Obama just admitted that the United States tortured people. Apparently, he’s softening up the public for the imminent release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the CIA. The Committee’s report “will reveal new and shocking details about the CIA’s detention, rendition and interrogation program in the years following the 9/11 attacks,” according to people who have seen or been briefed on the report.
The media, in classic form, is distracting the public from the actual issue of torture by focusing on the issue of CIA spying on the Senate. However, internal disputes between the Senate and the executive branch are irrelevant, because both are complicit in torture. For example, immediately after 9/11, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was fully briefed on the use of so-called “harsh interrogation techniques” – what Obama now identifies as “torture.”
Predictably, John Yoo, a lawyer and adviser of President George W. Bush, is already part of this debate, stating that his “general sympathies” are with the CIA. That is not surprising since John Yoo’s fingerprints are all over the legal memoranda allegedly justifying techniques Obama now identifies as torture.
Yoo was the principal author on the memoranda that allegedly provided the legal basis for the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation/torture immediately after 9/11. This is the time frame during which, Obama says, torture occurred.