Obama Admits 'We Tortured Some Folks' But Doesn't Seem Too Concerned
from the because-making-it-folks-makes-it-okay dept
However, at a press conference today, President Obama appeared to more breezily admit to it by noting "we tortured some folks." That seems like a... rather informal way to talk about war crimes, committed by the US government, which Obama himself refused to do anything about. Again, we feel the need to remind people that the only person in jail concerning the CIA's torture program... is the guy who blew the whistle on the program, John Kiriakou.
And, of course, the obedient White House press corps that Obama was speaking to didn't seem to probe. As Conor Friedersdorf points out, a good question a reporter might have asked in response would have been: How many people who were involved in torturing "folks" are still employed at the CIA?
Meanwhile, the president also said that he completely stands behind CIA director John Brennan, even following the revelations of the spying scandal (and, more importantly, Brennan's lies about the scandal).
“I have full confidence in John Brennan,” Obama said in a White House press conference. “I think he has acknowledged — and directly apologized to [Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman] Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein — that CIA personnel did not properly handle an investigation into how certain documents that were not authorized to be release to the Senate staff got somehow into the hands of the Senate staff.Yes, but John Brennan also angrily insisted that no spying was done (multiple times) and claimed that it was the Senate staffers his CIA employees were spying on who had broken the law, and even referred them to the DOJ for possible criminal prosecution -- all without any basis at all. Brennan hasn't shown that he's interested in "learning lessons" or "resolving mistakes." He took a reflexively bogus position, lying to defend the CIA. And this isn't the beginning. Much of this came about because of Brennan's earlier attempts to shred the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on how "we tortured some folks" by insisting it was inaccurate. It was only when the Senate Intelligence Committee was given (apparently by accident) an internal CIA report that confirmed their own findings, that Brennan was questioned about this, leading the CIA to start spying on the staffers.
“It’s clear from the [inspector general] report that some very poor judgment was shown in terms of how that was handled," Obama added. "Keep in mind, though, that John Brennan was the person who called for the IG report, and he’s already stood up a task force to make sure that lessons are learned and mistakes are resolved."
This isn't the kind of thing you just wave away. All of this -- the torture, the coverup, the lying and the spying -- are pretty big deals. And it's immensely troubling that the insider DC response seems to be "eh, a few mistakes were made, but it's okay."