DOJ Tells Court It Hasn't Even Opened CIA Torture Report… After Telling Reporters It Read The Whole Thing

from the YOU-TOO-CAN-SUPPORT-THIS-LIE-ON-LESS-THAN-A-CONUNDRUM-A-DAY! dept

I don’t care who you are (even, say… the government), but if you’re going to tell two different versions of a story, it helps to not have both in print and publicly available.

Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation caught the DOJ spinning two different yarns for two different entities about its familiarity with the CIA Torture Report.

If you can’t see the tweet, it says:

DOJ told NYT they read the full torture report

Then, DOJ swore in court they didn’t.

Huh?

Included were links to the source material. In arguing for the continued withholding of the full version of the CIA report from the NYT, here’s the DOJ telling the paper of record one thing:

The Justice Department said in a statement on Tuesday that its investigators had looked at the full version of the Senate Intelligence Committee report “and did not find any new information that they had not previously considered in reaching their determination,” adding that Mr. Durham’s “inquiry was extraordinarily thorough and we stand by our previously announced decision not to initiate criminal charges.”

And here it is in court, defending its withholding of the report from a different FOIA requester:

“None of the defendant agencies have freely used the Full Report; they have kept it stored in a [sensitive compartmented information facility], with limited access,” the government’s declaration reads. “Neither [the Department of Justice] nor [the Department of State], moreover, has even opened the package with the disc containing the full Report. And CIA and [the Department of Defense] have carefully limited access to and made only very limited use of the Report.”

In both cases, the DOJ is justifying continued secrecy, but in only one case does it claim to be intimately familiar with the subject matter. So, which version of the DOJ’s story is true? One would hope the declaration before the court would be the truthful statement, but you know what they say about “wishing with one hand.” By the time you’ve worked your way through that process, your faith in the government dies a little more and you’ve defecated in your own hand — neither of which are pleasant outcomes.

The only certainty here is that the DOJ will say whatever it wants to say in order to further its position. And that position is: shut up and stop asking. We’re not going to let you see the full Torture Report. Another powerful blow against for government secrecy has been struck by the Most Transparent Administration in History. You may now continue your wholly sarcastic chants of “USA! USA! USA!”

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Comments on “DOJ Tells Court It Hasn't Even Opened CIA Torture Report… After Telling Reporters It Read The Whole Thing”

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39 Comments
That One Guy (profile) says:

Simple explanation

They could be telling the truth actually, it would just take some creative reading.

The Justice Department said in a statement on Tuesday that its investigators had looked at the full version of the Senate Intelligence Committee report “and did not find any new information that they had not previously considered in reaching their determination,” adding that Mr. Durham’s “inquiry was extraordinarily thorough and we stand by our previously announced decision not to initiate criminal charges.”

Neither [the Department of Justice] nor [the Department of State], moreover, has even opened the package with the disc containing the full Report.

They said they had looked at the report, they didn’t say they had actually read it. It’s possible they spent a few hours examining the package that it was sent in, and after the ‘extensive investigation’, naturally they didn’t find anything new or evidence for criminals charges, for the simple fact that the only thing likely to be on the package was a name, address, and a listing of what was in it.

Alternatively, and much more likely, they’re lying, with full confidence that no judge will have the guts to call them out on it, since most judges are completely spineless when it comes to anything the government says or asks for. Worst case scenario for them, a judge does call them on it, maybe delivers a minor slap on the wrist for their lie, and that’s the end of it. They really have no reason not to lie when you think about it.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Simple explanation

Yeah, the only way a government employee could maintain ‘professional pride’ these days is to be totally corrupt, completely uninformed, or unbelievably naive.

The mafia are downright amateurs compared to the government. The mafia can shake down a few businesses, maybe bribe a few police and politicians to look the other way. Those in politics and government though? They don’t even need to do that, they just ignore the laws, or change them to suit their wishes, safe in the knowledge that no-one else in charge has any interest whatsoever in so much as slowing them down.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Simple explanation

That’s smart and cunning if it is the case (and there’s no reason to believe it’s not) but I’d offer another explanation: the DOJ doesn’t care. They think they are above the law and justice so who cares if they lie to the courts? And what’s worse, there will be no consequence for the lies which will reinforce that mindset.

Anonymous Coward says:

We have the Government BLATANTLY violating the Constitution and committing horrendous acts against humanity without repercussion. Meanwhile the police are busy gunning down citizens for minor infractions.

What the fucking fuck is wrong with this country? This is a far cry from what the founding fathers intended. This is a complete travesty.

eye sea ewe says:

Re: Whose fault is that?

You pride yourselves on being free and a significant number of you don’t even care enough to vote or stand for elections. You go on and on about your rights and your constitution but actually do nothing about changing the abuses. You as a nation are rah rah rah about how great you are and how good everything American (as of USA American) is but don’t provide any responsible direction and actually live to the standards you espouse.

You have forgotten that individual freedoms mandate a corporate responsibility by those free individuals to maintain those freedoms. You only have those freedoms and rights because a group of men and women took upon themselves corporately to create and protect those freedoms and rights for the individual.

Get off your obese behinds, become active in the political arena and start making changes. If enough of you do this, then maybe, just maybe, you’ll see changes for the better.

If all you do is complain, nothing will change except get worse.

I live in a country where we don’t have your protections. We actually don’t have any rights guaranteed by a decent constitution and yet we can at times make significant changes to our political system.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: Whose fault is that?

Ouch! But it needed to be said. Americans don’t take corporate responsibility because they’re mostly divided over a phantom and a boogeyman.

The phantom is the myth of the free market. The story goes that mere supply and demand can effect change in company policy, even when that company dominates the market by locking out the competition using paid-for legislation.

The boogeyman is socialism. Many Americans actually crap themselves at the mention of the word, even though they don’t really know what it means; they mostly assume it involves locking everyone up in gulags, confiscating personal property, and giving it away to undeserving couch potatoes. POOR couch potatoes, no less. This, they believe, is being done even now via social welfare programs and free (or affordable) healthcare so they bitterly oppose it.

Now try to imagine people on either side of this divide working together, bearing in mind that they consider the opposing side to be their enemies.

In order to maintain this state of affairs, the mainstream news media, which is owned by about six corporations, does everything it can to promote and encourage this divide. The main way it does this is to encourage people to believe that votes for third parties are always wasted so the best they can hope for is to get the candidate they despise the least into office. Thus the system perpetuates itself.

The only solution is to encourage people to think for themselves but they won’t, since doing so would expose them to the wrath of both sides in the American culture wars.

And that is why I post anonymously.

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re: Whose fault is that?

Ummm… about those rights guaranteed by that “decent constitution” thing…. well, you see, its umm… those rights no longer actually exist because umm…. well… because its not really a “decent” constitution any more, because ummmm… well you see, the people in office decided to reword it secretly after 9/11 to allow them to do the same things that officials in countries that don’t have rights guaranteed by a decent constitution can do and so ummm…. welcome to the gulag that was once called America.

TheResidentSkeptic says:

Both are obviously true

1) They have a full version of the report on their network in a private/shared folder and in printed form.

2) They requested that a copy be burned to a CD, packaged, and delivered to them.

They have read #1; They have never opened #2.

See how easy gov’t speak is to prove to be “truthy” ??

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s so depressing how this is obviously just a big game to all of the people who made this possible.

The government wanted to brutalize people without having to call it torture, so they got their lawyers together, read the rules (LAWS), and gamed them until they could craft a justification that not only gave them what they wanted, by burying it under convenient legalistic euphimisms.

Afterwards, when people found out more about how the government decided to brutalize people without having to call it torture, they ran back to the convenient legalistic euphimisms. Waterboarding is okay, as long as we call it “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”, oh wait too descriptive! Let’s go with “EIT”, sounds like a week-end seminar, not physical abuse and degradation.

Now when it comes down asking the DOJ if they even read the damn report, they play rhetorical games without even bothering to hide the deceptive nature of it all.

The people making this possible are horrible, horrible people, and I hope someday that at least some of them realize it.

Anonymous Coward says:

it's simple...

“that its investigators had looked at the full version of the Senate Intelligence Committee report “and did not find any new information that they had not previously considered in reaching their determination”

Cuz the investigators looked at it, saw a giant stack of paper, and said: “nope, we ain’t reading that – so… no new info to report here!”

GEMont (profile) says:

Didn't say we actually "read" it - nya nya

The Justice Department said in a statement on Tuesday that its investigators had looked at the full version of the Senate Intelligence Committee report…

Conversation between the “Investigators” looking at the full version of the Senate Intelligence Committee report.

“Hey Joe, is that the full version of the Senate Intelligence Committee report over there on the table?”

“Uh, yeah Milt, the coffee dude just dropped it off.”

“We should take a look at it then huh.”

“Uh yeah, I suppose we should take a look at it Milt.”

(3 minutes pass)

“Damn. That sure is a thick document Joe. Just look at the size of that thing.”

“Gotta admit it Milt, its a lot thicker than I thought it would be. I figured they would have removed 99.9% of the original report before releasing this thing.”

“They sure did leave a lot more than I would have thought possible Joe.”

“Yeah Milt, that is really a thick report.”

“So you want to hit the pub for lunch Joe, or just go to I-Hop?”

“Let’s do the pub today. I can use a drink.”

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