(Updated below the post)
Watching Barack Obama effectively evade having to deal with Bush era illegalities has been difficult for his progressive supporters. The president’s commitment to “looking forward” at the expense of discovering the truth about the Bush administration interrogation policies has led many to question their support for Obama. If you’re one of them, read on, and I’ll attempt to quiet your doubt.
You must view this clip from the June 10 broadcast of the Rachel Maddow Show. Along with Newsweek‘s Michael Isikoff, Rachel discusses the anticipated release of sensitive and revealing documents pertinent to the torture issue. The exchange between the two journalists is immediately preceded by excerpts of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D – RI) speaking from the senate floor Wednesday morning. Rachel described his speech as “long, indignant, impassioned speech…”
Read Whitehouse’s June 10 speech in its entirety HERE. He eviscerates Dick Cheney’s much publicized explanation of the CIA interrogation tactics.
So, we’ve got a lot to look forward to over the next week. The un-redacted statements from “high-level members of al Qaeda” will be released on Friday. However, these won’t do much sway the opinions of Bush defenders. The 2004 CIA Inspector General report, having been prepared while Bush was still in power, will be more difficult to deflect. We can expect the CIA IG report to be released on June 19. Let’s just hope the CIA doesn’t get carried away with the black marker.
While Obama’s efforts to remain at arm’s length from the torture controversy, his previous disclosure of Bush administration Office of Legal Council memos set events in motion that have led to the above mentioned releases. From the NewYorkTimes, June 9, 2009:
Mr. Obama’s decision in April to release legal opinions from the Bush administration on interrogation, which were sought in a lawsuit, has opened the door to the disclosure of other documents…
The NYT article assigned the credit for the upcoming disclosures to the ACLU and their legal efforts to get these documents out in the open. Indeed, more power to them, but don’t you think that a savvy politician like Obama would have anticipated this outcome? The question remains, however, did he intend it?
I’m inclined to think that the president wants this information to be viewed by the public, and if I’m correct, we’re witnessing an incredibly wicked political rope-a-dope… but, I’m an optimist.
Update -11 June 2009:
Unbelievable! The documents that were to be released today are, literally, in the mail. Snail mail. They should be delivered on Monday. I’m surprised that the CIA couldn’t arrange for a secure e-mail connection. /s
Image from Flickr user: journocan - by way of CreativeCommons.org