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!"

Filed Under: cia, doj, lies, torture report


Reader Comments

The First Word

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 5:33am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 4 Feb 2015 @ 7:03am

      Re: Simple explanation

      They really have no reason not to lie when you think about it.

      How about professional pride? Surely not everyone joined the Department of Justice only because there were no job openings in the Mafia available for criminals of their calibre?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 7:38am

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 8:22am

        Re: Re: Simple explanation

        "How about professional pride?"

        Professional pride? If they had any professional pride, there would have been no need for the torture report in the first place.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 9:16am

          Re: Re: Re: Simple explanation

          I think that was less due to a lack of professional pride, and more a completely lack of even basic humanity in any of those involved.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 7:22am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 7:32am

        Re: Re: Simple explanation

        Indeed, they know it's a rare judge these days who would be willing to stand up to them, or even point out their obvious lies, so of course they show no hesitation is blatantly lying to everyone. After all, who's going to punish them for it?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 8:11am

        Re: Re: Simple explanation

        When lying is so fundamental to everything they do, I don't think there is any thought given to whether their words are true or not. The only consideration when answering any question is "what answer will best meet my needs?"

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, 4 Feb 2015 @ 6:14am

    In other news, water is wet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AJ, 4 Feb 2015 @ 6:17am

    They lie all the time, to courts, to the people, to each other. When they get caught, they just say they "miss-spoke", but when the people lie to them, "It's giving false statements" or "perjury". It's really hard to take any of these idiots seriously when they play by their own rules.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 6:20am

    "We found nothing wrong in the torture report."

    Did you even read it?

    "Uh...no"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 6:25am

    DOJ adds insult to injury

    by torturing the English language, too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jim, 4 Feb 2015 @ 6:30am

    By acknowledging the got the report, and not doing anything, would acknowledge that it is true. Such an assumption makes all Americans war criminals. And punishable by international law. So much for fine hairs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 6:31am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 6:39am

      Re:

      There is no problem. They just have no basis for authority and therefor are not really in charge. Everything else is a song and dance to distract you from that fact.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      eye sea ewe, 4 Feb 2015 @ 3:29pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 5 Feb 2015 @ 5:42am

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        GEMont (profile), 5 Feb 2015 @ 12:28pm

        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.

        ---

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Geno0wl (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 6:47am

    From now on

    From now on can we just call them what they really are?
    AKA the Most Transparently Nontransparent Administration in History.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AnonCow, 4 Feb 2015 @ 6:48am

    If you are willing to torture someone or defend others torturing people, is lying really that much of a moral conundrum?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 8:07am

    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" ??

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 4 Feb 2015 @ 9:14am

      Re: Both are obviously true

      Time to get teabag Palin into the congressional oversight committees.

      They are only for show, so they might as well be funny.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 9:25am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 4 Feb 2015 @ 9:33am

    Time to prosecute them

    I want to see them indicted for contempt of logic. Or trading in counterfeit realities.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Feldie47 (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 9:48am

    Hmmm...
    How do you spell P?E?R?J?U?R?Y?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ambrellite, 4 Feb 2015 @ 10:47am

    The Ministry of Justice would like to remind everyone that the report detailing Oceania's doubleplusgood methods of inquiry has been, has not been, and will never be thoroughly examined. Thank you

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 11:38am

    And we still are looking to the DoJ for truth or justice...why?

    Hasn't the DoJ already proven to be a corrupt institution of incompetence and self-preservation, from the front clerk to SCOTUS, from the last beat-officer to their best specialist?

    It's a mob guys. A street gang. Don't give them an audience.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tavis, 4 Feb 2015 @ 11:59am

    Both statements could still both be true...

    ... if the DOJ didn't even need to open the envelope containing the CD because they had already read every version of the document n intercepted communications.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Matthew (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 1:08pm

    Makes sense to me

    Clearly, since they have (and therefore have seen) a package containing a disc which contains the full report they have, by the transitive property of seeing things seen the full report.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 1:23pm

    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!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 1:25pm

      Re: it's simple...

      says the guy that didn't even read the complete article... apparently it was all on a disc in a sealed package... oh well, i can still pretend that's what happened.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2015 @ 12:49am

        Re: Re: it's simple...

        Yeah, I was disappointed too. I wanted to make a "We read the full report, and all it said was 'DVD+RW'" joke, but then I realized that it was in a sealed package. Oh well. I wonder if there's some other way I could sneak it into the Comments...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 5:20pm

    The League of Doom would be a better name than DoJ. They ignore crimes when it is politically convenient, Holder gets away with constant perjury because it's okay when he does it apparently. while they conspire to make the wealthy and elite get away with whatever laws they happen to break.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 5 Feb 2015 @ 12:16pm

    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."

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.