If you’re already reading this site, you don’t need me to tell you how much of a fraud Barack Obama is. His love affair with cronyism and devotion to lack of transparency has been documented in countless venues for many years now. Nevertheless, his actions continue to do irreparable harm to this nation, and as much as it has become a tedious affair at times, highlighting his hatred for justice remains an important job.
His latest intervention on behalf of the forces of opacity, revolves around the release of a report on CI.A. torture put together by The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is 6,000 pages long and has been five years in the making. Naturally, the Obama Administration is taking painstaking efforts to block its release.
The New York Times reports that:
WASHINGTON — In a tense confrontation with President Obama’s closest adviser on Thursday, a group of Senate Democrats accused the White House of trying to censor significant details in a voluminous report on the use of torture by the Central Intelligence Agency.
During a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill with Denis R. McDonough, the White House chief of staff, the senators said that the White House was siding with the C.I.A. and trying to thwart negotiations over the report’s release. The negotiations have dragged on for months because of a dispute over the C.I.A.’s demand that pseudonyms of agency officers be deleted from the report.
The C.I.A., supported by the White House, has argued that even without using the real names of the officers, their identities could still be revealed.
Perhaps I missed something, but we are preventing the public from seeing the torture report to protect officers who may be guilty of war crimes? Absolute madness.
According to several people in attendance, the meeting was civil, but neither side gave ground, and it ended without resolution. The Senate Intelligence Committee spent five years working on the 6,000-page report, which is said to provide grim details about the torture of detainees in C.I.A. prisons during the Bush administration, and describe a persistent effort by C.I.A. officials to mislead the White House and Congress about the efficacy of its interrogation techniques.The committee voted this year to declassify the report’s executive summary, numbering several hundred pages, but the fight over redactions has delayed the release.
The confrontation on Thursday was a sign that Senate Democrats are worried that whatever leverage they have in having the report declassified on their terms is dwindling. Republicans will take control of the Senate in January, and the Intelligence Committee’s new leadership could choose to drag out the report’s release even longer. Most Republican members of the committee have long been opposed to the investigation — which they have said is a partisan attempt to discredit the Bush administration — although several committee Republicans voted in favor of declassifying the report’s executive summary.
Yep, rather than making things better, Republicans will make things worse. Big shocker.
With their time in power running out, some Democrats have suggested that they might take the extreme step of bypassing the executive branch and declassifying the report themselves. One option would be to use an arcane Senate procedure to release the report, and another would be to use the Constitution’s “speech or debate clause” to read it into the record from the Senate floor — an echo of 1971, when Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska read parts of the Pentagon Papers aloud in a Senate committee hearing.
Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, a Democratic member of the Intelligence Committee who recently lost a bid for re-election, suggested recently he might resort to this tactic.
Please, Mr. Udall, do it.
When the Senate began its investigation in 2009, the C.I.A. came up with the pseudonyms as a way to protect the true identities of undercover officers involved in the detention and interrogation program.
Some Senate Democrats argue that it is absurd for the C.I.A. to now try to keep those pseudonyms hidden from public view, saying that blacking out the names distorts the report’s narrative and hides the fact that some of the abuses were carried out by the same people who continued to be promoted within the C.I.A.
Protecting their own? Priority number 1. Protecting the citizenry and the rule of law? Irrelevant.
The protracted battle over the detention and interrogation report led to a separate dispute between the Intelligence Committee and the C.I.A. after senators accused the agency of spying on committee staff members working on the investigation. An inquiry by the C.I.A. inspector general found that several agency employees penetrated a computer network used by the Intelligence Committee and read the emails of the Senate investigators.
Protecting the criminals as usual. Just another day in Neo-Feudal America.