The news story I’m most interested in for this week hasn’t happened yet: Comey’s testimony before Congress. Since we can’t discuss the current Administration’s scandal du jour at this time, let’s discuss the continued haggling over one of Bush’s old ones.
Congressional officials said on Friday that the administration had begun returning to Congress copies of a 6,700-page Senate report from 2014 about the C.I.A. (enhanced interrogation technique or “torture”) program. The move raises the possibility that most of the copies could be locked in Senate vaults indefinitely or even destroyed — and increases the risk that future government officials, unable to read the report, will never learn its lessons.
Ah, memories. I remember arguing about this policy with some of you in the last decade. Such simpler times.
Knowing what my attitude was on this policy (I approved of it, basically), it might surprise you to find that I’m perfectly okay with the full report being made available to the public. We already know that waterboarding, sleep deprivation, stress positions, and other techniques were used against detainees. What happens if the full details of the program and its methods eventually become fully declassified? Are we going to know it…harder…or something?
The argument that the full report becoming public would increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks against us doesn’t hold up with me either. No matter what, radical Islamists will always find a reason. If there’s a story to be told in this report that we can all be wiser for, then let it be told.
Honestly, I think that the intelligence and military related committee members from both parties are keeping the report under wraps because they don’t want everyone to know the full extent of what they knew and allowed. Note too that the intelligence community, which apparently utterly sucks at keeping secrets, hasn’t managed to leak this report.
Let’s not kid ourselves that this report is being suppressed for anything other than political ass-covering reasons. Nothing more.