Balkinization  

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cheney Supports Truth Commission

JB

In an interview with Sean Hannity, Former Vice-President Dick Cheney argued for declassification of memos that will show that torture techniques produced valuable intelligence.

"And there are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity. They have not been declassified.

"I formally asked that they be declassified now,'' Cheney says. "I haven't announced this up until now, I haven't talked about it, but I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country.

"And I've now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was, as well as to see this debate over the legal opinions,"

Although when he was Vice-President no one was more insistent on keeping every shred of information about our interrogation practices secret, arguing that any revelations would irrevocably damage national security, Cheney's scruples on this score seem to have disappeared.

But perhaps he is right. Let's declassify more, not less. Perhaps the President and Congress could even appoint a special commission or two to look into the efficacy and legality of our past practices.

Dick Cheney has never been short on chutzpah. He is betting that the more we know about what he did while he was in office, the better he will look.

We should take him up on his bet.



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