4.06.2009

There Are No Excuses For Ongoing Concealment of Torture Memo

Glenn Beck tackle those who are trying to keep Bush's torture documents secret.

Today, in The Daily Beast, Horton -- citing an anonymous Obama DOJ source and an anonymous Senate GOP source -- claims that Senate Republicans are now "blackmailing" Obama by threatening to filibuster the confirmation of two Obama legal appointees (Dawn Johnsen as head of the OLC and Harold Koh as State Department legal counsel) unless Obama agrees not to release these OLC memos. The Right has been obstructing the nominations of Johnsen (as a result of her aggressive rhetoric condemning Bush crimes) and Koh (for his advocacy of international law). Horton's DOJ source says that while it is true that Brennan has been aggressively advocating against disclosure, it is the threatened obstructionism from the Senate GOP that is the "principal" cause of concern inside the White House.

[snip]

If the Obama administration releases these memos in largely unredacted form, they will deserve credit for doing so. These memos, which an anonymous Obama official told Newsweek were quite "ugly," are virtually certain to fuel calls for investigations and prosecutions and erase all remaining doubt in the eyes of the world how directly and knowingly involved in the torture regime were our highest government officials. Disclosure will require a fair amount of political courage, and if they do that, credit ought to be given.

Conversely, a refusal to disclose these memos, or disclosing them with so many redactions as to render them meaningless, will be absolutely inexcusable. It doesn't matter how loudly John Brennan screams or how many nominations Republican Senators threaten to filibuster. Put simply, there is no legal authority for these memos to remain secret -- ongoing concealment is itself an act of profound lawlessness -- and, beyond that, keeping them secret will constitute the most extreme complicity yet on the part of the Obama administration in the last administration's war crimes. It was Obama who chose to place someone like Brennan in a position of high authority in his administration. That Brennan is now working with Bush-following Republicans to hide evidence of war crimes is, quite obviously, no excuse for continuing to hide it.

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