Torture

Obama Preserves Torture Report While Keeping It Secret

Will we ever truly know the full extent that we used waterboarding and abusive techniques on prisoners during the war on terror?

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Gitmo
Louie Palu/ZUMA Press/Newscom

It seems unlikely that the Senate Intelligence Committee's massive 6,700-page report on the CIA's use of torture in interrogations will be declassified at some point during the remainder of President Barack Obama's term. But in order to keep the reports from possibly being destroyed rather than released, the president will be saving a copy in his presidential archive.

There are legitimate fears the report will otherwise be destroyed (one copy of the report has already been "mistakenly" shredded). Though the heavily redacted 500 page executive summary of the report was released in 2014, interest in its contents lasted about a week and then the country moved on. It could very well be destroyed by an administration even more hostile to transparency than Obama's with probably not a huge public backlash.

It's a shame, really, particularly since President-elect Donald Trump has openly called for the return of waterboarding with likely no familiarity with the summary. When the summary of the report was released, it detailed how, in reality, the CIA often used waterboarding and torture not to gather information but to make sure there wasn't any more information they hadn't been told. The brutality of it, the fact that people were killed, and the reality that the CIA had even imprisoned the wrong people, is mostly culturally "lost," even with the documents intact.

The White House's move could keep the full report secret until 2028, but at least it will remain intact. Meanwhile, senators in the committee like Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) say they're going to continue to push for the study to be declassified now.

Read more about Obama's move here. Keep in mind that while Trump has openly supported waterboarding, he has selected a secretary of Defense, Gen. James Mattis, who opposes the use of torture. Mattis may have convinced Trump to reverse his stance. But as with every position Trump has taken (and to think of it, any president), what he actually does in office is going to be more telling than what he says in any given news cycle.

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  1. It seems unlikely that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s massive 6,700-page report on the CIA’s use of torture in interrogations will be declassified at some point during the remainder of President Barack Obama’s term.

    Can’t we just get it from Hillary’s emails?

    1. Which reminds me, by the way… does anyone find it interesting that Hillary and her political machine have identified the Russians as a major cyberthreat to the security of the United States, but at the same time Hillary continues to suggest it was “no big deal” that she ran the business of State on a Dell Optiplex 780 in her basement while her top staff sent passwords via email?

      1. Can’t be both.

        “It could very well be destroyed by an administration even more hostile to transparency than Obama’s with probably not a huge public backlash.” Um, isn’t that a bit premature? Didn’t vote for Trump (voted for GJ), but so many people are treating Trump as if he’s a sitting president. I expect some changes, though I’m not sure we’ll being seeing net gains, but I’m not going to make absolute statements about his administration before it even exists.

        1. The first 100 seconds as president elect are the most important. Nobel Prizes have been won under such circumstances.

          1. I’m beginning to finally get how nuts things have gotten.

          2. I’m looking forward the media scrutinzizing the Inauguration like they’re judging a gymnsatics competition.

            “Next, the President Elect will attempt the swearing in. Oh, no, he was seconds behind the typical cadence while repeating the Oath of Office. What do you think about that Tim?”

            “I don’t know if it’s just cold out there today or if he’s thinking about Putin but that was ugly, Maria”

            1. Nope, they’ll be covering the protests while the inauguration goes on somewhere in the background. It’s like you’re new at this.

              1. It’s like the media lost its collective broadcast antennae, only retaining control of the volume of the static it now broadcasts.

            2. I’m waiting for a new West Wing starring will Smith as the brilliant young president fighting evil redneck Republicans with one hand and white Christian terrorists with European accents Bruce Willis and mel gibson 80s style with the other.

              1. No. President Bruce Campbell.

                1. That I would watch.

                  1. Aaron Sorkin will cast Lena Dunham playing the embattled First Female President. West Whinge being the working title.

        2. Pro Libertate: “voted for GJ”

          Too bad there wasn’t an actual libertarian in the race.

    2. Sure, if the Russians feel like releasing it.

  2. In before a manly-man internet tuff gui tells us about how he gets waterboarded every morning before breakfast and only pussies think it’s torture.

    1. I used to be married. Waterboarding is a sunny day at the water park.

      1. Dude. My wife is going through The Change. I would love to be waterboarded.

        1. It’s like men don’t have the spine anymore to tell a bitch she’s about to be single if she doesn’t shape up.

    2. I mean, i do get waterboarded every day before breakfast, and twice on Sundays, but you don’t see me making a whole thing about it.

    3. I used to eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast.

      1. Huh? Y’all eat pieces of shit?

        1. He’s got chunks of stool in his stool!

        2. It’s recycling. I’m sure Bailey approves.

      2. Eating shit for breakfast is probably why people have certain ideas about you, Crustle.

      3. “You eat pieces of shit for breakfast?”

        “Uh, Nnn-NO!”

    4. So you’re a pussy?

    5. When I was a kid I walked 8 miles up hill both ways in the snow to get waterboarded.
      Bunch of pussies these days I tells ya.

    6. I’m totally confused. It sounded like a porn thing, this waterboarding. I tried to check it out on pornhub but had no luck. I’m starting to think this is not as awesome as it sounds.

      1. When i was in high-school there was a standing record for “Shortest time it would take to get to the bronx (233rd street and White Plains road) and back with weed”.

        Attempts were usually made at lunchtime, usually by car but sometimes people tried by train.

        I believe the record was like “30-something minutes”, round trip.

        1. Did you guys get a mugger handicap?

          1. No, mugging was not a problem in that neighborhood

            (*typical of drug areas – any crime not being done by the dealers is strictly verbotten – attracts attention, and discourages customers)

            what WAS a problem were sting-ops by police, who would pull over cars with white kids seen entering and leaving this one block that just happened to be full of weed-dealers…. or ‘stop and frisk’ kids who were on foot in a neighborhood they had no business being in. but 90% of the time they’d just steal your shit and take your name and say, “next time your mom is going to be picking you up from the station”

            cops never, ever busted the dealers. they just kept them cloistered in a 2-block area.

            1. cops never, ever busted the dealers. they just kept them cloistered in a 2-block area.

              Cut off their source of free weed? Right.

        2. Look at the cis hetero white cracka driving to the bronx in a cis car in high school.
          We had to raise 10 bucks by any means necessary then walk to the weed guy who, yes, was up a hill.

    1. Biggest winner: Big Whippets.

      1. Biggest loser = brain cells

        1. Who are you to judge those brain cells?

    2. Also = i think the stock photos they use in that story have some hilarious subtext.

      I especially like the picture of the black girl with the fro happily receiving a package, with the caption “Drug Mail Drops After Pot Stores Open”

  3. “But in order to keep the reports from possibly being destroyed rather than released, the president will be saving a copy in his presidential archive.”

    Color me cynical, but do we really believe that Mr. Most Transparent Government in Human History is really motivated by a desire to preserve a confidential document — and not instead to hold a thinly disguised form of blackmail over his political opponents, to be strategically leaked by “mistake” when needed?

    1. #2-
      It would appear that this is not your first rodeo.

    2. How many files have dissapeared from the Clinton(s) presidential Library, keep an eye out for Sandy Berger

      1. +10 to all of you.

  4. Will we ever truly know the full extent that we used waterboarding and abusive techniques on prisoners during the war on terror?

    Only if we torture Obama and Dubya.

  5. I can’t tell you how much sleep I’ve lost considering the possibility that hardened terrorists who would love to kill me and my whole family in our beds were put to a few minutes discomfort to save the lives of thousands of Americans — and doubtless others.

    I just want everyone to know how impossibly virtuous I am that I’d gladly trade my children’s lives for this warm, snug blanket of sanctimony that I enjoy.

    1. Well put!
      I love how these pearl-clutchers throw around terms like “waterboarding” – something every one of our special forces had been subjected to – “torture” – a completely undefined term – and now, “abusive techniques”.
      Couldn’t one ascribe locking someone up as “abusive”? Oh, the humanity!
      Seems the NAP applies to those who would very happily kill every one of those they deem to be infidels – let’s not forget, to the “devout muslim”, anyone who doesn’t study the koran in the original arabic is a heretic.
      And they wonder why liberalism is getting rejected, nationwide, except where the gimme crowd dominates – they don’t care what happens as long as the government gravy train pulls into the depot, each month.

  6. As President Trump said, he will go on the advice of General Mattis where this issue is concerned. Don’t play into the Democratic rhetoric. We now have a President that I can ensure you will neutralize the disastrous and destructive path that for some reason Obama put us on.

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