Well done, Plum Line.
There’s a big piece of news about Dick Cheney and torture buried toward the end of this bigWashington Post piece about the torture wars.
Specifically: The White House has decided to declassify and release a classified 2004 CIA report about the torture program that is reported to have found no proof that torture foiled any terror plots on American soil — directly contradicting Cheney’s claims. The paper cites “allies” of the White House as a source.
Dem Congressional staffers tell me this report is the “holy grail,” because it is expected to detail torture in unprecedented detail and to cast doubt on the claim that torture works — and its release will almost certainly trigger howls of protest from conservatives. Tellingly, neither the CIA nor the White House knocked down the story in response to my questions, with spokespeople for both declining comment. Here’s the key nugget from the Post piece:
Government officials familiar with the CIA’s early interrogations say the most powerful
evidence of apparent excesses is contained in the “top secret” May 7, 2004,
inspector general report, based on more than 100 interviews, a review of the
videotapes and 38,000 pages of documents. The full report remains closely held,
although White House officials have told political allies that they intend to
declassify it for public release when the debate quiets over last month’s
release of the Justice Department’s interrogation memos…
Although some useful information was produced, the report concluded that “it is
difficult to determine conclusively whether interrogations have provided
information critical to interdicting specific imminent attacks,”according to
the Justice Department’s declassified summary of it.
This news is particularly timely in light of Cheney’s continuing high-profile claims that torture may have saved “hundreds of thousands of lives.” The report is the one I wrote about recently that the ACLU obtained through litigation in highly redacted form. It has an entire redacted sectionthat discusses the “effectiveness” of torture — or lack thereof.
White House to Declassify CIA Torture Report
The Holy Grail of Torture Reports is apparently about to be released: