Barack Obama’s Justice Department yesterday grudgingly announced that it was going to refrain from prosecuting US Intelligence Officer and military contractors for war crimes consisting of interrogating terrorists involved in conspiracies to commit acts of mass murder on US civilians.
Obama did, however, refer to the the Bush Administration’s successful efforts to prevent major attacks on US population centers post-9/11 as “a dark and painful chapter in our history” conflicting with the US functioning as “a nation of laws” and with American “core values.”
David Axelrod says that Barack Obama searched his soul for a whole month before deciding that continuing partisan games by releasing for finger-pointing purposes memos from the previous administration on interrogation policy was worth the costs to National Security.
DOJ Memo 8/1/2002
DOJ Memo 5/10/2005 – 46 pages
DOJ Memo 5/10/2005 – 20 pages
DOJ Memo 5/30/05
One former Bush Administration official commented on the president’s decision.
A former top official in the administration of President George W. Bush called the publication of the memos â€œunbelievable.â€
â€œIt’s damaging because these are techniques that work, and by Obama’s action today, we are telling the terrorists what they are,â€ the official said. â€œWe have laid it all out for our enemies. This is totally unnecessary. â€¦ Publicizing the techniques does grave damage to our national security by ensuring they can never be used again â€” even in a ticking-time- bomb scenario where thousands or even millions of American lives are at stake.”
â€œI don’t believe Obama would intentionally endanger the nation, so it must be that he thinks either 1. the previous administration, including the CIA professionals who have defended this program, is lying about its importance and effectiveness, or 2. he believes we are no longer really at war and no longer face the kind of grave threat to our national security this program has protected against.â€
Dick Cheney commented in an interview earlier this year:
I can tell you what the policy was; I can tell you that we had all the legal authorization we needed to do it, including the sign-off of the Justice Department. I can tell you it produced phenomenal results for us, and that a great many Americans are alive today because we did all that. And I think those are the important considerations