Release The Torture Report!


Jane Mayer notes that the government has produced the definitive report on the Bush-Cheney torture program. It was a long process to get to the truth and past the CIA’s self-serving bullshit, so effectively conveyed to Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow. You and I paid for this:

Working often seven days a week in catacomb-like basement offices, they have culled through some six million pages of nearly indecipherable internal intelligence documents in search of the truth. From this research, they have compiled a six-thousand-plus-page report with something like thirty-five thousand footnotes. To make it more digestible, they have boiled this down to a three-hundred-page summary…

More to the point, in his hearings for CIA director, John Brennan, formerly ambiguous about the war crimes of some of his CIA colleagues, we discovered this:

Brennan had claimed publicly in 2007 that the C.I.A.’s treatment of terror suspects had produced valuable intelligence, and perhaps even saved lives. But after reading the report, Brennan acknowledged under oath that he now doubts this.

In response to a question from Saxby Chambliss, the Republican vice-chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Brennan said, “I must tell you, Senator, that reading this report from the committee raises questions about the information that I was given at the time, the impression I had at the time.”

The only logical inference from this is that the CIA lied to Congress and even perhaps the Bush-Cheney administration about the nature of the evidence produced by using the torture methods of the Gestapo and the Chinese Communists.

But, of course, the CIA is somehow a separate government all itself and now is busy redacting, editing and presumably pruning the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report. Senator Feinstein gave the CIA six months to finish the job. The deadline has passed.

It seems to me that the pro-torture case or the anti-torture case would be greatly enhanced by a deeper and better understanding of what actually happened under the rogue vice-presidency of Dick Cheney. There will never be a more definitive report than this one. There should be no question that it be released immediately – to us, the general public, so we may better understand the scale, nature and results of torture, and thereby assess the public defenses of the torturers.

Why is this report not available yet? Why is the CIA allowed to see, let alone, doctor the Senate Intelligence Committee report? And where is the president? He promised us a more transparent presidency. Yet on the gravest matter imaginable – the evidence that senior government officials authorized war crimes – a comprehensive report is still bottled up and kept from us. The US has already taken a huge blow to its moral standing because of the psychotic ego of Dick Cheney. The only way to try to reverse this is at least to be honest about what this country did. And the principles it betrayed. And the bad intelligence it may or may not have acquired.

Why, in other words, have we been debating a movie “based on true events” when we have the truth to debate … and our own government is withholding it from us?