Think the headline is harsh? It’s all true. Just today, the CIA has admitted that there was a second 9/11-esque attempt to be made on Los Angelos, with the goal of killing thousands of Americans. This information was found out ahead of time by the CIA using waterboarding techniques to extract this information from unwilling al-Quaida terrorists in custody.
Former US Vice-President Dick Cheney has urged the CIA to release memos which he says show harsh interrogation techniques such as water-boarding work.
His comments follow the publication of memos written by Bush administration lawyers which justified the techniques.
Mr Cheney said that the decision to publish the memos was a mistake.
And it was misleading, he said, because the documents did not include those demonstrating that harsh interrogation delivered intelligence “success”.
“One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure is that they put out the legal memos… but they didn’t put out the memos that show the success of the effort.
“There are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity. They have not been declassified. I formally ask that they be declassified now.”
The American people should have a chance to weigh the intelligence obtained alongside the legal debate, he said.
Mr Cheney made his comments as US President Barack Obama visited the CIA headquarters just outside Washington.
In a move seen as an attempt to boost morale, Mr Obama told employees that the CIA remained key to protecting the country.
Staff had faced a “difficult” few days, he acknowledged, but they had his full support and were key to tackling threats from groups such as al-Qaeda.
Mr Obama said he had had no choice but to release the Bush administration’s legal justification for interrogation techniques, which he considers to be torture – and has banned.
“Don’t be discouraged that we have to acknowledge that potentially we’ve made some mistakes.
“Mistakes” Is President Obama kidding?? We saved thousands of lives with this technique and Obama calls it a “mistake” ?
“That’s how we learn. But the fact that we are willing to acknowledge them and then move forward, that is precisely why I am proud to be president of the United States and that’s why you should be proud to be members of the CIA,” he said.
The memos, detailing the range of techniques the CIA was allowed to use during the Bush administration, were released on 16 April.
Quoting one of the memos, The New York Times said water-boarding – or mock drowning – was used on two al-Qaeda terror suspects on up to 266 occasions.
Other methods mentioned in the memos include week-long sleep deprivation, forced nudity and the use of painful positions.
Mr Obama on Thursday said he would not prosecute under anti-torture laws CIA personnel who relied in good faith on Bush administration legal opinions issued after the 11 September attacks.
But he has been criticised by human rights organisations and UN officials, who say charges are necessary to prevent future abuses and to hold people accountable.
Flash Forward to today, President Obama has just nixed the use of any kind of waterboarding to extract life-saving information. Yes, you heard that correctly. Men, woman, children, doesn’t matter whose life is at stake… President Obama has nixed the one method that has been proven to save lives. Now the Democrats are in spin-mode to try to save their collective arses from this mess.
Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for this anti-American President.
But wait, it doesn’t stop here. Now Obama wants to prosecute the very CIA operatives who were following orders and also saved the lives of those thousands of Americans.
Obama Open to Prosecution of Officials Who Cleared Interrogation Tactics
President Obama says it is up to the attorney general whether to prosecute Bush administration lawyers who wrote the memos approving harsh interrogation tactics.
President Obama left open the door Tuesday for charges to be brought against Bush administration lawyers who justified harsh interrogation techniques, though he continued to argue that CIA agents who used those tactics should not be prosecuted.
The president showed wiggle room on the issue as he faces calls from Democratic lawmakers and organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union to support such charges. Asked about the possibility of prosecution related to the interrogation program, the president deferred to Attorney General Eric Holder.
“With respect to those who formulate those legal decisions, I would say that that is going to be more of a decision for the attorney general within the parameters of various laws,” Obama said, as he finished an Oval Office meeting with visiting King Abdullah of Jordan. “And I don’t want to prejudge that. … There are a host of very complicated issues involved there.”
It was the first time Obama took a question on the matter since his administration released a string of previously classified memos detailing harsh interrogation tactics used against terror suspects. At the time, Obama said agents who followed Department of Justice advice would not be prosecuted.
He reiterated that point Tuesday. “For those who carried out some of these operations within the four corners of legal opinions or guidance that had been provided from the White House, I do not think it’s appropriate for them to be prosecuted,” he said.
But while he also repeated his view that investigations into Bush officials could get politicized, he indicated for the first time an openness to such a course provided it is carried out in a “bipartisan fashion.”
The attorneys who authored the memos, and who are the subject of an internal Justice Department ethics inquiry, are John Yoo, Jay Bybee and Steven Bradbury.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that Obama did not have a change of heart on the issue, though Gibbs and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel indicated over the past two days that the president did not favor opening the memos’ authors to charges.
Gibbs deflected the suggestion that the president was responding to pressure from the left to support prosecutions.
But pressure was building before Obama addressed the issue Tuesday for his administration to leave the possibility of prosecution on the table — both for the lawyers who established the legal ground for such interrogations and those agents who acted outside those legal guidelines.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote a letter to Obama Monday asking him to reserve comment on the issue while her panel completes its review of detainee interrogations. She estimated the study would be completed in six to eight months.
MoveOn is also seeking 200,000 signatures for a petition to Holder urging him to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the interrogations.
A Newsweek article over the weekend reported that Holder had already discussed naming a special prosecutor to review whether interrogators operated outside the legal guidelines or Bush officials broke the law by drafting those guidelines.
One source familiar with the matter told FOX News that, if appointed, a prosecutor would most likely be limited to pursuing “aiding and abetting” charges against the lawyers who wrote the memos.
“If (Justice attorneys) go after them, that’s all they can get them on because they didn’t torture but they facilitated the torture,” the source said, adding that prosecutors first have to prove a criminal act of torture was committed.
“But if I were these people, I would still get a very good lawyer,” the source said.
The Department of Justice statement on the memos last week first seemed to leave room for certain prosecutions. The statement said Holder stressed that agents who acted within the legal guidelines from the Justice Department would not face prosecutions — it did not mention the lawyers or those who acted outside the guidelines.