President Barack Obama's got a lot of problems, some of his making, many not. The last thing he need is one of his former top officials feeding attack lines to his enemies. So naturally, that's what he has.
President Obama is being praised by some for use of the term "torture" during a recent press conference when he referred to post-9/11 interrogation techniques employed on behalf of our government.
Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, we all believe that government should be transparent and accountable, right? How should we decide where we stand on a controversial government policy? A crucial first step is to try to establish key facts in the public record.
The Senate-CIA fight is jaw-dropping but Mary and David disagree if it's about oversight and/or Bush-Cheney 'torture.' Then: Is Obama a 'weak joke'(MM)? Were Ike, LBJ after Soviets invaded Hungry, Czechoslovakia (DC)? Was W while looking into Putin's soulful eyes (MG)?
Our nation needs an effective and unburdened CIA, a restoration of trust between the branches of government, and an opportunity to reassert our moral leadership internationally in pursuit of a more just and peaceful world. To do this, secrecy about the mistakes of the past must end.
If the CIA becomes regarded as monstrous and out of control by not just the usual critics but also by much of the mainstream in the U.S. and around the world -- and they are on that cusp right now -- some of the most important tools in protecting the United States and its interests short of war become, at best, decidedly double-edged swords.
The Senate must prevail in this Constitutional showdown between a secretive Executive Branch relic of the Cold War that has a long history of doing nasty things in our name.
CIA Director John O. Brennan's defense of the IC is that of a fierce loyalist. He speaks, but provides little substance -- not because of "sources and methods," but because of the politics in which all intelligence agencies are now immersed.
The very arrogance and presumption defining this action by the intelligence community -- increasingly opaque and beyond the control of the State Department -- help make sense of any number of otherwise bewildering features of U.S. foreign policy.
Jane Mayer of the New Yorker has posted former CIA General Counsel Stephen Preston's answers to questions submitted by Senator Mark Udall, about SSIC's secret 6000-page study on torture and the CIA's response. Senator Udall's questions are equally revealing.
If the administration has nothing to hide and insists that our drone policy is entirely legal, why not create an open and transparent process for the use of drones? It would bring the legal debate out of the shadows, a move that is desperately needed.
What is CIA Director John Brennan holding in his hands? Marcy Wheeler reports that it's the CIA's response to the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the post-9/11 CIA torture program.
The "war on terror" was built on two tiers of grief. Momentous and meaningless. Ours and theirs. The domestic politics of grief settled in for a very long haul, while perpetual war required the leaders of both major parties to keep affirming and reinforcing the two tiers of grief.
What we see is the portrait of a semi-autonomous agency, poorly led and allowed unjustifiable independence by an absentee president -- an agency that has done grave damage to the security and well-being of the United States.
Obama, who campaigned in 2008 on an anti-war platform pledging to lead America on a different course abroad, is arguably not the same president he was four years ago.
Influential members of Congress and presidential candidates have been calling for a return to "enhanced interrogation techniques" and someday in the not too distant future they may get what they want if Director Brennan and President Obama don't pay attention and act now.