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The Washington Post reports today that the "CIA is pushing the Obama administration to maintain the secrecy of significant portions of a comprehensive internal account of the agency's interrogation program."

The officials say the CIA is urging the suppression of passages describing in graphic detail how the agency handled its detainees, arguing that the material could damage ongoing counterterrorism operations by laying bare sensitive intelligence procedures and methods.

The May 2004 report, prepared by the CIA's inspector general, is the most definitive official account to date of the agency's interrogation system. A heavily redacted version, consisting of a dozen or so paragraphs separated by heavy black boxes and lists of missing pages, was released in May 2008 in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union....

Some former agency officials said that CIA insiders are fighting a rear-guard action to prevent disclosures that could embarrass the agency and lead to new calls for a "truth commission" to investigate the Bush administration's policies.

Two former agency officials who read the 2004 report said most of its contents could be safely released and, if anything, would seem familiar. General information about the agency's interrogation program has already been made public through the Obama administration's release of memos by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel authorizing the harsh CIA techniques and through the earlier leak of a 2005 report on CIA interrogations by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The broad conclusions of the inspector general's report, as well as its specific assertion that some interrogators exceeded limits approved by the Justice Department, have previously been disclosed.

"[CIA Director] Leon Panetta has been captured by the people who were the ideological drivers for the interrogation program in the first place," said a former senior officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity when discussing the still-classified report.

Greg Sargent speculates that this effort to suppress information is to try to "keep chunks that would undermine Cheney under wraps." This 2004 report from the CIA, according to various reports from officials who have seen it, will show that the CIA knew then that there was no proof that torture uncovered terror plots. One chapter of the report, which was released in heavily redacted form in response to an ACLU suit, is on "effectiveness." That chapter had been entirely redacted from the previous release.

That could be part of the resistance, but it appears that the larger part of it is that the CIA knew then, as it knows now, what it was doing was illegal. From the WaPo story:

he report further questioned the legality of using different combinations of techniques -- for example, sleep deprivation combined with forced nudity and painful stress positions, according to sources familiar with the document. While Justice Department lawyers had determined in August 2002 that the individual techniques did not constitute torture, the report warned that using several techniques at once could have a far greater psychological impact, according to officials familiar with the document.

"The argument was that combining the techniques amounted to torture," said a former agency official who read the report. "In essence, [Helgerson] was arguing in 2004 that there were clear violations of international laws and domestic laws."

This is ongoing CYA from the CIA. They know that torture was illegal, they're fighting tooth and nail to avoid disclosure and potential prosecutions. The discouraging part is that it will probably work, again. Here's Dan Froomkin's take on it:

Give them an inch, they'll take a mile. Now that President Obama has shown that he can be rolled when it comes to his commitment to transparency, the defenders of torture are shamelessly pressuring him to keep their secrets even when court rulings and common sense say otherwise.

The latest attempt -- which finds complicit CIA officials pushing Obama to renege on his administration's pledge to release a highly critical 2004 CIA inspector general's report -- is so blatantly self-serving that even some former CIA officials are condemning it as unjustifiable.

Stop letting them play you for a sucker, Mr. President. Return to your principles. Let the sunshine disinfect this wound.

Hear, hear.

Marcy has an excellent post fitting the new information from this report into what we already knew about the Bush torture regime.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:50 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Shhhhhhh! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    limpidglass, Nada Lemming

    I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

    by SocioSam on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:52:15 PM PDT

  •  Emptywheel is a national treasure . . . (7+ / 0-)

    March has managed to connect more of the dots than anyone out there. I hope that someday the reconstructed truth puts all of these Cheney-fied assnuggets in prison where they belong.

  •  IMO you should stop (0+ / 0-)

    spamming this shit. how about putting 10% of that effort to health care advocacy instead of chasing ghosts? I know that takes REAL efforts and makes REAL differences so it is not that important compared to this shit, right?

    If you can't drink a lobbyist's whiskey, take his money, sleep with his women and still vote against him in the morning, you don't belong in politics.Jess Unruh

    by FistJab on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:58:02 PM PDT

  •  I guess we know now who really runs America (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur, Nada Lemming

    and it ain't the people or their elected officials.

    It's a shadowy, totally uncontrolled group of assassins, spies, and torturers, and their backers in the Pentagon and in the defense industry.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:58:38 PM PDT

    •  yea (0+ / 0-)

      and some think Jews run America and the fed is out to get them (the Holocaust guy being one of them).

      Conspiracy theories are wrong, from either side of the asile.

      If you can't drink a lobbyist's whiskey, take his money, sleep with his women and still vote against him in the morning, you don't belong in politics.Jess Unruh

      by FistJab on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:02:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Conspiracy theories" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, cybersaur, poxonyou

        that posit some cabal controlling all important world events are wrong, but anyone is naive who doesn't realize that influential groups and individuals on the defense and intelligence establishments (among other power nexuses) do indeed often exert themselves to sway policy from behind the scenes, in accordance with their own preferences.

        •  That (0+ / 0-)

          is exactly what limpiglass said. He thinks the DOD is or the defence contractors are the ones running the gov. He didn't  mention they got all their no bid contracts gutted BY CONGRESS under Obama. Also thier big shiny weapons under the DOD budget. so much for that theory.. now back to Jews running things.. hmmm... I hear isreal is not happy with us these days.. so that cant be right.. let me guess.. OBAMA is running things right now! we elected him! ding ding ding.

          If you can't drink a lobbyist's whiskey, take his money, sleep with his women and still vote against him in the morning, you don't belong in politics.Jess Unruh

          by FistJab on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 08:37:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Leon Panetta is a lapdog at the feet of power (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Molly M, cybersaur, JML9999, Nada Lemming

    A total jellyfish

    _________________
    "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold, is for
    people of good conscience to remain silent."
         --Thomas Jefferson

    by FreeSociety on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:59:58 PM PDT

    •  So does that make him a Jelly Dog (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, rubine

      or a Lap Fish

      Got confused with the mixed analogies

      Dear GOP&Conservatives If all you have to offer are Cliches and Hyperbole then STFU. Thanks XOXOXO

      by JML9999 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:02:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It makes him yet one more OBAMA pick (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Molly M, JML9999, rubine, Nada Lemming

        that only serves the power Elite in this Country, and is all too willing to just flush The U.S. Constitution and the Country right down the toilet.

        Obama talks a good game, but he stacks the deck of our government in favor of the Elites, the Oligarchs, the NeoCons, and the Wall Street crooks.

        _________________
        "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold, is for
        people of good conscience to remain silent."
             --Thomas Jefferson

        by FreeSociety on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:10:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  only serves the power Elite (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, Got a Grip, rubine

          Our treasury Secretary comes to mind.

          Dear GOP&Conservatives If all you have to offer are Cliches and Hyperbole then STFU. Thanks XOXOXO

          by JML9999 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:11:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Easy does it (0+ / 0-)

            The force of reaction lost the election. They are out of power. What can they do without real power?  Only try to exert influence somewhere, somehow within the walls of the Obama administration. This is now happening on top of the usual pulling and hauling in any new administration.

            We need to stick by Obama while demanding he sticks by us. He needs to know we look to him to make, ultimately, the right decision.

  •  And we don't want to undermine Cheney Why?nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lady Libertine

    Dear GOP&Conservatives If all you have to offer are Cliches and Hyperbole then STFU. Thanks XOXOXO

    by JML9999 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:00:22 PM PDT

  •  In Amerikka, KGB Always Work For Cheney nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RElland, cybersaur, JML9999

    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 Jun 17, 2009 at 07:00:55 PM PDT

  •  Please understand torture didn't start under Bush (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clio2, rubine

    ANd likely hasn't truly stopped under Obama. The CIA has engaged in torture, as well as taught and supported regimes that tortured, for decades. They have a strange, sick, fetish for it. Human Rights groups are worried that worse has occurred, and may still continue, under other prisons that they do not have access to. Guantanamo Bay is just the only one in the spotlight. The new big one is in Bagram, Afghanistan, among others. Again, as I advised in another thread, please read Noami Klein's Shock Doctrine (currently a NY Times Best Seller), as well as William Blum's Killing Hope, Chomsky, Zinn. They've been labeled radical in the mainstream, but their analysis is spot-on.

    "All [US govt model based countries], without exception, have succumbed to the nightmare [of breakdown] one time or another, often repeatedly." - Bruce Ackerman

    by PoxOnYou on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:03:40 PM PDT

    •  We also must understand how terrible it is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clio2, rubine

      The superficial manner in which torture has been discussed in the mainstream media really doesn't convey how sick and evil it truly is. Water boarding simulates drowning. But the more widespread torture involves destroying a person's mind through sensory deprivation. When our senses are deprived, we go insane and revert back to a childlike state. Observers noted at Guantanamo Bay that many prisoners were speaking and behaving like children. Even that may sound fine, but it means their mind is completely fucked and they've lost all sense of reality.

      "All [US govt model based countries], without exception, have succumbed to the nightmare [of breakdown] one time or another, often repeatedly." - Bruce Ackerman

      by PoxOnYou on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:09:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CIA agents still trying to save their (7+ / 0-)

    own asses from being arrested and tried for torture.
    Got it. Understood.

    So the terrorists of Gitmo are stronger, faster, and better than the USDOJ? The Senate thinks so. My. How "American".

    by RElland on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:09:44 PM PDT

  •  Cover-up? (6+ / 0-)
    What is it that the government, my government, feels compelled to keep from me? What has ocurred that would so endanger my fellow citizens that it must be kept in wraps. Could it be that the events not to be released are in fact illegal and what is going on is a government cover-up? It is our government. We have the right to hear from it.
  •  Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Molly M, rubine

    can't upset the applecart.

    Too bad.

    Dennis Kucinich was right.

    by lisastar on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:12:17 PM PDT

  •  protect criminals (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur, rubine, Nada Lemming

    If the president protects criminals after the fact, isn't he considered equally guilty?  This is very depressing--if not Obama, who can right this ship?

    •  I don't think anyone can (0+ / 0-)

      Before someone is allowed near the presidency in this broken system, all the necessary bargains are struck in advance to ensure that things continue exactly as they are--with minor, cosmetic modifications if absolutely necessary.

      Only way is to wait for the ship to grind to a halt of its own accord, then right it.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:22:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just watched "Taxi To The Dark Side" today (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Molly M, cybersaur, Clio2, rubine, Nada Lemming
    Mr. President, if you want to maintain any sort of moral leadership, you need to man up and expose this BS>

    "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." A. Einstein

    by bewert on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:14:10 PM PDT

  •  CIA Still Trying to Suppress Torture Evidence (6+ / 0-)

    Obama Administration Still Trying to Suppress Torture Evidence

    There, I fixed the title for you.

    "[Y]ou give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confessing to the Sharon Tate murders." -Jesse Ventura

    by Nada Lemming on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:15:41 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, Mcjoan! n/t (5+ / 0-)

    The ekpyrotic theory hypothesizes that the origin of the observable universe occurred when two parallel branes collided.

    by rubine on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:17:35 PM PDT

  •  EVERYBODY KNOWS! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, cybersaur, Lady Libertine

    WTF is the purpose, other than to evade the law.

    Torture good, Marijuana bad.
    Doc in the Twitterverse

    by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:20:11 PM PDT

  •  We on the " Fringe Left " (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poxonyou, socalmonk

    may not want to hear a single thing Obama has to say by this time next yr when he gears up to run for his second term. He might want to ask himself how he can hold a townmeeting when be asked embarrassing questions about the broken promises. WTF is the fringe left anyway ? Those who expect our president to keep his word and follow the Constitution without looking for the loopholes.

    Grow Marijuana go to Prison, Torture a Detainee to Death and earn a Medal. No wonder people get high.

    by SmileySam on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:30:15 PM PDT

  •  What Obama's ready defenders fail to grasp (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, cybersaur, Clio2, Lady Libertine

    and/or acknowledge is that, as hateful and doomy and gloomy as it sounds to THEIR ears, all of these criticisms of Obama undeniably bad policies on such matters are not only the only way to get him to change them for the better, but in some cases have actually worked. Criticism isn't just necessary--it WORKS.

    It's pretty much the Obama MO by now:

    1. Commit to doing X good policy.
    1. Turn around and decide to do Y bad policy.
    1. Get excorciated by the left.
    1. Turn around and decide to do X after all, albeit in somewhat watered-down form. Or, alternatively, still do Y, but not as badly as originally intended.

    It's the Obama 4-step. Now, whether he does this by design, or it's just his weird flip-floppy way of arriving at an end policy, it's how he does things, and we have to work with it, by continually calling out his bad policy choices and pushing him to do better.

    It's called participatory democracy, by the way. The only kind that works, I might add.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:30:28 PM PDT

  •  what (0+ / 0-)

    are they holding over his head? Im sorry Im probably terribly naive or something, but I just dont get it.

    Some former agency officials said that CIA insiders are fighting a rear-guard action to prevent disclosures that could embarrass the agency and lead to new calls for a "truth commission" to investigate the Bush administration's policies.

    a rear guard action? what is that supposed to mean? I know, I know, but... I thought when he said he would restore the Rule of Law, he meant he would... restore the Rule of Law. Surely he's tough enough to stand up to this? So, yes he can, but no he wont. Okay. Got it.

    Buy the ticket, take the ride. ~HST

    by Lady Libertine on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:47:57 PM PDT

    •  CIA torture program in the spotlight (0+ / 0-)

      They've gotten away with using, and teaching other regimes, torture for decades without the American public aware of it. I think they still feel its valid, for whatever insane/evil reason, and don't want it to be truly banned by the government. That will only happen under the pressure of an angry American public that is clearly informed about what is happening with our money, under our name.

      "All [US govt model based countries], without exception, have succumbed to the nightmare [of breakdown] one time or another, often repeatedly." - Bruce Ackerman

      by PoxOnYou on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:53:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that part I do know (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cybersaur, poxonyou

        I got this most insanely absurd email reply from my Senator the other day, I dont even remember what I wrote her specifically, but its obvious... it had me spitting nails:

        Thank you for contacting me regarding interrogation methods employed to obtain vital, time-sensitive information from terrorist suspects. I welcome your thoughts and comments.

        President Barack Obama and other Congressional and Administration officials have left open the possibility of prosecuting past Bush Administration officials in the Office of Legal Counsel and other offices that were involved in so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques."  While I continue to support the use of these techniques in certain circumstances, and consider them an essential tool in the protection of our country, I deem their use secondary to the larger issue.

        I believe that the potential prosecution of officials of any previous Administration because of policy differences is wrong, vindictive, and counter to historical precedent. The prosecution of attorneys for giving legitimate legal counsel to the President runs against our long-standing legal tradition.
        Sincerely,
        Kay Bailey Hutchison
        United States Senator

        Yah, "an essential tool"... whatever ... but doesnt she know it IS illegal? sheesh.

        I guess the good news there was that she seems to think that BHO has NOT RULED OUT the possibility of prosecutions.

        Buy the ticket, take the ride. ~HST

        by Lady Libertine on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 08:03:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  A rear guard action is when (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Garrett, Lady Libertine

      the brass in charge leave a handful of foot soldiers behind with just enough ammunition to die a heroic death while the brass escapes.

  •  News is odd these days (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    huntergeo

    CIA Officials Team With Newspaper in Fight for Secrecy
    Intelligence Officials Expose Story to the Washington Post

    By R. Jeffrey Smith and Joby Warrick
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Wednesday, June 17, 2009

    Two intelligence officials have disclosed that, as part of a coordinated pushback plan, two CIA officials had telephoned and emailed two reporters at a major newspaper in the days shortly before release of a CIA Inspector General's report on detainee treatment.

    The purpose of the newspaper contacts had been to pressure the administration to omit damaging information from the report.

    Invoking sensitivity of the issues, the two intelligence officials declined to be identified for this story. Invoking secrecy, they declined to identify the two CIA officials involved. They also declined to name the two reporters and the newspaper the CIA had used to plant the story.

    Yes, of course, this goes on all the time. But has it got to be so damn odd?

  •  Thanks for the update (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur

    Eventually, I'd like to see all of the people responsible for this torture program behind bars. To that end, we have more information collecting on Framed: Prosecuting Officials for Crimes. Let's keep up the pressure until at least one of these people goes to jail.

    I'm really tired of problems coming up and remaining unfixed because no one seems to be able to do anything hard any more. What's with the Obama Administration that they can't do a simple thing like execute the law? I really wonder about their sanity, sometimes.

  •  #@%$& #@%#@%$ @%$#$^%$ %^#$# (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur

    @%$#%$# %$^$^# @$#%$# $%$#%$&^%$

    Just add your own curse words. I'm usually a very patient sort, but I get so irritated at the obviousness of the cover-up and obfuscation involved here.

    I know, I know, keep the pressure up, push, push, push. It's like sucking an elephant through a garden hose. And the only result of getting the elephant through the hose is more horror.

    "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers." - Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

    by Uwaine on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 03:14:53 AM PDT

  •  Obama needs to avoid Carter's fate re. the CIA (0+ / 0-)

    I want that information released as much as the next person.  I want war crimes to be prosecuted according to due process as much as the next guy.  And while I am reluctant to make any excuses for the Obama administration's decision not to disclose information about the CIA's allegedly illegal conduct, I also do not want Obama to suffer the same consequences that Carter did after he "overhauled and cleaned up" the CIA during his term.  

    One thing you really don't want is to have a bunch of disgruntled guys trained in covert operations unemployed and angry at you and your administration, willing to go to work quite secretly and effectively for your political opposition.  The CIA is good at what they do.  We're talking about the National CLANDESTINE Service. Obama needs to find a way to bring these guys over to his side, not piss them off.

    I have no idea how he does that.  They feel vulnerable. They're going to try to protect themselves.

  •  CIA Torture Cover-Up (0+ / 0-)

    8 people were tortured to death, maybe more.  I guess they didn't have anything to give their torturers.  Nothing like pre-meditated murder by government officials documented meticulously to get videotapes of the crimes destroyed and documents kept secret.

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