Obama Administration

White House Has Its Own Way of Screwing with Senate Torture Probe – Ignoring It

Refuses to hand over some paperwork for report

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The audacity of it …
Credit: Scott Beale / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Yesterday, when White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked about the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA accusing essentially accusing each other of illegal hacking* he made it clear that the White House knew what was going on but was staying out of the fight. Given that the White House is the head of the executive branch, their attempt to try to be a neutral party in this scandal is an odd, possibly untenable choice (or cynically, yet another way for this administration from having to hold anybody accountable for anything).

As reporters from McClatchy's Washington bureau explain, though, the White House is assuredly not a neutral party in this fight over the Senate Intelligence Committee's effort to independently probe the details of the CIA's detention and torture techniques under the Bush administration. The way the White House is interfering with the probe is very simple – they're just flat out refusing to give the Senate committee some of the info it's asking for:

The White House has been withholding for five years more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for its investigation into the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program, even though President Barack Obama hasn't exercised a claim of executive privilege.

In contrast to public assertions that it supports the committee's work, the White House has ignored or rejected offers in multiple meetings and in letters to find ways for the committee to review the records, a McClatchy investigation has found.

The significance of the materials couldn't be learned. But the administration's refusal to turn them over or to agree to any compromise raises questions about what they would reveal about the CIA's use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists in secret overseas prisons.

The White House responded to McClatchy's inquiries that the pages withheld raise issues of "executive branch confidentiality interests," but McClatchy notes the president hasn't formally claimed the documents are exempt due to executive privilege. They are nevertheless refusing to hand them over. Read McClatchy's investigation here.  

* Simplified explanation for the sake of brevity. Read all the complicated details here.

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  1. “The White House has been withholding for five years more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the Senate Select Committee…”

    Anyone checked with Snowden about these?

    1. Ah. All of this is absolutely an–no, a set of–impeachable offenses.

  2. The Obama Administration is trying to distance itself from its own intelligence community in all ways conceivable. Let’s see how that works out.

    1. Going pretty well so far.

      1. You know what else went pretty well until it didn’t?

  3. If I thought even a small minority of the senate gave a fuck about doing anything but scoring or guarding points for their team for the next election through this investigation I might be a little more worked up about this.

    I want to be very angry, but I’m having a hard time believing that this is anything more than a blown line in a disgusting bit of political theater.

  4. You would think that the Obama Administration would be happy to expose the horrible crimes of the evil Bush administration, assuming of course they are not guilty of the same things themselves.

    1. [Price is Right victory music plays.] “Johnny, tell John what he’s won.”

      1. At least Bush was honest about what went on. Obama seems to have claimed to object to it while secretly doing the exact same thing.

        1. I don’t think so. I think it’s a case of “if you out us for the horrible things we did under the last administration we’ll out you for the horrible things that your administration is doing” and this is all quibbling over the price and the optics.

          1. Was supposed to be a reply to Tundra.

            /goes for more coffee

          2. maybe. But what are those “horrible things”? I can’t think of what they would be other than continuing the Bush interrogation policies.

            Also, I understand the concern that they don’t want to be held to any standard they hold the Bush Administration too. But that doesn’t bother them in any other context. I find it hard to believe that they worry that prosecuting people from the Bush Administration creates any danger of them being prosecuted. To have that worry, they would have to believe the rules apply to them and they don’t seem to think that.

            1. Snowden already showed that there are things going on that will make the Ds uncomfortable, and I hardly think that he had access to the worst of it.

              Careerism is at the heart of all of this. If the senate threatens the CIA to strongly I have no doubt the CIA could arrange some leaks that will cost the Ds badly.

              At a guess what went on here is that some staffer who is either a true believer that his party has nothing to fear, or is blinded by the thought of everlasting progressive glory said something to someone that made this public without approval and the whole thing shifted to damage control.

              Expect a lot of noise and nothing else will happen.

              1. But if Obama didn’t have anything to hide, he would have slammed the people responsible for this.

                It may also be that the CIA has so much dirt on Obama he can no longer control them. I wouldn’t rule that possibility out. If true, isn’t it just great to actually have a rogue CIA that is blackmailing the President?

    2. Buttplug gave out the talking points in the AM Links. Apparently, the CIA only hacked into the computers so they could delete evidence of Bush and Cheney’s war crimes.

      Gee, Obama had nothing to do with another fake scandal. Who would have thunk it?

      1. LOL. Yeah, the Obama led CIA is just so concerned about the image of the Bush Administration. Really, the whole Obama administration is just that nice.

        Did the retard bother to explain why Obama, who last I looked is in charge of the CIA, is allowing them to cover up for the evil Bush?

        1. The CIA is covering their own ass, you idiot. They erased the torture video library in 2005.

          1. The CIA works for Obama you fucking retard. He appointed the head. You either telling me Obama is a village idiot who has no idea how to control the executive or you are admitting he is covering up for Bush.

          2. They erased the torture video library in 2005.

            They only erased 8% of them.

            1. And Obama has no ability to tell the CIA to do anything. Thinking Obama is President is just you being racist.

    3. You would think that the Obama Administration would be happy to expose the horrible crimes of the evil Bush administration

      Bullshit. Pelosi took impeachment for war crimes “off the table” in 2007.

      All of DC wants to “look forward” and forget 2001-09.

      1. Bush left office. He can’t be impeached. And if Obama were not guilty of shit himself, he would be happy to just release this material and be done with it. There is no downside for him doing it, unless of course he is guilty too.

        1. In Jan 2007 when Pelosi became Speaker she famously said Bush would not be impeached for war crimes.

          This is well before Obama, you tool. At that point Obama was only guilty of being black.

          1. What the fuck does Bush not being impeached have to do with Obama releasing the truth after Bush leaves office?

            Just because they send you the talking points, doesn’t mean you have to cut and paste them.

            This is more pathetic and laughable than you claiming you didn’t predict the Dem was going to win the Florida special election.

            1. Dman, you’re such a liar.

              So now the torture racks of the Bushpigs were Obama’s idea all along and he is complicit?

              1. If Bush did all of that, why is so Obama keen to cover it up?

  5. The Senate could start tossing Executive branchers in the clink if they are serious about this at all. G. Gordon Liddy could give seminars on how to survive the experience.

  6. So finally just NOW the Senate is interested in the torture methods of the Bushpigs?

    No chance of that. They never were interested.

    1. Of course Obama has been in charge of the CIA for five years and could have exposed everything but somehow hasn’t. Who knew Obama cared so much about the Bush people.

      Every day you manage to be more retarded and pathetic.

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