Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 45 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/1/09

John Brennan and the administration stalling on Bush torture memos

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   7 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Stephen Soldz
Become a Fan
  (4 fans)

Back in November we opposed former CIA official John Brennan for CIA Director. Our Open Letter was credited with playing a role in Brennan's withdrawal. [See also Rachel Maddow.] Despite what some believed, we never claimed that Brennan played a key role in the Bush administration torture program. Rather, we were concerned that he had, when it mattered, never taken any position critical of that program. We needed someone who did not have such an equivocal history, we argued.

Afterward there was considerable criticism of those of us who opposed Brennan. We didn't realize that Brennan was really opposed to the policies he could never get himself to publicly criticize, we were told.

Today the New York Times reports that the Obama administration is still debating whether to follow through with their committment to release all the Bush administration's torture memos. In the article is the news that Brennan is among those opposing [technically, "urging caution" in Times-speak] the release of the memos. It seems that some of those in the CIA who carried out the torture program might have their feelings hurt if those in whose name they tortured know what they actually did.

Some administration and Congressional officials said John O. Brennan, a C.I.A. veteran who now serves as President Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, has urged caution in disclosing interrogation documents.

Sadly, after Brennan withdrew his name for CIA director, he was kept on as a top Obama counterterrorism adviser. This helped signal the intelligence community that Obama understood their concerns about having the past unearthed. Obama has also signalled this message with his refusal to endorse any investigation of Bush-era abuses and his rhetoricabout "looking forward."

One thing is becoming perfectly clear. The Obama administration is defintely not rushing to put the Bush administation's abuses behind them. Rather, they intend to let information dribble out, perhaps hoping that most people will never put all the pieces together and realize what was done in our name. Unfortunately, it still remains to be seen to what degree the Obama counterterrorism policies will really deviate from those off Bush.

In response to tosya's news of administration hesitation, we must all shout with one voice the message that was stated by the ACLU today:

Using national security as a pretext, the Bush administration managed to suppress these memos for more than three years, denying the public crucial information about government policy and shielding government officials from accountability. The Obama administration should end this cover-up and release the memos. The memos supplied the foundation for an interrogation program that permitted the most barbaric forms of abuse, violated domestic and international law, alienated America's allies, and yielded information that was both unreliable and unusable in court. The public should be permitted to see the documents that purported to justify this lawless program. If the Obama administration is truly committed to restoring transparency to government, it should disclose these documents immediately.

[Also posted on Psyche, Science, and Society.]

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   News 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Stephen Soldz Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Stephen Soldz is psychoanalyst, psychologist, public health researcher, and faculty member at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. He is co-founder of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology and is President of Psychologists for Social Responsibility. He was a psychological consultant on two of (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Torture Career of Egypt's New Vice President: Omar Suleiman and the Rendition to Torture Program

The Sex Lives and Sexual Frustrations of US troops in Iraq

Letter to Senate Intelligence Committee: Psychologists out of Abusive Interrogations

Veteran Army Interrogators: Torture doesn't work. Torture is wrong. Torture helps the enemy.

American Psychological Association removes infamous "Nuremberg Defense" from ethics code, leaves other ethics loopholes

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend