Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cheney is so predictable

Back in April I wrote

During a hard hitting and highly critical interview from ace investigative journalist Sean Hannity, Dick Cheney asserted that he has "formally asked" the CIA to declassify memos revealing all the important information that the United States got from torturing prisoners.


My guess is that if there is anything to be released, it will be more of the sort of bogus and selective claims about the effectiveness of "enhanced interrogation" that the administration has previously made.

During the debate over torture this spring, Cheney claimed that CIA memos, which he had asked to be declassified, would prove that torture proved effective in obtaining actionable intelligence.

Well, yesterday, those memos were released, along with the CIA inspector general's report. And, surprise surprise, they don't begin to show what Cheney said they did.

The memos, from 2004 and 2005, do say that some detainees, particularly Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, gave up useful information during debriefing sessions. But nowhere do they suggest that that information was gleaned through torture.

Indeed, as Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent shows, most of the evidence suggests they came through traditional interrogation techniques. As Spencer puts it: "Cheney's public account of these documents have conflated the difference between information acquired from detainees, which the documents present, and information acquired from detainees through the enhanced interrogation program, which they don't."
Update: It appears that one of the documents released was not actually the document Cheney had requested. (Although it doesn't appear that there will be all the much difference between this document and other other.)

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