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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

 
Lies, damned lies and secrets

by digby

Oh heck, who would have ever guessed this could possibly be true?
A Senate intelligence committee investigation found that the Central Intelligence Agency employed brutal interrogation methods that turned out to be largely useless and then lied about their effectiveness, according to the Washington Post.

As described to the Post, the Senate report contradicts the main defenses of the Bush-era torture program: That harsh methods were needed to produce actionable results, and that the program itself helped save American lives by foiling terror attacks. Instead, the CIA overstated the effectiveness of the program and concealed the harshness of the methods they used. Intelligence breakthroughs credited to the “enhanced interrogation” program by the CIA were instead gleaned through other means, and then used by the agency to bolster defenses of the program. The intelligence committee is set to vote on submitting the report for declassification on Thursday.
This is not news to anyone who's been following the torture story for some time. But this is an official government report so it's significant.

Here's the thing. We know for a fact that these techniques were ordered from on high, we know the government lied about it, destroyed evidence and covered it up. We know that the government that succeeded it refused to hold anyone responsible for it even though it stated it disavowed the worst of these techniques as being contrary to American law and international norms. These things are all true.

So please tell me again why we should be so trusting that they are not lying about various other secret programs when they assure us they are not doing what they say they're not doing even as evidence suggests they are?

This has happened in our history over and over again. Illegal and unconstitutional behavior is revealed by a whistle-blower or witness and the government staunchly denies that it's true, then it condemns the messenger and insists that civil libertarians are being paranoid and hysterical by raising alarms. And then it turns out to be true. At which point all the reflexive supporters of the government's national security programs shrug and say this is old news.

I'm afraid that the government's lesson of the torture regime is quite clear and it isn't that the government shouldn't torture. The lesson is that they should do a better job of keeping it a secret. Same as it ever was.

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