Ridiculous: John Kerry Asks Dianne Feinstein Not To Release CIA Torture Report After Agreement Was Reached To Release On Monday

from the paging-mark-udall dept

Okay, this is just getting ridiculous. We’ve written plenty about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s massive $40 million, 6,000 page torture report, detailing a variety of failures related to the CIA’s torture program after 9/11. While the Committee voted (overwhelmingly) to release a redacted 480 page executive summary of the document, and the White House insisted it wanted to do so as well, since then it’s become clear that the White House was going to do everything to block it from actually getting out.

Yesterday it came out that an agreement had finally been reached on the redactions and that it would finally be released on Monday. Apparently, the CIA/White House won the battle over the question of redacting pseudonyms — which was a key fight. Basically, those who have seen the report say that if you redact the pseudonyms, important parts of what happened are greatly distorted (such as who is doing what). But apparently, that’s what was agreed to anyway.

However, after everyone started gearing up for the release on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry apparently called Senator Dianne Feinstein to argue that she should “delay” the release of the report, claiming that the timing is “sensitive” and that the US is worried it may mess up a variety of things:

?What he raised was timing of report release, because a lot is going on in the world — including parts of the world particularly implicated — and wanting to make sure foreign policy implications were being appropriately factored into timing,? an administration official told me. “He had a responsibility to do so because this isn?t just an intel issue — it?s a foreign policy issue.”

To put it simply, this is a complete bullshit argument. There’s always going to be “a lot going on in the world” especially in areas who are going to be upset by the report. There’s never going to be a “good” time to release a report that details just how screwed up the CIA’s torture program is — but it’s the only way to actually start the process of making things right and making sure that we, as a country don’t do that kind of thing again.

In fact, if the government is so damn concerned about the reaction to the release of the report, here’s an idea: don’t let the government do stuff that leads to a report that will create such a reaction!

Furthermore, the argument that a “delay” is necessary makes no sense either. Beyond the fact that there’s always something going on in the world, in this case, they’ve known that this report was coming for months. To argue they haven’t had enough time to prepare is clearly bogus. Back in April the State Department was whining about this as well, but now it’s had months to prepare and it’s still whining?

Finally, the claims by the State Department that it’s just asking for a delay, rather than to shelve the whole report ring hollow. One of the reasons that it’s coming out next week is because, after that, the Republicans are back in control, and they’ve indicated that they’ll bury the report entirely. At this point, if Feinstein gives in to Kerry, it seems like the only viable option for getting the report out to the world is to have outgoing Senator Mark Udall release it himself on the floor of the Senate.

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Comments on “Ridiculous: John Kerry Asks Dianne Feinstein Not To Release CIA Torture Report After Agreement Was Reached To Release On Monday”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Silver lining

On the one hand, it’s disgusting that the report isn’t already public, but on the other hand, the long, drawn out fight over the report has managed to draw out a good number of politicians and government officials and lead to them exposing their support for the practice of torture.

Nice to know clearly and without doubt just who in US politics supports torture, so you know who never to vote for.

As for the release of the report, though I imagine it’s nothing more than a nice thought, the best case scenario at this point would seem to be them releasing the report in redacted form, and then Udall, before he leaves office, making public the report in unredacted form. Let the public see just what the government tried to hide.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Silver lining

Eh, at this point I don’t imagine there will be many more names to add to the list of torture supporters, as most of the ones who haven’t spoken up are smart enough not too, and I think being able to find out just what the government tries to hide would have more value than outing one or two more torture supporters.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“It’s only war crimes if you’re at war with the people you’re torturing.”

Not true. According to Us code 18.2441 (the US law that implements international war crimes rules) it’s a war crime if you’re doing to the citizens of another nation that has signed on to the Geneva convention. It doesn’t matter at all if you’re “at war” with them or not. It’s also a war crime of it is related to hostilities within the same nation (in other words, a nation can totally commit war crimes on its own citizens.)

Jonathan Lam (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I would appreciate your sisyphean task in protecting humanity in overriding the Geneva and Hague; but 40 million in cost on investigation and release such report is redundancy. I am offended by the US law that implements international war crime rules. why Diane Fienstien? Does she really want to take out CIA like us did to Russia in her international war crime rule?Is she bigger than Geneva and Hague, or just artificial or manufactured intelligence that cherry picking information wrapped in humanity?

Since I was an oilman,and I knew a thing of two in Yukos that US attempt to corrupt their citizens in changing Russia into a democratic society. We made it happened in Ukraine too just like Vietnam.Now, we are coming into the cold war that we are not prepared for.

You sounds like a lawyer and I am an oilman, we both need reality check not hyperbole…..

Dave Cortright says:

Help us, Mark Udall; You're our only hope.

…if Feinstein gives in to Kerry, it seems like the only viable option for getting the report out to the world is to have outgoing Senator Mark Udall release it himself on the floor of the Senate.

This is what I’m hoping for, as it would be a hell of a lot more enlightening than a heavily redacted “report”. That’s “report” in quotes because we’re not even talking about the full report, are we? This is the executive summary. We’re dancing around. I’m sure there’s shit in there that’s completely shameful, but it’s about time this country signed itself up for a 12 step program, made a searching and fearless moral inventory, and start making amends.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: What happened to the 1971 Kerry

I see politics as a mirror of the society at large. Just to add to that: Corruption is likely worse in the less corrupt countries in the world according to lists. It has just been institutionalized and eventually accepted by the people working in those institutions as acceptable practises.

Taking shots at politicians is easier the more difficult it is to get into political positions of power for “normal people”. USA has mostly stopped developing democracy in that area or started regressing and that is a crying shame for the future of defining a democracy. That EU and most of the rest of the world is worse in this regard is no excuse.

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s sad John Kerry considers torture part of America’s foreign policy. If Kerry feels the urgent need to hide America’s foreign policy from world view, then we must have a real shitty foreign policy. Which would explain a lot of what’s happening around the world.

Equally ironic is the fact that America’s foreign policy is directly responsible for a great deal of the turmoil going on worldwide.

Viewed in this light. Kerry appears to be arguing that there will never be a good time to release the torture report. Due to the never ending turmoil our foreign policies keep perpetuating.

Kerry appears to be stuck in an infinite logic loop.

Dwight Neller (profile) says:

“What happened to the 1971 Kerry”

Owned for desertion and he’s a skull and bones shill.

We tortured people (not just folks). We created new “terrorists” in the process, and now we are facing a very dedicated, religiously charged group of angry people who want revenge. The 2 party system in the US has been dead for decades ….

We also killed this innocent 16 year old American Citizen with the President’s “autopen”:

Abdulrahman al-Awlaki

with drones and hellfire missiles in a country we are not officially at war with … ordered by the President himself.

How many non-Americans are killed by this complicit President every day? Very few will ever know.

GEMont (profile) says:

...and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out...

“… is to have outgoing Senator Mark Udall release it himself on the floor of the Senate.”

Dunno folks. Since that is such an obvious possibility, methinks the Most Transparent Administration In American History will have by now threatened his pension, his family and his dog with dire consequences should he do such a dastardly deed as to expose their crimes against humanity by reading the Torture Report aloud to all, from the Senate floor.

I suppose it all depends on how honest the man really is, but lets face it, the administration can use some pretty heavy coercion tactics with its unlimited budget and endless army of unknown body and character assassins, and cause him all sorts of grief if he does not play ball their way.

I don’t think he’ll carry out such a personal suicide mission on his way out of the cage.

Hope I’m wrong.

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re: ...and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out...

Happy to see you use the word interesting rather than the more commonly used terms like “odd”, or “strange”, as it is no longer either strange or unexpected. Historically speaking, its more than common.

One might also note that while murder is effective – “dead men tell no tales” – coercion via threats of harm to loved ones, threats of losing occupation/income, and threats of public exposure of sexual or other “immoral” activities, usually works well enough to make murder an exceptional action of last resort only, and thus rare, even when orchestrated accidents are easily manufactured.

Once accustomed to life above the law, most people are more than willing to do whatever it takes to continue on in that life style. Great wealth almost always eliminates morality altogether and induces a sort of unique cowardice because the rich believe they have more to live for.

Given those aspects of the game, the true number of highly placed persons currently under coercive control can be better estimated.

Blackmail in some circumstances, also carries the added bonus of victim assistance – that is, once someone has capitulated to blackmail to prevent exposure of some crime or immoral act, they become your patsy for life and can aid in carrying out all sorts of clandestine operations from whatever position of power they occupy.

While the use of the term “interesting” does not truly describe the import of any of the standard tactics of fascist take-over, at least it does show that some folks are paying attention.

Because of the social programming of Partisan Groupie-hood mentality – akin to having a favourite beer or baseball team – most fascist takeovers succeed without the public ever realizing they have been conquered until the rot has been fully established and the fascists are already planning their escape and selecting their next target host.

JP Jones (profile) says:

The funniest part about this whole thing is that the more they redact and delay the worse the situation gets. Most of the time people can imagine much worse than they can be shown. It’s like a horror movie, the monster is the most frightening when you know it’s there but can’t see it.

The more they redact the more people are going to assume the worst. The reality could be the torture was “pinched the subject on the cheek” and, via redaction, we’ll all read it as “ripped out the subject’s teeth and sent them to his children as a gift.” We’ll assume that, because it’s redacted, they think it’s so bad we shouldn’t see it.

In other words, they might as well show the truth because anything they redact we’re going to assume is bad anyway. At least with the truth we’ll know the limit and maybe they’ll regain a tiny bit of trust.

I know, it’ll never happen, but it still amuses me.

GEMont (profile) says:

Getting Caught

I think that in this case especially – The Public Surveillance Program – the Government Snoop Forces are reacting very badly because they really did not expect to be caught.

It is the natural attitude of criminals to believe they will not be caught – the notion of “if/when they are caught” does not compute.

With the Snoop Force, they have the world’s greatest cover – the USG – and the world’s best Get Out Of Jail Card – the USG – and can use the data they collect to blackmail any official into dropping any charges that might have accrued had any of them been caught with a finger in the wrong jar.

The idea that consequences might follow their actions simply never occurred to them. They felt they were immune to justice.

I believe that this is the main reason why they are using – as you mentioned – the obviously incriminating massive redaction of documents and outright lies and trickery to hide as best as they can the details of their wrong doing, and why they are so vehement in their hatred of Snowden and so vocal about their fear of other whistle blowers.

They got caught.

They’re still in shock.

Anonymous Coward says:

In fact, if the government is so damn concerned about the reaction to the release of the report, here’s an idea: don’t let the government do stuff that leads to a report that will create such a reaction!

I’m sure there are a lot of politicians and senior security guys that would love to take that advice. By making sure there are no more enquiries, or at least none that find any wrongdoing.

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