Thursday, April 23, 2009


Why Obama and Democrats don’t want to tackle Bush regime torture

by Larry Geller

Well, why don’t the Democrats want to investigate torture carried out by the Bush regime? Maybe because key Democrats were complicit in the program themselves.

Glen Greenwald pointed this out in this article—posted at on December. 9, 2007:

The Washington Post reports today that the Bush administration, beginning in 2002, repeatedly briefed leading Congressional Democrats on the Senate and House Intelligence Committees -- including, at various times, Jay Rockefeller, Nancy Pelosi, and Jane Harman -- regarding the CIA's "enhanced interrogation methods," including details about waterboarding and other torture measures. With one exception (Harman, who vaguely claims to have sent a letter to the CIA), these lawmakers not only failed to object to these policies, but affirmatively supported them.

This information was almost certainly leaked to the Post by intelligence officials who are highly irritated -- understandably so -- from watching the manipulative spectacle whereby these Democrats now prance around as outraged victims of policies to which they deliberately acquiesced, when they weren't fully supporting them.

Digby has additional thoughts on this same subject here. The bottom line is that the law requires that Intelligence Committee members such as Pelosi, Harman and Rockefeller be briefed on such activities not because briefings are fun or intrinsically valuable. Rather, the whole point of their being briefed is that they are expected to engage in oversight, which means that they are supposed to do something when they learn that the President and the CIA are breaking the law.

There you have it.

It will take pressure from the multitudes who supported Obama to get him to do the right thing now that he has released the torture memos. If you read Greenwald’s article you’ll see why pressure is necessary. The chips will fall all over the place. Supporting torture was a completely non-partisan undertaking, it seems.

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