against a person", or persons, charged with violation of the law. In the case of torture, prosecution will also serve as a precedent that future violations of the laws against torture WILL indeed be prosecuted.

To not pursue prosecution in this instance would serve as a precedent that these actions, described by the ICRC as torture, will NOT be prosecuted and are therefore acceptable.

Prosecution is kind of a major part of the whole "rule of law" thing.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 03:41 AM
Response to Reply #5
15. There are always, will always be funny teabagging references to be made.
First fun taxday I can remember in a hell of a long time!
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 02:07 AM
Response to Original message
7. KO was commenting tonight that the CIA "leak" to the WSJ about the memos
is a threat warning to Obama not to release them. Hmmmmm....
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 02:24 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. Interesting n/t
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populistdriven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #7
16. i think we now know where cheneys worms are
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Kdillard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 07:04 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. Of course it was. It was clear from the moment that Holder hinted that he would be releasing those
memeos the CIA would be very unhappy. The President is threading on dangerous ground here. i have no doubt that it has been a fight behind the scenes and now they are subtlely laying out threats.
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Uzybone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #7
18. How does that make sense?
How does the drip drip drip of the torture leaks threaten the admin not to release the memos?

Frankly, its not like we didn't know these things were being done. And when they were being done, very few had the balls to stand up and say this is wrong. Now that the criminals are out of town everyone wants "sunlight".

We need sunlight but it annoys me to no end that no one (especially Congress) held Bush accountable while torture was being carried out. We all knew it was happening.
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. It wouldn't be the damage from the release that's perceived, but
the damage the CIA would do with disinformation/misinformation campaigns that would seek to bring down the Obama Administration.

As to the Congress...it frustrates me to no end as well. I'm still PO'd when Pelosi took impeachment (not even hearings!) "off the table" just before the election. Honestly, I thought the theme of 2006 was "Make them ACCOUNTABLE!!!!" Silly me.

But that said, it's my 'belief' (with no facts in evidence other than their actions) that every briefing Congress received was only provided with Bushetal's protection of "National Security". Had any member of Congress come out and said a "peep", Bush would have had that Member immediately arrested and put up on charges of treason. Rather than having any debate over what was "peeped", the entire focus would be a thorough demonization that a Member of Congress(D) committed high treason against the US by revealing state secrets and threatening the National Security of the US.
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Thrill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. People worry that the CIA has somehow sent Obama a tape
of the Kennedy Assassination. I've heard this concern on talk radio several times
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MarjorieG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 02:20 AM
Response to Original message
8. Curious if admin is bound to defend Bush (ie U.S,) against Spain, hence, withholding.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. The admin is bound to defend Bush against Spain???
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/02/16/treat... /

Do we still pretend that we abide by treaties?

"...The U.S. really has bound itself to a treaty called the Convention Against Torture, signed by Ronald Reagan in 1988 and ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1994. When there are credible allegations that government officials have participated or been complicit in torture, that Convention really does compel all signatories -- in language as clear as can be devised -- to "submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution" (Art. 7(1))..."


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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #8
19. Other replies to your question in this thread....
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
23. Update - Secret Interrogation Memos to Be Released
The question now is whether or not they will be released in full...

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/16/secret-in...

...But the most immediate concern of C.I.A. officials is that the revelations could give new momentum to a full-blown congressional investigation into covert activities under the Bush Administration.

Other Obama administration officials, including Gregory B. Craig, the White House counsel, and Attorney General Eric H. Holder, argued that releasing the documents not only would satisfy the governments obligation in the lawsuit, but would also put distance between President Obama and some of his predecessors most controversial policies.

On Wednesday, Mr. Obamas top advisers met at the White House for the final round of deliberations over the interrogation documents."




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Uzybone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Holder and Craig know whats up
I hope the President goes with their counsel on this issue.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. We'll know shortly, I hope so as well. n/t
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