Skip to main content

Senators Ron Wyden, Dianne Feinstein, and Pat Roberts in an Intelligence Committee meeting.
A declassified version of the report may not be available for months.
American advocates of torture will be very angry:
A hotly disputed Senate torture report concludes that waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods provided no key evidence in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, according to congressional aides and outside experts familiar with the investigation. [...]

Feinstein will push to release a summary of the intelligence committee's review later this week, starting a declassification process that could take several months before any documents are made public.

Also, the phrase American advocates of torture exists. Several of them were in charge of the government, the CIA and the military, which is why we needed a Senate report on the lessons learned from torturing presumed-guilty foreigners in secret locations shielded from the normal rules on what is or is not a war crime. The Senate report will presumably not dwell on whether we should be dispatching those that ordered American organizations to conduct torture to the international courts, or ponder the deep moral question of whether a nation that tortures prisoners is the sort of nation we should content ourselves with being. The torturers and the lawyers for torturers and the people that reported on the torturers and the people that took the torturers' jobs when the torturers were voted out of office have all agreed that whatever introspection we might take on for our own sakes is fine, so long as that introspection does not result in measurable consequences. Reports are fine. Repercussions are not.

As it turns out, the rule of law is exceedingly fungible when you are in charge of the laws. We've seen time and time again that what you or I might have assumed the constitutional rules to be with regards to The Big Questions—torture, surveillance, whatever else might come up—are not the actual rules. The rules are that anything can be done, so long as it is not found out, and that if it is found out the very Senate that is currently running its report on American use of torture through a final spellcheck will pass a new law declaring the newly found out thing—say, the cooperation of utility companies and the government in a vast and sweeping network of domestic surveillance—to be retroactively legal, or at least legal enough, or at least pardonable under the constitutional doctrine of spilled milk.

Feinstein and other senators have spoken only vaguely of the contents of the classified review.

But they have made references to the divergence between their understanding of how the bin Laden operation came together and assertions of former CIA and Bush administration officials who have defended harsh interrogations. [...]

They rejected former CIA Director Michael Hayden's claim that evidence on the couriers began with interrogations at black sites and Attorney General Michael Mukasey's declaration that intelligence leading to bin Laden began with Mohammed.

An official report was crafted by the Senate to determine whether or not the American advocates of torture were correct in their assessments that torturing prisoners was a useful thing. The only thing worse would be an official Senate report that agreed with them that it was.

Originally posted to Hunter on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 11:18 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site