John Kerry's sad legacy
Of course this is happening. If they can just hold out until a Republican Senate is sworn in then everyone's "hands are tied." Froomkin:
After seven months of promising to release a report exposing CIA torture of terror suspects, the Obama administration Friday reportedly sent Secretary of State John Kerry to ask Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein to consider holding off “because a lot is going on in the world.”
The White House has been negotiating with Feinstein since April over extensive CIA-requested redactions before making public a 450-page summary of the committee’s exhaustive investigation into CIA detention and interrogation during the Bush/Cheney years.
But the intelligence community never wanted its dirty secrets revealed. I suggested as early as six weeks ago that administration officials, doing the CIA’s bidding, were stalling negotiations until Republicans took over the chamber and killed the report themselves.
Then in the past few days, reports emerged that Feinstein conceded enough ground that an agreement had been reached. The report’s release was set for early next week.
The window of opportunity to quash release appeared to be closing — until the national security argument suddenly emerged in force.
Adhering to the time-honored Washington tradition of releasing news with unpleasant PR repercussions on a Friday afternoon, “an administration official” leaked word of the call to Josh Rogin of Bloomberg View. He reported:
[Kerry’s] call came after an interagency process that decided the release of the report early next week, as Feinstein had been planning, could complicate relationships with foreign countries at a sensitive time and posed an unacceptable risk to U.S. personnel and facilities abroad. Kerry told Feinstein he still supports releasing the report, just not right now.
“What he raised was timing of report release, because a lot is going on in the world — including parts of the world particularly implicated — and wanting to make sure foreign policy implications were being appropriately factored into timing,” an administration official told me. “He had a responsibility to do so because this isn’t just an intel issue — it’s a foreign policy issue.”
The Associated Press published a more restrained account, also sourced to an anonymous official, reporting that Kerry had simply asked Feinstein to “consider” the timing.
Yeah, well the timing is never going to be good for pretending that we are morally above reproach in this area or that our allies who eagerly helped us do it are either. So what? It happened.
He has more at the link. I'm disgusted. Kerry is the guy who once had the guts to go before the congress and expose the atrocities US troops were committing in Vietnam.
..I am not here as John Kerry. I am here as one member of the group of 1,000 which is a small representation of a very much larger group of veterans in this country, and were it possible for all of them to sit at this table they would be here and have the same kind of testimony....
I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command....
They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.
We call this investigation the "Winter Soldier Investigation." The term "Winter Soldier" is a play on words of Thomas Paine in 1776 when he spoke of the Sunshine Patriot and summertime soldiers who deserted at Valley Forge because the going was rough.
We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now. We could come back to this country; we could be quiet; we could hold our silence; we could not tell what went on in Vietnam, but we feel because of what threatens this country, the fact that the crimes threaten it, not reds, and not redcoats but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out.
Now he's covering up torture. What a sad legacy.
BTW: Froomkin predicted that the White House saw this as a big silver lining if the Republicans took over.