Skip to main content

The WSJ is reporting that President Obama is leaning toward the CIA position on releasing the torture memos, which would mean that they would be heavily redacted.

Among the details in the still-classified memos is approval for a technique in which a prisoner's head could be struck against a wall as long as the head was being held and the force of the blow was controlled by the interrogator, according to people familiar with the memos. Another approved tactic was waterboarding, or simulated drowning.

A decision to keep secret key parts of the three 2005 memos outlining legal guidance on CIA interrogations would anger some Obama supporters who have pushed him to unveil now-abandoned Bush-era tactics. It would also go against the views of Attorney General Eric Holder and White House Counsel Greg Craig, people familiar with the matter said.

Top CIA officials have spoken out strongly against a full release, saying it would undermine the agency's credibility with foreign intelligence services and hurt the agency's work force, people involved in the discussions said. However, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair favors releasing the information, current and former senior administration officials said.

The argument that the agency's credibility could be any more damaged either at home or with foreign intelligence services is laughable. The essential contents of these memos is well known--as is the result. The leaked ICRC report provided that in stark, and intensely damaging detail.

The damage that could be done by not making the memos public would likely far outweigh the confirmation they provide that the U.S. tortured. I'm not in the habit of quoting Andrew Sullivan, but on this, he's spot on:

If Obama, for some reason, decides to prevent us from seeing exactly what was done then he will achieve only one thing: he will tell the world that the US has indeed authorized and practised war crimes while simultaneously telling the world that America will not be accountable for it....

National security interests would only be damaged if the US were seen to be continuing the cover-up of war crimes begun by Bush and Cheney. If CIA staffers believe that covering up war crimes is integral to maintaining their morale, then we need new CIA staffers. This is not about persecuting the CIA. It is about maintaining basic political accountability for decisions and policies that were illegal, unconstitutional and immoral.

There is no compromise possible here, Mr president. Do the right thing.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 06:50 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Sullivan is right (47+ / 0-)

    there's no compromise here and Obama should do the right thing

    -- Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

    by derekd on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 06:51:36 PM PDT

  •  Precedent people precedent..... (32+ / 0-)

    No matter how much respect you hold for the president remember that this is what future Republican administrations will point to as an excuse or building block for their actions. The right thing must be done NOW........before the long term damage to the republic is complete.

    Savez-vous quelque bien qui console du regret d'un monde?

    by DawnoftheRedSun on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 06:53:55 PM PDT

  •  Hear, Hear! (15+ / 0-)

    This is not about persecuting the CIA. It is about maintaining basic political accountability for decisions and policies that were illegal, unconstitutional and immoral.

    There is no compromise possible here, Mr president. Do the right thing.

    Politics is who gets what, when, and how. Harold Lasswell

    by DaNang65 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 06:54:04 PM PDT

  •  Absolutely (17+ / 0-)

    The argument that the agency's credibility could be any more damaged either at home or with foreign intelligence services is laughable... The damage that could be done by not making the memos public would likely far outweigh the confirmation they provide that the U.S. tortured.

    It's not the crime (that's going to hurt the country now), it's the coverup.  

    •  Yes, Clio2. A coverup would induce the (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skid, kurt, Clio2, Yumn

      same classic dynamics we show in Watergate.  A daily drip for as long as it takes until the President relents.  And the longer it takes, the greater will be the damage to his reputation.

      Releasing it now, will keep the culpability focused correcly on the Bush administration.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:27:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I disagree... (8+ / 0-)

    Mixed in with this horror, there may be legitimate intelligence methods and collection information that should remain classified.

    Just because we don't get to see EVERYTHING, doesn't mean we can't connect the dots.

    President Obama, are aliens real?

    by David Kroning on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 06:54:19 PM PDT

  •  Anything short of full disclosure is a non- (15+ / 0-)

    starter.

    And a big, fat insult to Americans.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    -Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 06:54:30 PM PDT

    •  Then Get Ready For (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skid

      partial, if anything, disclosure.. and no indictments or convictions in the end.

      this is all fairly academic.

      WELCOMING the Al Franken Decade!!

      by Superpole on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:29:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What reasons (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q, felldestroyed

      might Obama have for pulling back on releasing the memos?  

      Could he be genuinely concerned about the implications of a disgruntled CIA?

      Personally, I want to see it all.  I want to know what was done in my name and I want officials that OK'd torture to be convicted of war crimes.

      But I also want to know more about what competing interests Obama is dealing with.

  •  Credibility (21+ / 0-)

    I feel Obama's international and domestic credibility is on the line here. Easy to talk about doing the right thing, much harder to stare down the CIA and Cheney embeds and actually do the right thing.

  •  Is this his moral "Bay of Pigs"? (17+ / 0-)

    will he listen to the experts, as young, inexperienced presidents do or will he heed his own counsel, and have the strong wisdom do what he knows is morally correct.

    I wonder.

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect -- Mark Twain.

    by dcrolg on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 06:55:35 PM PDT

  •  McJoan (7+ / 0-)

    no offense or anything, but Sullivan comes across the right side of arguments a large amount of the time so you should probably just get used to quoting him. He is a stark opponent of torture and defender of same sex rights (for obvious reasons).

    •  I like him a lot, but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, greenearth

      the Andrew Sullivan of today isn't anything like the Andrew Sullivan of the past.  Remember, this is the guy who would get the gig on Real Time to voice the conservative side of things.  He's come a long way, but there's still a bit of hard feelings about some of the things he used spout.

      -- Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

      by derekd on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:00:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As a person who was not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fl1972

        really involved in politics or current events very much in the recent past, what matters more to me is that an advocate is able to reconsider opinions (wrong or not) rather than whether they are always "right" (probably why I don't like Krugman, who seems like he may be right today but wouldn't listen to opposition tomorrow).

      •  He's admitted he was wrong. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt, Jampacked, fl1972

        About a lot of things. His blog gives me great little glimpses into humanity. He's the kind of conservative I can deal with. I mean seriously, after all this tea bagging shit all day.

        A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

        by Flyswatterbanjo on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:07:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Reading Jane Mayer's (12+ / 0-)

    The Dark Side now, and it's replete with all manner of illegal torture.  After the Spanish Six, they should go after James Mitchell, the psychologist at Gitmo who was largely responsible for the developing the torture regimen.

    •  I had to read that book in sections (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GOTV, marina, Skid, kurt

      because at times I felt so infuriated and astounded by what went on that I just had to take a break and try to process it.  The part where James Comey and another individual (whose name escapes me!--Alberto Mora?  Jack Goldsmith?) had to communicate in code because they feared their own phones were being tapped just about blew my mind.    

  •  THe CIA's reputation, such as it is, is already (13+ / 0-)

    damaged.  IF Obama does'nt release the memos in full, he will be damaging his reputation.  Everyone knows we tortured.  Act like an adult, admit it, and deal with the consequences.

    •  There isn't any good (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, Johnny Q

      ending here. He can deal with the negative consequences of releasing the memos, or he can deal with the negative consequences of withholding them. It will be quicker and cleaner to choose the first set of consequences.

      "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

      by Reepicheep on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:16:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the only reason to redact is to CYA for Bush team (16+ / 0-)

    The release of memos unredacted may be used as evidence of crimes, as was the case in Spain, and could increase the number of Americans who would support prosecutions here if they only knew the truth of what horrendous things were done in our names.

    The CIA is in pure cover-up mode, first destroying the tapes, and now who knows what evidence of torture may be destroyed while the black sites are decommissioned. Nix the torture memos, and CIA is in pretty good shape, adding in the "immunity" Panetta wants them to have from both investigations and prosecutions.

    yeah, the rule of law ... what's that?

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 06:58:21 PM PDT

  •  The CIA is Only Concerned About CYA (9+ / 0-)

    instead of ensuring horrible evils done in our nation's name aren't EVER repeated AGAIN.

    On behalf of my entire state, I apologize for Evan Bayh!

    by CityLightsLover on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 06:58:38 PM PDT

  •  This troubles me to no end. (13+ / 0-)

    Look, I absolutely love about 80% of what Obama's done so far, but there are three areas that are deeply troubling:

    1. How TARP is being handled (Letting Geithner/Summers kiss the banks ass)
    1. State Secrets/FISA stuff
    1. Being wishy-washy at best on torture prosecution

    Of course, #2 and 3 have a lot of overlap.

    I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on #1, since I don't know shit about finance, the first half of the TARP mess was Bush's fault, and it's an incredibly complex situation.

    However, the torture stuff is beyond disturbing. Obama's philosophy seems to be that as long as we've definitively stopped mistreating/torturing prisoners, that's enough, let's move on.

    If he's simply kicking the ball down the road until, say, after the midterms (and hopefully after the economic crisis is somewhat resolved), that'd be one thing--I might not agree with it but I could understand it. He has plenty of political hot potatoes to deal with right now.

    However, if he's truly planning on sweeping the whole ugly mess under the rug permanently, that's another story.

  •  This is about saving political careers of (4+ / 0-)

    Democrats. Let's let the Spanish government have their symbolic trials and work on electing a better leader(s) in 2012. It looks like Obama is fine with being a transitional leader. And that's a shame. And all along I was afraid that torture was something you had to vote out of power. But we can't even get that.

    CNN's Kiran Chetry uses the term "pro-abortion" to describe pro-choice. 3-31-2009

    by plok on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 06:59:31 PM PDT

  •  I thought KO hit it on the head (14+ / 0-)

    Obama is being threatened by the CIA.  He releases these memos intact - they refuse to play ball.

    That endangers all of us.

    So what do we do?  

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4270+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

    by Miss Blue on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 06:59:40 PM PDT

    •  Seriously?? (6+ / 0-)

      Would they really threaten Obama that they would not play ball. If that is the case then there really is no point in bothering with elections?

      Think Tank. "A place where people are paid to think by the makers of tanks" Naomi Klein.

      by ohcanada on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:04:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Purists Don't Realize There's a Full Continuum (6+ / 0-)

        between authoritarian rule and democracy. And it varies with the interest area.

        There's a lot of point to election as far as home-rule issues among the people are concerned. Can gays marry, will we still operate public schools, can we tweak taxation? We definitely have a strong voice in these issues.

        With macro economics and military/intelligence matters, the people have some voice in some areas. But logistically, there's no way their interests can run the country. The people are only a minor special interest compared to global economic ownership and to superpower management.

        No point throwing away our contributing voice where we have it.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:11:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's exactly as true as Obama makes it. (5+ / 0-)

          If he lets some light in, the people will have their say.  Sometimes this happens without a revolution, as it did during the Church hearings post-Watergate.  Well, Bush/Cheney's crimes are far, far beyond Watergate, and they have far fewer allies left than Nixon did.  And dammit, Obama promised us he would do this.

          In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. - H.L. Mencken

          by Simian on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:17:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He said as much to the world (6+ / 0-)

            last week. So, this kind of makes him look like a liar. Me, I'm sick and tired of being lied to. I'm tired of facts and realities being packaged and marketed to me like a bunch of worthless wrinkle creams.

            I'm a citizen, goddamn it, and that Constitution belongs to me and my kids. Thats about all I'll probably have left to give them as an inheritance, thanks to the trillion dollar bank party we're having. Can you at least leave us our dignity?

            "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

            by Reepicheep on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:32:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Excuse me!? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ohcanada, Johnny Q

          With macro economics and military/intelligence matters, the people have some voice in some areas. But logistically, there's no way their interests can run the country. The people are only a minor special interest compared to global economic ownership and to superpower management.

          "Government of the people, by the people, for the people." That's pretty definitive. It doesn't say a goddamned thing about "global economic ownership and to superpower management".

          Investigate or be incriminated.

          by chase on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:34:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Government within governments (0+ / 0-)

          aren't really what democracy is about..I happen to be an admirer of much, not all, of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

          Think Tank. "A place where people are paid to think by the makers of tanks" Naomi Klein.

          by ohcanada on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 12:30:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Threatened? In what way? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lynwaz

      I'm sure there are some people inside the CIA think they have the power to intimidate others. I'd like to see these deadenders try to something from a high security Federal penitentiary cell, if that is what it takes.

      If you honestly feel the CIA controls this country, they we should all be ready for whatever happens in dictatorship. I don't buy it, at all.

      If these memos mean the end of the CIA as we know it, and rebuilding the agency from the ground up, then that it is what should happen.

      •  sigh (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kitty, Harkov311, Johnny Q

        I didn't say I think the CIA runs the country - the CIA thinks the CIA runs the country.

        And the threats are easy to imagine - false intelligence, planted intelligence, no intelligence.  We suffer another terrorist attack because of it, not only do we have the potential of a severe loss of life instantly, we have the potential of major loss of life, slowly over time, due to the Democrats never winning the WH or Congress again in our lifetimes.

        As far as I'm concerned, the best thing that could happen would be to rebuild the CIA, from the ground up.  But before we destroy it, we better be aware of the possible consequences.

        "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4270+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

        by Miss Blue on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:47:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What should we do? Try to help Obama do the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, Johnny Q

      right thing for the country and his own reputation.

      He must exert his power and make is clear who is in charge.  If anyone in the CIA directly challenges his authority he should fire them immediately.

      He is the President of the United States and must think not only of the benefit of our Country and his Administration, but also the precedent for the Constitutional power for all future presidents.

      He must make his own decision and not be manipulated or intimidated by some in the CIA, bloggers, or anyone else.

      I have my own opinions that he should release them, but the more important issues, is that as President he should make the call for what he feels are the right reasons.

      As Commander in Chief, everyone in the Executive Branch, and all the agencies, must obey his command.   No exceptions.   This I believe was the original Constitutional meaning of the Unitary Executive concept.  Not this BS that Bush/Cheney propogated.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:47:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The CIA is a danger in it's current configuration (0+ / 0-)

      Sure there are a few "good apples" doing good and necessary things, but the agency needs some serious reform.  Unless revealing what is being done presents a clear and present danger to the country(in which case it will be explained exactly WHY releasing this information poses such a danger.  And no, "embarrassment doesn't count) we have a right to know what is being done in our names.

      "What if everybody thought like you?" "Then I'd be a damn fool to think otherwise."-- Catch 22

      by Johnny Q on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 02:13:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sanitized For Your Protection (5+ / 0-)

    If <span style="background-color:black">President Obama</span> wants to <span style="background-color:black">redact the memos</span>, then I say <span style="background-color:black">good for him</span>! After all, <span style="background-color:black">unreasonable government secrecy</span> and <span style="background-color:black">subterfuge</span> are <span style="background-color:black">vitally necessary</span> for a free society.

  •  Of course... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    magurakurin, txdemfem, fl1972

    We could wait until we see what they actually release before jumping to conclusions about it, but what would be the fun in that?

  •  This is probably (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    txdemfem, FistJab

    going to get my ass kicked but here goes.  I don't like it but I think the best decision will be made and many of US will be mad as hell ... even me.  The memos will be released - not all will be released - the ones that are released will be somewhat redacted if not highly redacted.

    Demographics do not equal destiny.

    by dr fatman on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:00:55 PM PDT

    •  Our Enemy Here Are Some Guys With Knives (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Reepicheep, kurt

      and zodiac boats that can't attack the nation, can't attack a state, can't attack a city, because they're too small to attack anything more than vehicles and buildings.

      We don't have the enemy USSR on 30 seconds' notice to evaporate North America.

      We can afford to prosecute people for torture and illegal espionage, there are courts and procedures that can protect the few genuinely risky secrets, the mongol hordes are not going to pour over the border from British Columbia if 3-4 CIA or Pentagon officials are tied up in testimony for a morning.

      This whole situation is like The Mouse That Roared meets 1984 and Fahrenheit 451.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:19:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  and when i cry this time, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    they will be the last tears i ever cry.
    there is no compromise possible here, mr. president.
    do the right thing.
    and i will be contacting you, as we all will, in every and all ways possible.
    there is nothing else you can do, if you do not do this. you drown us all: your cabinet, your family, my family.

    Fired UP! Ready TO GO! - Barack and Michelle, Joe and Jill, Hillary, Rahm and me

    by greenbird on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:03:45 PM PDT

  •  The US gave its word in multiple treaties (10+ / 0-)

    that we would investigate and prosecute abuses such as torture.

    We can't ignore this.  We can't outsource it to Spain.  This is our problem, and we need to solve it.

    Obama's political instincts are to try to mute opposition through civility and efforts to reach out to the other side, and this will, no doubt, be seen as not nice.  But we have to do it.  

    We've repeatedly demanded that Bosnia and Serbia hand other those who committed abuses, and those countries have been reluctant but have to some degree complied.  This compliance, and any future compliance, will stop if we say "the law applies to thee, but not to me."

    Don't break the word of the USA, Mr. President.  Prosecute those who broke American and international laws and shamed our great country before the world.

    •  long long old old story (0+ / 0-)

      many broken treaties, many broken words.
      capra made nice movies, but not true ones.
      however, this could be a chance.
      slim chance.
      to bring good light to bear on bad actions.
      not to make for perfect, but ... remember?
      move aside because change is come?
      (someone help me with obama's quote re perfection standing in the way...)

      Fired UP! Ready TO GO! - Barack and Michelle, Joe and Jill, Hillary, Rahm and me

      by greenbird on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:11:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Release the memos (11+ / 0-)

    and let the situation develop. We already know. Everybody already knows. This is not news, it will not shock those who pay attention, and it will not shock the media--all of us have known for years.

    What it will do is begin the process of cleaning the Aegean stables of the sh*t that has piled up. We desperately need to clean house and get rid of the rot and corruption.

    We all know President Obama, we know. It's not new. Now let the process of cleansing and healing begin by releasing these memos and allowing the light to shine in.

    Yes we did, yes we will. President Obama

    by marketgeek on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:04:51 PM PDT

  •  Accountable to the World Can Never Happen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superpole, greenearth, David Kroning

    Accountability within the country, in a serious way, I don't think that can ever happen either.

    It's the end of April, we're at war, the government's not going to move seriously on matters of war and intelligence, and I'm remembering pepper gas & looking for some dandelions again.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:05:06 PM PDT

  •  Unbelievable (6+ / 0-)

    Hard enough to remember that Congress lowered themselves so far as to debate whether torture was ok.  Now we have a president that many of us voted for , worked to get elected and donated money too,  who can not see this as insane.
      Put the memos out there,  and if some sorry Democrats get their ass in a sling , they deserve it.

  •  ...if America will not hold itself to account... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbird, Johnny Q

    ...for torture, the world should do it for us. Wonder if Sully is willing to go that far?

    There's something attractive about invincible ignorance... for the first 5 seconds.

    by MNPundit on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:08:41 PM PDT

  •  If the CIA is screwed so be it. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lynwaz, Krush, beverlywoods, Johnny Q

    Dammit, they followed the orders of a Shrub and a Sith Lord for eight years, it's their own damn funeral.

    President Obama, release the damn memos un-redacted!

    Dana - Ad Astra per Aspera! http://www.angrytoyrobot.blogspot.com The enemy is not man, the enemy is stupidity.

    by angrytoyrobot on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:10:33 PM PDT

  •  ... (0+ / 0-)

    The argument that the agency's credibility could be any more damaged either at home or with foreign intelligence services is laughable.

    Praise Jesus Christ! It works for me. He has a fairly large following.

    by Krush on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:11:46 PM PDT

  •  OMG, he has sold us out! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    formernadervoter, FistJab
  •  Fine. Redact the names of the torturers. (5+ / 0-)

    That ought to satisfy the little weasels.  But Americans have a right to know what has been done in our name.

    In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. - H.L. Mencken

    by Simian on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:12:58 PM PDT

  •  Today was a wild anti-Obama deluge from (13+ / 0-)

    the Right. Tomorrow if Obama doesn't deliver for about half the Kossacks here, it will be a wild anti-Obama deluge from the Left. It will really be fairly savage here, and be my guest.(Last time I read stuff here like Obama was a fascist and a shill for Bush--since both sides are calling him a fascist I'm getting a little confused.)  I'll take three or four days off and let the tempest pass. A couple of weeks will go by and it'll be something else. Go for it.

  •  We have hung people from other countries (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    formernadervoter, Johnny Q

    for war crimes.  

    Well, if Bush/Cheney/Rummy/Rove (etc) committed war crimes then so be it.

    Hang them.

    It's the only way to be sure this is stopped dead.

    It's only fair.  Torture is unacceptable.

    Dana - Ad Astra per Aspera! http://www.angrytoyrobot.blogspot.com The enemy is not man, the enemy is stupidity.

    by angrytoyrobot on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:13:54 PM PDT

  •  What happened to the story (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chase, Lynwaz, Skid

    about Republicans threatening to hold up his nominees' confirmations (as the reason for not releasing the memos)?

    Pres. Obama needs to come clean on this and on other things, in public.  He needs to talk about this to the public, the way he often deems to speak to public about things.  I lose trust in him more every day as he and his legal counsel continues to do things like this.  Where's the transparency he promised?

    CIA is worried about their reputation?  Since when?  They're worried about being held accountable and about legal consequences, that's what they're worried about.  They're worried about being hel accountable for breaking treaties and laws.  They're worried about people asking questions about specific techniques and asking if they are still being used today.  And the bottom line is, everybody from Pres. Obama on down are obstructing, covering up, and covering for the people who allowed and perpetuted these programs.

    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." --Samuel Johnson

    by joanneleon on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:14:10 PM PDT

  •  Whatever Obama does, I have confidence that (8+ / 0-)

    he has a reason. In these matters, where there is a lot we couldn't possibly know that is secret, I'm sure that he'd go for openness if that is at all possible. But if he decides that the info should remain secret, I am confident enough in him that I will trust that his decision is the best one for America. No matter what, Obama has nothing to cover up, so his motives in all respects are not selfish.

    I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

    by doc2 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:14:32 PM PDT

    •  Great. More "trust us" government. (15+ / 0-)

      We weren't OK with it when it was Bush, and we would be hypocrites to then jest say its OK to trust Obama.

      I'll tell you the "reason."  He wants to keep them secret.  Because he doesn't want evidence that will force investigations of the previous administration and CURRENT government employees, because this will distract from his political agenda.

      And that's simply not a good enough reason for me.

      What's ridiculous about hucking squirrels at a man who has angered the Economy?

      by RageKage on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:18:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When Bush was preparing for Iraq I kept (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chase, kurt, Lobstermeyer, Johnny Q

      hearing the, he knows stuff that we don't line, and I didn't like it.  Granted he lied a lot and granted he wasn't smart enough to really know anything (as opposed to guess at it), but for most of these issues you wind up knowing a lot if you just pay attention.  What sort of information could there be in these memos that would make it a bad idea to release them?

      Joan already quoted a portion disgusting enough to make me queasy.  Suppose the worst sections are worse yet.  If it happened it is going to come out eventually.  Let's get it over with, clear the slate and say never again with the kind of crediblity that only full disclosure will bring.

      Yeah it may have some costs for trust with the CIA folks.  Maybe that makes it good for Panetta to argue for the wrong position, but only if he is overruled.  Then he can say that he tried his best for them and he can keep their trust or whatever.  But the worst is out.  What's left is the paper trail to those accountable.

    •  I agree with doc2 on this. n't (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doc2, KayCeSF, fl1972, FistJab
  •  sounds already slightly released to me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Harkov311, txdemfem, Yumn

    Some of the details in this ARE the release, just not yet by people willing to go on record. Right? Isn't this the initial trickle?

    friend good, fire bad.

    by ericlewis0 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:18:11 PM PDT

    •  It's one thing to have a summary of the report (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mvr, Reepicheep, Johnny Q, ericlewis0

      and what is says and it is another to have the actual memos out there that basically go over, in detail, of what happened and how it happened.

      It's like the difference between hearing Chris Brown beat his girlfriend and reading the police report and seeing the pictures of her face.  

      Releasing the documents would be like releasing a police report.

  •  Sully is right .. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mvr, Johnny Q
  •  Discretion now, full disclosure later? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sybil Liberty, marina, 3goldens, Harkov311

    Does this light stonewalling allow the GOP time to set up some kind of defense or coordinated response to minimize the consequences for the ones responsible? Does it allow the GOP time to minimize the effect of the bombshell that would be the fully disclosed torture memos?

    Does holding them back at all hint at an Administration attempt to construct a case against involved parties? Could there be some special prosecutor hiding in the wings, willing to allow this sort of 'limited hangout' while he baits his traps for the deadliest game?

    President Obama keeps telling us to keep him honest, to keep him focused and on the mark. So how do we do this exactly? Does he just need to hear from Americans encouraging him to pull the trigger on this one? Public awareness is high on this issue, but feelings aren't, and ideas on what to do aren't really focused. How do we raise the focus from public outcry to public leverage?

  •  I'm not holding my breath. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oceanspray, kurt, felldestroyed

    This is an easy one.  Based on every thing he has ALREADY done to keep evidence of government crimes in the dark, who in their right mind would think that he would do anything different regarding these memos.

    Oh right.  Probably the same people who thought his appointment of Wall Street insiders to his economic team was a sign he was going to "get tough" with the financial sector.

    What's ridiculous about hucking squirrels at a man who has angered the Economy?

    by RageKage on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:23:13 PM PDT

  •  my head hurts. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens
  •  I don't get it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0, FistJab

    I oppose torture. I'm pretty sure President Obama opposes torture. And if, as many of us have said, we already know what the torture memos say, then exposing them only confirms what we already know. Unless, we don't know everything, which is what I suspect. There may well be foreign policy implications in revealing these memos. It's all very well to say they must be revealed, but why? So that Bush and gang can be tried? Ain't gonna happen. Yeah, I'd like to see them strung up by their toenails (figuratively, of course, because I oppose torture) but asking the President to push that button ignores a lot of political reality. Like how complicit our congress was in this and how many people currently in the administration were also either involved or aware. Does Obama jettison them for going along with President Bush? I don't think so.

    Yeah, I don't like coverups. But I also don't like purity tests and it seems to me that every week we have a new outrage going over something Obama didn't expose, reveal, condemn, etc. Instead of holding him to account for things he didn't do and wasn't part of and is actively trying to stem the damage to America's image abroad, can't we just hold him accountable for the policies he actually implements?

    "The white race is the domineering race, which is why I'm voting for McClain." Anonymous voter on NPR

    by txdemfem on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:28:04 PM PDT

  •  Very disappointing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lynwaz, polar bear, artemtima

    Very disappointing that Obama is not walking the walk on government transparency that he talked in his campaign.  President Obama, I actually believe the excuses you are making for other people's companies, that it would be more expensive and costly to taxpayers to take them over, but that doesn't apply to the CIA.  The CIA is your company.  You are the CEO.  You are acting as badly as the CEOs you criticize.

  •  The whitehouse website has an email form. (5+ / 0-)

    Use it.

  •  There's a moral threshhold for sure (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear, Johnny Q

    and if Obama crosses it, he'll/we'll carry that weight forever.

    And beyond that, it's just plain stupid.

    for crissakes... wtf?

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:36:21 PM PDT

  •  Crowdsource the problem. (4+ / 0-)

    The President is clearly faced with a challenging dilemma, or else he wouldn't be delaying.  While we may say "Let justice be done though the heavens fall," it's never that simple for a real leader.  What creative, outside-the-box ways to get these memos released while avoiding the worst potential pitfalls can we think of?  Barack Obama is a genius, but all of us together (including him) are smarter than he is individually.  Let us help him think.

    The greatest compliment a prophet can pay is to remain silent.

    by Troubadour on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:43:21 PM PDT

  •  i predicted obama (0+ / 0-)

    would back down on this.

    in fact he backs down on everything important .
    words sound nice but where are HIS ACTIONS??

    another kick in the gut to all the people that expected real change.
    no honest supportor of his can accept anything but complete in tact release of these memos.
    enough is ENOUGH!

    "but I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers. still crazy after all these years".....

    by JadeZ on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:46:23 PM PDT

  •  I can add nothing to this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Johnny Q

    There is no compromise possible here, Mr president. Do the right thing.

    Please!!!

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:47:33 PM PDT

  •  How can he keep them "secret"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear, Johnny Q, ericlewis0

    There is no doubt that it would be wrong for the President to suppress this information, however here is one of the worst parts (head bashing and waterboarding approved in advance, in writing) right in the article itself.  Anyone think Obama is going to fire the person who leaked that?  I doubt it.

  •  Arrest Gonzalez, Addington & Yoo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear

    Have Eric Holder announce it in a Patrick Fitzgerald-style press briefing, in which he also warns Americans that these arrests will provoke shenanigans from Cheney's 'Stay Behinds' as well as his various and sundry global contacts. Maybe POTUS can give a speech that night that describes the abhorrent fucktardification of the military/intelligence community under Bush and why it had to be addressed as a National security imperative. The hope is that then Gonzo, Addington and/or Yoo would flip on Cheney, Bush, Rove, & Rumsfeld.
    Just thinking out loud, sorry. That might be a terrible idea.

    friend good, fire bad.

    by ericlewis0 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:53:58 PM PDT

  •  My question is why (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, polar bear

    We know he is a true constitutional scholar and the many hours of interviews on the subject makes his positions very clear.  Why has he taken such different tone since taking office?

    Click here for all your political gear, including new laser etching technology! Don't like mine? Make your own!

    by sgilman on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 07:58:22 PM PDT

  •  The WSJ article is interesting, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, polar bear, Johnny Q, gereiztkind

    especially in the reasons the opponents against disclosure offer for their stance:

    But top CIA officials and some in the White House argue that disclosing such secrets will undermine the agency's credibility with foreign intelligence services.

    Since the broad outlines are already known, how would the release of details undermine credibility? The only thing I can see here - what's suggested in between the lines - is that foreign intelligence services might be implicated in the redacted memos.  That would cause a firestorm indeed, but not something we can or should avoid.

    They also say revealing operational details will embroil officers in probes of activities that were cleared by Justice Department lawyers at the time.

    That is a legitimate concern, but I don't see any way around it.

    Intelligence officials also believe that making the techniques public would give al Qaeda a propaganda tool just as the administration is stepping up its fight against the terrorist group in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    That is a legitimate concern: but it should have been one when the techniques were suggested in the first place.  If we get blowback for a policy we enacted, we can't blame transparency for the blowback.

    Plus, the broad outlines are already known.  The details may indeed add fuel to the fire.

    Some former administration officials have also argued that releasing all the memos could help terrorists train to endure the most extreme interrogation techniques.

    Er... but I thought the argument was that we no longer use these techniques, right?

    Right?

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:00:32 PM PDT

  •  Obama Wimping on Torture Issue (0+ / 0-)

    The amazing thing is that Obama calls himself a Constitutional scholar.  If he can't get this one right, then apparently he hasn't even bothered to read our Constitution.  

    I also wonder how he can be so unconcerned about his legacy.  If I was President, every decision I made would be considered with an awareness of how it would be judged by history.

    Regulate banks, not bedrooms

    by Eagleye on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:02:37 PM PDT

  •  we saw it with FISA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q, artemtima

    and we saw it with his "national security" arguments. Maybe wmtriallawyer can concoct another b.s. diary explaining why we've all got it wrong. It's not just Obama who needs to grow a spine, but also many of our fellow Kossacks.

  •  Obama has already sold us out (0+ / 0-)

    I see so much nonsense coming out of the White House it is not even funny. This argument about "undermining credibility" is utter garbage!
    CIA has already been discredited by torture. How can you discredit credibility of someone who has no credibility to begin with?!
    So much for change... I guess he really meant pocket change. I cannot believe this is who I voted for.

  •  Step back (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Harkov311

    Pretend the characters in this dramatic power struggle are in the old USSR.

    MOSCOW.  No one knows the outcome for the power struggle within the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR, but leaks coming from behind the Iron Curtain tell of a desperate struggle between the KGB and Premier Nikita Khrushchev, who wishes to denounce Stalin's repressions by releasing memos outlining his past torture policies. It is thought that the KGB director supports his boss' transparency policy, but fears his own staff who threaten retribution if the reputation of the KGB is tarnished. Rumor has it there is a compromise plan would allow the release of the damning memos, but the words blacked-out, redacted, thus saving face for all concerned.

    The criminal trial is America's finest, most enduring contribution to the Rule of Law. We betray our core principles when we needlessly cast it aside.

    by mrobinson on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:04:11 PM PDT

  •  C'mn, Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    felldestroyed

    What bothers me about Obama's performance thus far is that in every instance where he had a choice, he has erred in the direction of leaning Right.  I can't think of a single instance where he has surprised with a position more progressive than we expected.

    Regulate banks, not bedrooms

    by Eagleye on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:05:57 PM PDT

  •  If Obama didn't do the right thing by prosecuting (0+ / 0-)

    ...Bush and Cheney, then just what the hell makes us think he's gonna do the right thing by releasing, completely unredacted, these CIA memos?

    Accountability makes a good stump speech, but apparently it doesn't make decent policy.

    Much like Nixon did when releasing mere transcripts of his conversations instead of the full tapes that were ordered, I predict Obama's administration will release the memos with the most important information still redacted.

  •  See my sig (0+ / 0-)

    It's up to the head of our national fish whether we as a republic will rot from the head down.

    "When the government becomes a lawbreaker, it invites every man to become a law unto himself." ~ Justice Brandeis

    by ActivistGuy on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:10:00 PM PDT

  •  OK, I have just one question. (7+ / 0-)

    I favor full disclosure.
    But I have to ask, why are all of you so certain that there aren't some very good reasons for some things to be redacted?  From where do you get that certainty?  Seems strange to me.  You guys already presume that any redactions would be done for no legitimate reason, and I see no basis for such presumption.

    As I said, I favor full disclosure, but if our national security would indeed be compromised, then I favor appropriate redactions.

    •  rec'd your comment because it seems reasonable. (0+ / 0-)

      but the problem is, you can hide anything you want under the rubric of national security.  where does it end?

      seems like we might as well get it out, like throwing up, and take appropriate action, while the world watches us clean up our mess.  i actually think there will be some forgiveness around the world, for the beginnings, at least, as they reflect on how they might have reacted to 9/11.  But grownups 'fess up and take the consequences.  i think the world will respect us more if we do.

      But i'd be glad to hear exactly how they think a ton of redactions are going to help national security.

      •  We elect officials to handle this stuff. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        magurakurin, KayCeSF, Harkov311, FistJab

        "but the problem is, you can hide anything you want under the rubric of national security.  where does it end?"

        You're not going to like my answer, but my answer is that we have elected officials to make that decision.  A response to that might be, "Why should we trust our elected officials?"  My response to that would be to rephrase your original question: "The problem is, you can question anything an elected official does on the basis that we shouldn't trust them.  Where does it end?"  Is the DKos position that we should trust our elected officials on nothing whatsoever?

        I'm sorry, but I do trust Obama more than I did W.  I trust my mother more than I do the lady that lives down the street from me.  I don't buy into the "It's hypocritical to have different levels of trust for Obama than we did W" premise that's been asserted multiple times in this thread like it's an axiom of life.  Life doesn't work like that at all.

        Now, while I do trust Obama more than W, I don't give Obama absolute trust.  But I also admit that I'm not in any position to declare that any and all redactions are illegitimate.  Obama was for full disclosure during the campaign.  If he has changed his mind since assuming office, I have to assume, unless there is evidence otherwise, that he thinks he has a damn good reason for doing so.  The default DKos position is that there is no imaginable reason at all for him to change his mind.  I don't accept that.

        The more righteous among us (not talking about you, polar bear) can declare me an "Obamabot" or whatever, but I'm afraid such taunting isn't going to convince me to adopt their point of view. ;)

        P.S.
        But I'll admit one more thing.  This torture stuff was NOT one of the reasons I voted for Obama.  It's not a reason anyone I personally know voted for him either.  It wasn't even on my radar screen during the campaign, and while I care more about it now, it still isn't one of my top priorities.  Therefore I don't feel strongly about this as others do.  Maybe I would take a more absolutist doctrinaire stance if this issue were a priority of mine.

        •  Exactly. Trust isn't black or white (4+ / 0-)

          Is the DKos position that we should trust our elected officials on nothing whatsoever?

          It sure feels that way sometimes.

          All jokes about not trusting the government aside, at some point you HAVE to trust them to do as they say they will, or else you might as well just not vote at all.  If you take the position that none of them can be trusted, might as well just not participate, since they'll just lie anyway.

          Also, I have to agree that I never hear ANYone talking about this issue except on political blogs.

          All your vote are belong to us.

          by Harkov311 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 10:19:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  about Obama's legacy... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KayCeSF

          "My yardstick for having some confidence (different than “trust”) that someone’s actions will work toward his and her stated goals has three main measurements: First, does that person accurately know what is in his and her self-interest? Second: Does my self-interest coincide with his and hers? And, third: do he and she demonstrate the competence to accomplish what is in our shared self-interest, or not?

          The first and third measurements can only be taken by watching and studying an individual over time and how he or she have confronted past challenges and whether they generally developed tactics and strategies that won more than they lost. That’s what tells us whether the person knows what is in his and her self-interest, and whether he and she are competent in achieving it. On that measurement, Obama – throughout his presidential campaign and in his first months of governing – has stood head and shoulders above his critics of the right and the left, who have been wrong more often than right, and have lost more often than they’ve won even the cherry-picked battles they chose to take on presumably because they thought they could win them."

          -- Al Giordano

          Wish I'd said it...I have no doubt that Obama seeks a presidential legacy fitting our times. I have no doubt either, that we need him in office for two full terms.

          ...and "this torture stuff'? It IS one of the reasons I voted for him.  

          •  I voted for him for a myriad of important reasons (0+ / 0-)

            and this was one of them. But I don't expect him to clean up everything I wanted him to do quickly.

            And I don't think I'm making excuses for him, I just believe he has method in this madness.  I don't envy him or anyone in his cabinet.  They all seem very engaged in their work.

            Especially the intel community is a mess.  Has been for decades.  I want Holder and Obama to sort it out carefully because our country can't afford to go through any of this again.

            And lastly, I'll reiterate that I am concerned about Cheney's deep involvement in the CIA and NSS.  Add that Gonzo and his cohorts were busily involved in protecting Bush and Cheney, and you just know there's a lot to contend with.

    •  This is what worries me. Cheney's Stay Behind (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Harkov311, polar bear

      Cheney’s Stay Behind
      By: emptywheel Wednesday
      April 1, 2009 8:36 am

      By now, you've heard Sy Hersh's explanation for why he hasn't yet gotten the flood of revelations about the Bush Administration he had expected.

         

      HERSH: I’ll make it worse. I think he’s put people left. He’s put people back. They call it a stay behind. It’s sort of an intelligence term of art. When you leave a country and, you know, you’ve driven out the, you know, you’ve lost the war. You leave people behind. It’s a stay behind that you can continue to contacts with, to do sabotage, whatever you want to do. Cheney’s left a stay behind. He’s got people in a lot of agencies that still tell him what’s going on. Particularly in defense, obviously. Also in the NSA, there’s still people that talk to him. He still knows what’s going on. Can he still control policy up to a point? Probably up to a point, a minor point. But he’s still there. He’s still a presence. [my emphasis]

      Read on....

      http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/...

      So... who is left in the CIA that answers to Cheney, and does President Obama have to be very careful with decisions because of this?  Is he taking his time until he finds out who they are?

      •  THIS is the reason for the foot-dragging (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        magurakurin, KayCeSF

        Seriously, McJoan, you want the reason?  That comment above is the reason.  The Bush-era "stay behinds" are doing everything they can to gum up the works.  And they have a very strong incentive to do so.  After all, they may be in legal trouble if they don't gum things up.

        All your vote are belong to us.

        by Harkov311 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 10:13:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, it's a thought, anyway. (0+ / 0-)

          I keep thinking about it while everyone is gnashing their teeth.  And what else is going on we don't know about?  As if any of us here have a clue how complicated it all is. I prefer to remain patient.

  •  The new boss is same as the old boss (0+ / 0-)

    except on education, where he is worse!

    Get rid of Arne Duncan; save our schools from this man.

    Obama used to be for single payer before he came out against it.

    by formernadervoter on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:15:32 PM PDT

  •  Thanks mcjoan for posting this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlynne, kurt, polar bear

    It's so important - I don't know what's more important. No "full plate" that anyone could dream up could be full enough that we should ever stop paying attention to torture and to the government's spying on our own citizens.

    The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free.

    by BentLiberal on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:20:17 PM PDT

  •  it was said so well (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlynne, kurt

    that I will just repeat it:

    "There is no compromise possible here, Mr president. Do the right thing."

  •  Gee, Obama adopts the Catholic Church approach... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlynne, kurt, Johnny Q

    What, us admit to child abuse? That would damage our reputation.

    IF he goes this route (and I have little doubt he will), he's a wimp.

    Our credibility with foreign governments would be much better served by taking out the garbage and holding people accountable for it. And prosecute, as he is LEGALLY required to do.

  •  Its up to us (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sybil Liberty, kurt, polar bear

    his supporters, his base, to pull him this way and away from what I think is his temperamental inclination, to be cautious. If he is - he is. I'd like bold better, but that isn't an option. He likes to strike a path through the middle of an issue, no drama, no wild swings, the mellow middle. He's a teacher, professor, leader, the nurturant father who brings people along at a sensible pace.

    When we want him to draw a bright line, we're going to have to nag him. Or as FDR said, Now go out and make me do it.

    The criminal trial is America's finest, most enduring contribution to the Rule of Law. We betray our core principles when we needlessly cast it aside.

    by mrobinson on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:37:23 PM PDT

  •  It's the corruption (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matthew Detroit, kurt

    You can't turn your back on the corruption of the past administration. The world saw our country under Bush and Cheney become corrupt, unreliable, and untruthful. We need the trust of other governments to survive.

    The criminal trial is America's finest, most enduring contribution to the Rule of Law. We betray our core principles when we needlessly cast it aside.

    by mrobinson on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:42:19 PM PDT

  •  I'm sick of being ashamed of my government. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yumn, Johnny Q

    Please start showing compassion for our fellow human beings, president Obama. Please make true what you said, that America does not torture.

    I'm sure I'm not the only person around here that is sick and tired of feeling ashamed of my government. Voters finally rejected George Bush and his mob of psychotic torture monkeys. The way to avoid being what they were is to stop doing what they did.

    They tortured helpless prisoners. They spied on American citizens. They used law enforcement personnel to repress political opponents and legal protests. They used the Department of Justice to punish Democrats and let Republicans get away with numerous crimes.

    It is time to remove this cancer on the American spirit. If American ideals are to have any meaning, we have to stop behaving like corrupt, paranoid barbarians. We have to begin behaving like a nation with real morality, one that deserves to survive.

    Eight long years, and what did we get? A couple bad wars and a mountain of debt.

    by jimbo92107 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:08:26 PM PDT

  •  Andrew Sullivan's quote added to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sybil Liberty, Yumn

    my daily message to President Obama at the White House.

    For anyone else interested in sending messages here is the address.

    http://www.whitehouse.com/...

  •  The Spanish Inquisition (0+ / 0-)

    could do pretty much whatever they liked as long as they didn't cause blood to be spilled.  I'm not sure our CIA and fellow travelers can claim to have been as civilized.
    I understand that Obama needs the "intelligence" folk, but we really need to identify the responsible parties and "nail them to the wall", so to speak.

    Why can't I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart. ~ H. Williams

    by Andhakari on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 10:08:28 PM PDT

  •  Obama is another DLC corporatist but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    manwithnoname

    what's shocking is how he's supporting unconstitutional denial of habeas corpus, expanding secrecy for the NSA and spying on Americans.  In healthcare and environment he's better than Bush, though still corporatist - won't consider single payer.  He's a huge disappointment, as far as I'm concerned, (and a lot of others) - see Glenn Greenwald's columns at salon.com.
     

    Check out all articles here esp. the scary ones on global warming - http://skirsch.com

    by racetoinfinity on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 12:52:39 AM PDT

  •  where does Obama's capital reside? (0+ / 0-)

    If it resides in the people--if he sees it that way--then publishing the memos gets them/us behind him. A wave of revulsion washes over the country and washes the Republicans away (though the danger of political violence may grow).

    If it resides in Congress, and in votes needed to get his legislation through, many many Democrats are implicated, and they mostly stay hidden. This is the much more likely scenario, no?

    There may also be intense dickering under way about how to cover enough asses, what to reveal.

    I think this opens a few more eyes, however, not only about Obama's lack of progressivism, but about the world that surrounds and constrains him. The national Dem party is far more progressive than the Repubs on internal policy, civil liberties issues, pretty far right on international policy.

    Why are we on this side so much like the other side when it comes to tribe loyalty? Nada Lemming

    by Matthew Detroit on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 01:17:34 AM PDT

  •  He really should release them AS IS (0+ / 0-)

    On this point, I disagree with the President.  There just isn't a good reason not to release the memos unedited.

  •  So Holder's stated independence was a lie. (0+ / 0-)

    Because we were told that Holder would be free to investigate, and take his findings where he thought best.
    Who was it that told us that again?

    St. Ronnie was an asshole.

    by manwithnoname on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 04:15:16 AM PDT

  •  I am all for airing it all out, but I doubt a (0+ / 0-)

    large chunk of Americans have the egos to deal with it. For fuck's sake the wingnuts can't even handle someone actually being honest about not being "proud" of this country every millisecond since it's inception.

    I still believe this is going to come out one way or another, and bush and Strangelove's illegal and inept legacy will be permanently and irrevocably set. But I just have nothing other than a gut feeling at this point.

    Remember the source is one article in the WSJ, hardly having established itself as the source of political reporting and analysis or impartiality in my opinion.

    Remember the White House does have the contact/feedback form.

    "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!" President Merkin Muffley

    by gereiztkind on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 05:55:24 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site