Selective Transparency with the CIA “Torture” Memos

Posted on April 21 2009 9:55 am
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When Muslim extremists capture a non-Muslim, the result is sometimes a gruesome beheading which is videotaped and disseminated to the media. By contrast, when U.S. military personnel capture an enemy combatant, they occasionally employ interrogation techniques such as sleep deprivation, waterboarding, and confinement in a small space with a harmless caterpillar. Yet critics of America have characterized these tactics as “torture,” while having little or nothing to say about Islamist beheadings, stonings, or acid attacks.

Last week, the Obama Administration released a number of “torture” memos detailing the use of Bush-era interrogation techniques that were aimed at gaining valuable information from suspected terrorists. On Sunday, a former head of the CIA, Michael Hayden, slammed Obama for having made the memos public, stating that the disclosure of such interrogation methods would simply “embolden terrorist groups” and would give them foreknowledge about what to expect if captured.

Conspicuously absent from the documents that Obama made public was vital evidence showing just how effective these interrogation techniques had been. Last night, former Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on FOX News’ Hannity program to discuss the matter.

“One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure,” Cheney said, “is they put out the legal memos … but they didn’t put out the memos that showed the success of the effort.” Cheney went on to discuss how many of the policies enacted by the Bush Administration to keep the U.S safe from terrorism are currently being dismantled by the Obama Administration.

President Obama has been careful to point out, on numerous occasions, his professed dedication to running a “transparent” government. But it seems that in this instance, “transparency” extends only to matters that will discredit the Bush Administration.

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