Benjamin G. Davis, Associate Professor of Law, University of Toledo College of Law
Why do the “flies on the eyes” guys (nickname of Cofer Black in the Bush Administration) who are no longer public servants and are ordinary citizens get to see the unredacted full Senate Intelligence Committee CIA torture report before the rest of us ordinary citizens? There is no legal obligation I am aware of for such solicitude to torturers. So, why did the Obama Administration with the acquiescence of Senator Feinstein permit it?
(Update 7/31 – http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/25080-focus-jeremy-scahill-white-house-censoring-what-us-public-can-know-about-torture-program – Jeremy Scahill: White House Censoring What US Public Can Know About Torture Program). Not good enough, Mr. President. Let the sunshine in.)
I await the explanation for this highly irregular procedure. My gut feel is that the current DNI Brennan and McDonough are looking beyond their current work to what they will do after they leave their positions. I suspect the current office holders fear the former torturers have the power to blacklist “uncooperative” current officials to the tune of “you will never work again in this town if you do not play ball.”
Stories also reveal that the CIA has again bugged the Senate Intelligence Committee. This sure looks like people who fear they will be shown up for what many of us have been saying they are since at least 2005 – they committed torture and have to face criminal prosecution.
Recently the European Court of Human Rights found Poland guilty of violating the rights of detainees in the CIA black sites there. One of those detainees, Al-Nashiri, is facing a military commission at Guantanamo and the judge there has ordered the government to provide details of his treatment as part of that trial. If an ally can be made to face the music, then these torturers should be made to face the music in American Courts.
We find that last week, the torturers starting with Tenet were quietly organizing a public relations campaign to counter the release of the report. Instead of playing fair and balanced with all ordinary citizens, the Obama Administration has played favorites – trying to make us believe that some ordinary Americans are more equal than others.
That approach is the sick approach of Animal Farm of Orwell, not of those sworn to uphold the law.
Let me make this crystal clear for this and any future administration. These persons committed torture and people died. As such no statute of limitations applies and they can be prosecuted any time in the future. “No action” letters by DOJ can be reversed at any time. Any reliance on those is without a doubt not reasonable because of the lies said to the DOJ.
It seems to me that now that these torturers have been given unredacted access to this report, that the full 6300 report should be provided to the American people in an unredacted form too. Who is to say what these ordinary citizens with no current legal role might use this irregular privileged access for on behalf of their private clients and maybe even foreign governments?
So many are afraid of providing the truth because they will be shown to have lied so consistently to the American people in a game of perception management. While ordinary soldiers were court-martialed and served years of time doing their bidding, these people then and now use all the levers of power and influence to deflect attention from their crimes.
Some of us have focused on them with laser like attention because we know that what they did was a horrendous betrayal of our troops and of American traditions of both Democrats and Republicans. They were and are crimes. The torturers should not be allowed to besmirch our American flag – that flag is far more than a lapel pin.
So stop the pussyfooting around and release the full 6300 pages unredacted report to the American people and let the chips fall where they may. It will be salutary for America and the world to see how torturers dressing themselves in American flags are just penny ante criminals.