You may remember that I wrote yesterday morning that the big news of the day about torture would be the release of a CIA memo written during the Bush Administration, revealing the scope of planned torture under George W. Bush. The Obama Administration had promised to release the memo requested by the ACLU yesterday, after all, and with Barack Obama a promise is a… suggestion that may be later completely reversed.
The CIA memo was not released. The Obama Administration asked for a three day extension, and then suggested that maybe the memo wouldn’t be released until next week, when of course, Obama may change his mind again.
Apparently, there’s some uncertainty within the Obama Administration about whether to follow President Obama’s pledge to have a government of unprecedented openness, or to keep most of the memo secret, just as George W. Bush did. Obama is delaying while he decides how much information about government torture he will continue to conceal. Supporters of Barack Obama ought to be asking themselves why Mr. Yes We Can can’t muster the willpower to finally allow the American public to learn the whole truth about U.S. government torture.
If we aren’t even given full information about what went on with torture under Bush, how can we know that torture has actually stopped under Obama? Given Obama’s efforts to keep military interrogations undocumented, and his opposition to justice for those who have been tortured, I don’t see how he deserves the benefit of the doubt.