Thursday, May 14, 2009

Today Time reports that the CIA has declined to review for declassification the two memos that former Vice President Dick Cheney insists would vindicate the Bush Administration program of "enhanced interrogation". The explanation is that the memos are involved in pending litigation, specifically a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Amnesty International. At a guess this is the suit filed by Amnesty along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and the International Human Rights Clinic at New York University School of Law's Center for Human Rights and Global Justice in June, 2007. If so, the chances are that Mr. Cheney knew about this hurdle already when made his initial request Mar. 31, 2009. Meanwhile, as reported in the Time piece, Senator Russ Feingold is saying:
"I am a member of the Intelligence Committee, and I can tell you that nothing I have seen, including the two documents to which [Cheney] has repeatedly referred, indicates that the torture techniques authorized by the last administration were necessary or that they were the best way to get information out of detainees."
Is Cheney pulling a bluff, knowing that his declassification request won't be acted upon any time soon? I would be tempted to think so except I don't see how he then deals with the eventual release of the documents. More likely he simply reads more significance in the text than does Senator Feingold.

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