Leon Panetta Kisses His Credibility Goodbye

Well, that didn’t take long, for a Director of Central Intelligence to totally lose his credibility in the servitude of the institution. What has it been? Three, four months?

I’ll have more to say about Panetta’s declaration in the ACLU FOIA case tomorrow.  But for now, a little unsolicited advice for the spook-in-chief.

When you say, 

I also want to emphasize that my determinations expressed above, and in my classified declaration, are in no way driven by a desire to prevent embarrassment for the U.S. Government or the CIA, or to suppress evidence of unlawful conduct,

Yet the entire world knows–and the CIA has itself acknowledged–that the materials in question do, in fact, show evidence of unlawful conduct, and when you sort of kind of pretend that no one else knows what they all know–that the materials show evidence of unlawful conduct…

Then you look like a fool. 

A chump.

Like George Tenet, maybe, when he boasted of "slam dunk."

And then when you go on to say,

As the Court knows, some of the operational documents currently at issue contain descriptions of EITs being applied during specific overseas interrogations. These descriptions, however, are EITs as applied in actual operations, and are of qualitatively different nature than the EIT descriptions in the abstract contained in the OLC memoranda.

Then you’re just hoping we’re all bigger idiots than we really are.

Let me say this plainly. According to the CIA–the CIA itself–there’s a reason why the interrogations don’t resemble the "EIT descriptions in the abstract contained in the OLC memoranda." That’s because some cowboy probably named James Mitchell who was getting rich off of torture thought things would be more poignant–yes, the fucker actually said "poignant"–if he drowned Abu Zubaydah in gallons of water rather than sprinkling him like a daisy. There’s a reason why the descriptions of torture as it was applied is such a problem–and yes, is evidence of unlawful conduct.  And that’s because we know–we all know!!!!–that the torture began before the memos authorized it, and the torture exceeded what few guidelines John Yoo placed on it.

So don’t give me this crap about not trying to avoid embarrassment–unless you start admitting how damning this shit is. 

We know you’re trying to hide the evidence of criminal torture. Insisting, over and over, under oath, that that’s not what you’re doing isn’t convincing anyone. 

111 replies
  1. MsAnnaNOLA says:

    I love the smell of a EW smackdown! Go woman! Way to deliver a reality check.

    Hey newsflash Obama admin…when you cover up past crimes that makes you guilty of… um crimes.

    • rhfactor says:

      couldn’t agree more. I don’t expect Obama to ever relent and call for (and deliver) any kind of legal accountability or repercussions for the Bush-Cheney attack on the US 3-branch system of governance and total disregard for Rule of Law. I really truly hope it dogs him throughout the 21st Century and into the 22nd. Whatever good he achieves — and I expect he will do some good, he will have some stain of blood on his hands.

      How’s that blistering humidity in N.O. ?

  2. bmaz says:

    Ought to read

    Leon Panetta Kisses What Little Of His Credibility He Had Left Goodbye

    Because most of it dried up and blew away in relation to the Congressional torture log snafu and concurrence in keeping the photos classified. This shit just gets old. And, once again, the major media outlet, this time the Washington Post, puts up a major front page type article of approximately 1000 words and manages to completely avoid asking any of the probing questions or see the obvious bullshittery inherent in what it is reporting. Simply amazing.

    • pmorlan says:

      The Post is also still trying to convince their readers that waterboarding isn’t torture:

      “…referring to a simulated-drowning technique that Obama and his appointees have said amounted to illegal torture.”

    • Leen says:

      “The forced disclosure of such material to the American Civil Liberties Union “could be expected to result in exceptionally grave damage to the national security by informing our enemies of what we knew about them, and when, and in some instances, how we obtained the intelligence we possessed,” Panetta argued.”

      “how we obtained the intelligence we possessed”

  3. prostratedragon says:

    Well! So I downloads the pdf from the link last thread and refreshes my browser, and what whips by at the top of the page?

    Guess this filing goes to the bottom of my In pile.

  4. timbo says:

    There’s a war criminal coddler hatched at the CIA every minute…what did someone once say about power corrupting?

  5. BayStateLibrul says:

    You cannot have a CIA and rule of law at the same time.
    Mutually exclusive.
    Abolish the CIA, bring all troops home, declare a peace, return to the draft, and start remembering the 60’s…
    We are stuck on the runway.

  6. TarheelDem says:

    Of course Panetta puts forth a weak argument. It’s the only argument he has. Panetta is implicitly, willingly or unwillingly, say to the world, “I got nothing.” And the Obama administration must go through the motions of taking seriously Maliki’s and the military’s and Congress’s concerns whether they want to or not, so at this point it’s too early to tell what exactly they are doing. Too bad that Boudmedienne talking has set the table for the undercutting of Panetta’s argument. Letting the the truth drip out slowly lessens the shock and outrage both here and elsewhere and it slowly eats at the credibility of the defenders of torture by slowly increasing the knowledge of the scale of the monstrosity. Is this Obama’s intent; I don’t know and neither do blogger and definitely neither does the media.

    There are these things to watch here: strategy wrt the courts, strategy wrt Congress, strategy wrt foreign diplomacy, strategy wrt getting a binding determination on future presidents.

    It is the last item that we are most interested in seeing happen. Does Panetta’s declaration contribute to that? Well no, not directly. But it is going to a court that will decide and will set precedent. Is it transparently pulling punches; no, because it is strong enough to draw EW’s ire.

    It’s not over until it’s over and as much rides on the judge deciding the case as the arguments presented.

    Just remember that every day that the war criminals think they are home free, the say stuff or release memos to the press, or otherwise provide evidence that makes a truth commission and immunity less necessary.

  7. plunger says:

    The Federal Reserve Bank Of New York runs the United States. David Rockefeller controls that entity, as well as the CIA, and the Mainstream Media.

    The G8 Central Banks are the co-conspirators being protected by the likes of Mr. Panetta and others in their employ (Congress). The entire system is corrupt.

    Listen to American Hero, the late Aaron Russo, tell you virtually everything you need to know to comprehend what is really going on. Stop denying yourself this knowledge. Accept the truth.

    Reflections And Warnings – An Interview With Aaron Russo {Full Film}

    Much of this footage has never been seen. Take the time required to listen to this entire film. This is all true.

    Connect All The Dots.

    • TarheelDem says:

      The Federal Reserve Bank Of New York runs the United States. David Rockefeller controls that entity, as well as the CIA, and the Mainstream Media.

      1. David Rockefeller must be one spry 94-year-old.

      2. I’m glad that someone like David Rockefeller controls the CIA because from 2001-2009 it seemed to be out of control.

      3. The mainstream media, eh? Does Rupert Murdoch know about this?

      The G8 Central Banks are the co-conspirators being protected by the likes of Mr. Panetta and others in their employ (Congress). The entire system is corrupt.

      4. Actually, Panetta is now protecting the G-20 banks.

      Your footage must date from 1980. A lot of the players have changed, dontcha know.

      • plunger says:

        Predictably, the voices appear to discredit the film (“which must be from 1980″). Next will come the personal attacks against the messenger. These are the tactics to be fully aware of, as portrayed in the film – which was in fact shot two years ago.

        The agents of disinformation reveal themselves by their actions. Their tactics are transparent, and easily identified.

      • freepatriot says:

        please do NOT reply to plunger ever again

        he’s now a fucking troll, and he belongs to ME

        The Federal Reserve Bank Of New York ???

        where the FUCK did that come from

        this guy is obviously a nutjob who is off his meds today

        IGNORE HIM

        I’m thru

        he’s done

        thanks for your support

  8. drational says:

    This is an important declaration.
    The prior acknowledgement was in the excerpted CIA OIG report indicating some differences in what was allowed and what was done.

    Now the head of the CIA is admitting it in an affidavit.

    This now puts the crime directly on the head of the CIA, and on those who knew about the deviations from OLC approved guidelines.

    If you read what Yoo and Condi and others have said repeatedly recently, they note that the approvals were subject to the limitations outlined by the OLC memos. Condi did not want to know details because to know would implicate her.

    Comey could not get anyone in Government to include “retrospective” details because to do so would be to acknowledge in writing what was done.

    Comey was right that when the shit hit the fan, Gonzales would be left holding the bag- Because Comey detailed the objections to him in great detail and told him he needed to tell the others or stand alone:

    I told him that it was simply not fair to him or to this institution for him to allow a truncated discussion because DOJ had rendered a legal opinion. To allow that would bring great damage to him and this department. I explained that even he and Bradbury believed that the legal question was extremely close; given that, and the details of what we are talking about,
    there needed to be a detailed factual discussion, followed by a full policy discussion. It would land on the President eventually and it simply could not be that the Principles would be willfully blind. At the close of the meeting, I gave him a card on which I had written a listing of all techniques, including some things that never get mentioned because they are
    “preliminary.” He took it with him.

    By preliminary, Comey means “historical” and likely to be employed again. But they all conspired to hide the bad things they knew about and give the CIA instructions “in the abstract.”

    Panetta is now formally conceding that the CIA was “outside the bounds”. The question is who besides Comey and Gonzales (and Philbin, Bradbury, and Ullyot) will be papered with evidence showing they knew this prospectively.

  9. Peterr says:

    Panetta’s paragraph 40 is quite interesting, which reads in part:

    . . . It is important to note that the disruption of terrorist plots is rarely the dramatic last minute heroism displayed in popular culture, television, and movies. Instead, careful intelligence collection and analysis is designed to identify plotters and their objectives and neutralize them before their plans can materialize. Often this involves identifying and focusing intelligence collection efforts on specific individuals who are involved in nefarious activities.

    The CIA isn’t the only place in town that works this way. Indeed, with just a bit of editing, it could be used in the ACLU’s response as a description of the way the legal system works:

    . . . It is important to note that the disruption of terrorist plots criminal governmental conduct is rarely the dramatic last minute heroism displayed in popular culture, television, and movies. Instead, careful intelligence collection and analysis is designed to identify plotters and their objectives and neutralize them before their plans can materialize. Often this involves identifying and focusing intelligence collection efforts on specific individuals who are involved in nefarious activities.

    Such intelligence collection efforts are usually carried out by DOJ investigators, and include requiring the production of documents and other evidence to the court, compelling testimony, etc. This is how the legal system operates.

    Why do I have the feeling that something got edited out of Panetta’s declaration? Something like this:

    In addition, the release of these documents would be harmful to national security, because they would result in serious litigation against the CIA and various individual officers, employees, and contractors. Operators and supervisors alike would be forced to spend large amounts of time responding to subpoenas, conferring with attorneys (both agency counsel and private attorneys), providing depositions, etc. Any individuals who would be convicted for their conduct — and there would be convictions — would be unavailable for years. This is time they would not be able to use in their primary work of protecting the nation. Therefore, in the interests of national security, I must decline to provide this information.

    A question for the legal eagles: If Panetta provides materials to the court for in camera, ex parte review, and the judge believes them to contain evidence of criminal behavior — something not specifically before the court in this FOIA dispute — does the judge have the authority and/or responsibility to hand the items to the DOJ for criminal investigation and prosecution?

  10. RIRedinPA says:

    So has anyone from State spoken with the North Koreans about not torturing or abusing the two reporters sentenced to 12 years at a labor camp as spies because you know, even though spies are not protected by the Geneva Convention (Protocol 1) like terrorist or unlawful combatants that (torture) is not how civilized nations treat their detainees…wait, crap, never mind…

    ok, has anyone at State told the North Koreans we’re going to speak about them in harsh terms to our media outlets…

  11. MadDog says:

    A couple of “curiosities” that immediately struck me – why CIA Director Panetta as the responder and why now?

    If you look at all of the CIA filings in this case, the person responding has been a lower level CIA employee or the response has come simply from the DOJ attorneys.

    My SWAG on why Panetta and why now?

    Panetta, after opening his Management for Dummies 101, sees the first few entries that say “Be a Leader” and “Lead by Example”, and figures this will show the troops he’s got their backs (Hah!).

    Instead, I’m guessing the cynical and hard-bitten CIA spookies take this as just your typical DC bureaucratic mushmouthing, and as the initial foreboding signs of their impending doom.

    With this as an example of Panetta’s amateurish leadership (and with the recent DNI-CIA Station Chief turf battle as well) they will cynically applaud, but then scramble to lawyer up.

    They can read the “throw ‘em under the bus” signs far too well:

    – Grand Jury summons on the Torture Videotapes destruction for lots of CIA spookies by Special Prosecutor John Durham.

    – Parades of CIA witnesses/defendants traipsing up before Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Intelligence Committee’s “secret” hearing/tribunal.

    – The likely soon-to-be publicly released report of then CIA IG Helgerson’s “Special Review of Conterterrorism Detention and Interrogation Activities of 7 May 2003″.

    – The generally “perceived” witchhunt atmosphere against the previous rogue Adminstration and the smell of newly lit bonfires burning with stakes awaiting victims.

    And finally, the very public and fear-induced ravings of that deeply paranoid chief torture instigator, his lowness PapaDick.

    All who work at the CIA believe in kharma and they all know that very bad kharma indeed is just around the next spooky corner.

      • klynn says:

        EW @ 17 and MadDog


        I am still in amazement Panetta wrote this.

        drational wrote @ 19:

        “…it makes one wonder whether Panetta is going to be implicating the CIA alone as a Rogue agency or whether the CIA is prepared to tell who knew what and when beyond the “abstract”.”

        That’s going to be big “either or”. I would, however, put bids on the latter.

      • TarheelDem says:

        Somebody had to make a declaration to Hellerstein, and no one else wanted to put their name on it. A classic case of reverse delegation. The boss gets to stand in the heat and say “Judge, I got nothing.”

        Plus, no doubt Panetta after only four months does not have managerial control of the CIA yet. Wonder how many Bushniks from days-of-Poppy Bush yore are putting gum in the bureaucratic wheels.

        The internal politics for an external director must be unreal. Unlike other agencies, you do not know the structure going in nor do you really know the internal political networks in the organization.

      • Mary says:

        I can bet the lawyers didn’t want to say with a straight face that they stuff doesn’t contain info that is embarassing or evidentiary of crime and they don’t want to become fact witnesses on intent.

        And intent puts things into a policy hole, where you need a policy maker level shmuck signing off. Plus they are making the kind of state secrets type arguments on some of this that will come back to needing an agency head at some point in the down the road follow ups.

    • Peterr says:

      If the CIA is going to make such an expansive claim of national security in their bid to hide these documents, the claim has to be made by the CIA director. Sending out a flunky with that message undermines the claim on its face. The judge would read the declaration and think “If this is such an overwhelming issue of national security, why the hell is this paper signed by some special assistant to a deputy assistant undersecretary? It’s not important enough to get the director’s attention?”

    • drational says:

      I think it’s Panetta because it is big news- Officially coming from the director that the CIA was acting out of OLC bounds in the torture program. It is an astonishing step forward, IMHO, and it makes one wonder whether Panetta is going to be implicating the CIA alone as a Rogue agency or whether the CIA is prepared to tell who knew what and when beyond the “abstract”.

  12. Jkat says:

    it’s just so damn stupid it hurts ..ain’t it ?? this is through-the-looking-glass-shit …

    i used to have a cat that did this kind of trick .. he’d hide behind a leg post of the couch .. thinking that if he couldn’t see you .. you couldn’t see him .. trouble is .. his tail was always clearly visible ..

    same trick here ..

    and oh .. they’re not trying to hide criminality .. we already know all about that .. they’re trying to staunch prosecution for the behavior we all know was illegal ..

  13. perris says:

    Like George Tenet, maybe, when he boasted of “slam dunk.”

    one thing about that “slam dunk” quote, to which I hypothesized when it was first published and to which he verified my hypothesis once out of office

    he never said or meant to mean “it’s a slam dunk that there are weapons of mass destruction” (he in fact knew there were none)

    the cia never said there were wmd’s, the insisted there were none and tenet was included in that dose of reality to the administration

    what said when taken in context was that the case could be made there were weapons of mass destruction and the people would buy it, that was the “slam dunk”

  14. pmorlan says:

    In reading footnote 5 on page 14 it would appear that Panetta and company are even changing the classification of some documents from secret to top secret (they want to be even more secretive than Bush and Cheney). They also may be classifying some documents as secret or top secret that were never classified as secret. Am I reading this footnote correctly?

      • pmorlan says:

        That’s what I was afraid it said. Good god, instead of getting better we are actually getting worse. And as Greenwald said in one of his posts, because Obama is doing this we have rabid Obama supporters, who used to protest the secrecy when Bush was doing it, now joining with Bush supporters to bless the cover up.

        I look forward to reading your post.

  15. DeadLast says:

    I think we should give Panetta the Medal of Freedom! Isn’t that what we are supposed to do for those who cover Bush’s ass?

  16. Loo Hoo. says:

    He says at the bottom of page six “even if the EITs are never used again…”

    IF? Shouldn’t that be even though these methods will never be used again?

  17. WilliamOckham says:

    Here’s something that I think is related to Panetta’s declaration. They waterboarded al-Nashiri in December 2002. Then, they stopped taping. On Jan. 28, 2003, Tenet issued a policy document about interrogations and one about confinement. The last page of the interrogation document is a form for CIA employees to sign to show they read and understand the document. The point of the document seems to be to make clear what the standard and enhanced techniques are and that CIA employees (and contractors?) can only use those techniques. In any bureaucracy, when you see a document like that, you should assume that somebody was freelancing and did something way out of line. ‘Way out of line’ in the CIA is almost unimaginable. We need to start asking just what exactly did they do to al-Nashiri.

    • drational says:

      We may be able to nail the date of the bad outcome (whether Zubaydah or al-Nashiri) by the Vaughn Index attached to this filing.
      Indexed documents 59 and 60 contain “attorney work product” (P8):

      one of those documents also contains an Agency employee’s notes from a discussion with a CIA attorney who reviewed the videotapes to evaluate legal and policy compliance; and another of those documents -also contains that attorney’s analysis and conclusions to CIA management concerning his legal and policy review.

    • klynn says:


      The reclassification process in full steam again? Interesting. That has some big implications of an effort by a Cheney-bot/Bush-bot pushing Panetta. Perhaps.


      Important find there.

      In any bureaucracy, when you see a document like that, you should assume that somebody was freelancing and did something way out of line. ‘Way out of line’ in the CIA is almost unimaginable. We need to start asking just what exactly did they do to al-Nashiri.

    • emptywheel says:

      Why do you say they waterboarded him in December?

      They waterboarded him on the 12th day of his interrogation–per one of the 2005 OLC memos. We got him some time in October.

      • drational says:

        I thought captured in November 2002.

        As to 36, thx for the links. The docs are not revealing as to who was the troubling interrogation as first is 1/9/03 and second is 6/17/03, both after AZ and al-Nashiri.

        • emptywheel says:

          No. ICRC says October. I thought Spencer had it narrowed even further to the beginning of the month, but I’ll need to check with him. And remember he was held by (IIRC) Dubai for a month first, which might explain the vagueness about the date.

          • drational says:

            Remember that now, thx. The ICRC also notes he was interrogated by Dubai agents “for the first month after arrest by Dubai Agents”. In the same para (P7) they note another detainee was interrogated by both Pakistani and US agents together. Because they made this distinction, I reason that al-Nashiri was not in CIA custody for a month after capture, sometime around November. Also from the ICRC, his reported first 2 points of detention were Dubai and Afghanistan, so I would assume the “suffocation by water” he attributes to US agents was done 12 days into his CIA detention, which began one month after Dubai detention.

  18. pmorlan says:

    Oh yeah, change that you can believe in.

    After reading this twisted affidavit I’m beginning to wonder if we will even see the IG report.

  19. DLoerke says:

    Panetta was a liberal Congressman. Surely he knows something about national security that is compelling him to say that releasing this info is not in the national security interest of the USA.

  20. Jkat says:

    it’s all asshattery .. but .. i can see their point .. this information spilling out does compromise our national security .. for the short term .. but ..imo ..an honest airing of what the whole damn world already knows would make a clean break with it ..

    nations too must face that biblical judgment which loosely goes: what good that a man should save his life .. if in the process he sacrifices his soul ..

    so ..when will we enforce our laws ..and begin the process of redeeming our sullied national honor ..

    it’s not nice to excuse 100 homicides of shackled restrained captives-in-our-charge …

    not in my name they didn’t .. this baby belongs to those who fathered and nursed it .. and they need to take their medicine .. or rather .. we need to prescribe it .. and see to it it’s taken ..

    • DLoerke says:

      I think individuals may be able to make that sacrifice. Nations cannot. The point of the Nation is to preserve the common defense. Sacrificing that in the name of some “higher principle” is a betrayal of the American people.

      • phred says:

        Defense of what a totalitarian state? Is that really what you a longing for? Sorry dude, I’m not willing to sacrifice the Constitution and our democracy because you are afraid of being ashamed of your country.

        Apologies are difficult, but they are absolutely essential. Obama could do this country a world of good, if he simply had the balls to own up to what we did, come clean, put all the evidence on the table and let the prosecutorial chips fall where they may as an example to the entire world that we are a nation of laws, not tyrants. That would make us safe.

        Continued dissembling and covering up will make us hypocrites in the eyes of the world and infinitely less safe. Cowardice is never the path that leads to security or freedom.

      • bmaz says:

        The point of the nation is to protect the Constitution. Do you clucks not go to school, or just not pay attention while there?

        • selise says:

          The point of the nation is to protect the Constitution

          with all due respect, bmaz, that’s NOT the point of the nation. it is however the oath the president takes.

          i’ll refer to the constitution though to find some wise words on the point of the nation….

          establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity

            • Petrocelli says:

              Whenever I hear people like Rivkin, I express gratitude that I do not have to be near these kind of people and also that I have not sold my soul like they have done.

          • bmaz says:

            Yes, but the stated and designed vehicle for that is protection of the Constitution, that is why it is the focus of the oaths.

  21. Jkat says:

    state secrets declarations and classification issues are prohibited from being used to conceal criminal actions .. no ??

    when are we going to simply “obey the law” .. and carry out our constitutional duty to enforce it ..

    the whiners simply need to STFU ..

    don’t want to do the time ?? don’t do the crime …

  22. Prairie Sunshine says:

    Over and over and over and over again the coverup lesson gets repeated again and again and again and…they never learn. Is Our Villagers Learning? Nope.

    When I watched Obama visiting the CIA headquarters I took those cheers he received to mean people saw him as their, yes, liberator from a faction that had been corrupted and out-of-control and needed to be excised.

    Wonder what those people are thinking these days?

  23. redfish says:

    Good for you Leon! Hmmm …..let me think. Do I embrace the logical patriotism of good Democrats like Barack Obama and Leon Panetta or fringe extremists on the left who seek only to embarrass the United States at the expense of making our diplomats and soldiers less safe and inflaming tensions among extremists right when Obama is seeking to diffuse them? I share this opinion with millions of Liberals and Democrats.

    “When it comes to the release of photos said to show U.S. military personnel abusing detainees, a national poll says Democrats and Republicans appear to agree. Nearly three out of four people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Tuesday do not believe that the U.S. government should release the photos”.

    “The poll suggests that 87 percent of Republicans are against the release of the photos, with 62 percent of Democrats in agreement. Three out of four independents also don’t want the photos to be revealed. See more polling data. Six in 10 liberals in the poll say that the photos should not be made publicly available.”

    • plunger says:

      Redfish Rove wants you to believe the polls rather than think for yourself…

      Former Pollster Pleads Guilty to Fabricating Results

      Tracy Costin, the former owner of polling company DataUSA Inc., entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit mail fraud for fabricating the results of polls the company conduct on behalf of, among others, President Bush in 2004.


      Hey Redfish, did you watch the Aaron Russo movie yet?

      • redfish says:

        I repeat. The small minority who seek to release these photos are fringe extremists. 6 out of 10 Liberals and 62% of Democrats say no, do not release these photos. Including most importantly President Barack Obama.

    • billybugs says:

      accountability not embarrassment !
      This is about enforcing our laws and always has been .Failing to release the photos could have a negative affect as well , the extremist will only wonder what we are trying to hide. They will view this as a cover-up and nothing less

      • redfish says:

        There is a reason supremely pragmatic, grounded and moral men like Barack Obama make these decisions and not fringe groups with agendas. President Obama is seeking to change the dynamics of our relationship with the Muslim world. Release of those photos would set those efforts back ten years.

        Everyone in the world has seen the Abu Graib photos, everyone in the world knows we tortured, everyone in the world knows the unreleased photos depict horrific scenes of rape, torture and other atrocities. There is no need to release them. It makes our citizens overseas less safe.

        I have been in strategy meetings in progressive organizations. Framing is the operative word and I understand the agenda, Blood lust for revenge against Bush-Cheney and that is the truth. Who cares what’s good for America.

        • WarOnWarOff says:

          Your imputing motives to us (”bloodlust”), then broadly labeling anyone who respects the rule of law (”leftwing extremists”) is childish, egocentric, and pedestrian. Such an approach to argument only reveals the absolute poverty of your POV.

        • pmorlan says:

          You’ve got the talking points down real good but unfortunately for you you’re on a site where we actually think for ourselves. We aren’t the least bit swayed by your propaganda.

        • billybugs says:

          again redfish , you miss the point .
          I would just as soon put the Bush era and his misguided policies behind us. The less I hear from Dick Cheney the better. This is not about retribution it’s enforcement of the laws of the land.
          If we want to heal the riffs with the Muslim world than , we must remain true to our laws. Only then can we set an example for others to follow.

        • plunger says:

          So then you would be in favor of revealing the entire truth of 9/11 to the American people, over half of whom believe that the government is not telling the truth (according to opinion polls)?

          Democracies operate by opinion polls (majority rule).

          Constitutional Republics do not.

          Apparently you didn’t get the memo (The Constitution). We are in fact a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy, and despite opinion polls (be they real or contrived), the rule of law prevails.

          Apparently you haven’t watched the Aaron Russo film, as you would recognize yourself (and tactics) within it.

    • Mary says:

      Do I embrace the logical patriotism of good Democrats like Barack Obama and Leon Panetta

      Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious – Wilde.

  24. tjbs says:

    This Torture/ Murder/ Treason is international in scope and cries out for Nuremburg 2.0. That is the forward way to halt these criminals. Do the crime, do the time.

    We will never learn the truth otherwise. The world will soon confront us if we don’t start coming clean , in police terms. These sickos are an affront to open honest government. How many different nationalities did we torture?
    We can’t even aanswer that simple question.

    OT EW are you on a red bull IV drip?

  25. RickinSF says:

    I just have to say it: Leon Panetta has always reminded me of “Glad Hand,” the high school dance MC played by John Astin in the film “West Side Story.”
    Now he seems to be acting like him.

    • WarOnWarOff says:

      “I want you all the form two circles. The boys on the outside and the girls on the inside.”


  26. fatster says:

    Gee, EW, why don’t you tell us how you really feel?

    Great article, just great! I’m circulating it for sure.

  27. oldoilfieldhand says:

    ” Slam Dunk!” Shorter Empty Wheel on Panetta’s total loss of credibility! You go girl! Even with TIA they can’t put anything over on Marcy!

  28. emptywheel says:

    redfish at 51

    Hey, you do know we’re not talking about photos, don’t you?

    If you’re going to troll, please do us the favor of reading closely enough to know what you’re trolling about.

    • redfish says:

      That’s a shame that you seek to denigrate a dedicated liberal and progressive such as myself and label me a troll. Why? Because I don’t agree with you? Supporting Barack Obama does not make me a troll. I put forth a reasoned and logical argument on the topic of releasing information on past sins of the Bush-Cheney administration. It is very much on topic.

      I suggest that you consider that your views on politics are not the universally anointed views of all Democrats and liberals.

      • emptywheel says:

        No, you put forth a logical argument on a topic that is not the topic of this thread, which suggested your purpose in doing so was not actually to carry on a conversation but to troll.

        When we talk about the photos, please come back and make your logical argument at a time when it is on topic.

  29. plunger says:

    John Adams defined a constitutional republic as “a government of laws, and not of men.”[1] Constitutional republics are a deliberate attempt to diminish the perceived threat of majoritarianism, thereby protecting dissenting individuals and minority groups from the “tyranny of the majority” by placing checks on the power of the majority of the population.[2] The power of the majority of the people is checked by limiting that power to electing representatives who are required to legislate with limits of overarching constitutional law which a simple majority cannot modify.

    John Adams: 1

    Redfish: Zero

  30. orionATL says:

    really, ew, you are so old fashioned.

    don’t you realize that public lying, public officials lying blatantly in their public discourse, is the norm in this nation these days.

    in fact, it has gotten to the point that as a nation we have developed a gentle tolerance for public lying (except for lying about sex, of course).

    just a we have developed a gentle tolerance for muck-t-mucks at goldman sachs or cititbank or enron screwing their customers and the nation’s economy at will.

    if one has any doubt that public lying is well-sanctioned, one has only to read our newspapers and watch our political pundits on teevee at work.

  31. orionATL says:

    just a question.

    why is it that the trolls show up here whenever the subject is the cia? am i paranoid or is it just good sense to suspect someone is shadowing me.

    • redfish says:

      Yes you are paranoid and a member of a small minority as regards this issue. A liberal Democrat taking a position different from you does not make them a troll. But it is easier to label them as such isn’t it since you cannot prevail on the substantive playing field of logic and reason.

  32. PJBurke says:

    YIKES… the wheel may be empty, but now the tread’s all clogged up with Panetta.

    Nicely done, Marcy.

  33. rincewind says:

    Panetta says, in effect, that CIA interrogation practices are worse* than Abu Ghraib at #12 (pg 7 of the pdf):

    12. Additionally, disclosure of explicit details of specific interrogations where EITs were applied would provide al-Qa’ida with propaganda it could use to recruit and raise funds. Al Qa’ida has a very effective propaganda operation. When the abuse of Iraqi detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison was disclosed, al-Qa’ida made very effective use of that information in extremist websites that recruit jihadists and solicit financial support. Information concerning the details of the EITs being applied would provide ready-made ammunition for al-Qa’ida propaganda. The resultant damage to the national security would likely be exceptionally grave, and the witholding of this information is therefore proper under FOIA Exemption b(1).

    *worse because he says we can’t possibly release this stuff, while at least some of Abu Ghraib was officially made public

    • pmorlan says:

      Yeah, unlike accusing people who have a different opinion than your own of having a bloodlust for revenge and being left wing extremists.

  34. Petrocelli says:

    BTW … did anyone tell Rivkin that wearing a Clown Suit takes away from his testimony ?

    • pmorlan says:

      LOL. You’re right, it was a perfectly dreadful suit. I can’t believe that he went out in public dressed like that. LOL But then again, he is a clown so I guess he was appropriately dressed. LOL

      Now I’m going to have an image of him dressed as a clown permanently etched upon my brain so that every time I see him on TV that will be what I see. He’ll be a John Wayne Gacy clown figure defending torture.

  35. TheraP says:

    Do these folks not realize EW will expose their nonsense? Kudos, EW!!! And all those who love the Rule of Law!

    As for painful truths coming out, people of course don’t want to hear bad news. They’d rather not know about incest in their family. Or on their street. Or in their city. They’d rather not hear about murderers and even torturers in their communities. Nevertheless, unless we face reality, painful as it sometimes is, we will simply allow people to go on being victims of incest or torture or murder. It’s the same in a small community, or in a family, or in a nation. We have got to face reality. And until we have access to all the reality of the torture and the murders, we can’t face it. If some prefer not to face reality, they can refuse to read or look or hear. I can understand that. But I cannot understand undermining the rule of law. I simply can’t understand that.

    Rule of Law. That’s got to come first. No matter how painful the details of how the law was broken.

    Thus I support EW and everything she and this group is doing to bring forth the truth! EW deserves our financial support. I will not, however, support cover-ups of crimes.

    • Petrocelli says:

      “Rule of Law. That’s got to come first. No matter how painful the details of how the law was broken.” – TheraP

      Well said, this is the central issue that they must not be allowed to hide.

  36. JThomason says:

    When institutional concerns in government trump legitimate inquiry into illegal behavior the rule of law is lost.

  37. rbleier says:

    Marcy is fantastic, special. But I regret that she descended into profanity in this blog.
    It’s human, sure. (And I know how tempting it can be.) But it’s also double edged — or worse — when you allow yourself such unrestraint, such lack of control. For example, how can we quote her in some of the places where she could make a difference?

    • Rayne says:

      Oh just stop it. Seriously. Get off your damned high horse.

      Or should I say fucking high horse.

      This is Marcy’s blog, not a corporate-owned outlet sanitized for consumption by children. The only real obscenity which pops up in her personal blog is that the government of the United States of America has kidnapped and tortured humans, including innocent women and children, violating both federal and international law.

      Assuming you’ve managed to slap together a cheesy blog on your own, I’m sure you can grow up and figure out how to make attribution of her content and even quote her without melting into a puddle. And for God’s sake, FOCUS on the real obscenity; you’ve obviously got a control problem of your own if you can’t recognize real obscenity, without appreciation for the depth of restraint and control required to do the research published in this blog.

    • JThomason says:

      If I may say so, the profanity in this post is mild compared to a full on Marcy W. dressing down.

      • Rayne says:

        Jeebus. Calling a guy who labels the efficacy of waterboarding he’s designed and applied as “poignant” a “fucker” is somehow more obscene than the guy who merits the label.

        You’re right that she was restrained. Mitchell so richly deserves far more than that meager epithet. I don’t know if the English language even has a profanity of the size and nature warranted.

  38. bobschacht says:

    Hey, everybody, please Spotlight this diary to ten journalists who can get this post more attention!
    Bob from HI but in CA
    writing from my Treo smartphone

  39. TheraP says:

    Profanity has its place. And while I consider myself pretty restrained in that dept, I found its use in this post exceedingly appropriate. Indeed, I can’t say I’ve ever found Marcy’s posts to be out of line in the profanity dept. It’s matter of knowing when to use “choice” language. And I am completely in agreement with Rayne that when it comes to the issue of torture, we lack language strong enough to indicate our extreme displeasure.

    I say again. Kudos to EW and all who stand up for the Rule of Law. And if it takes profanity to do that, well I’m willing to sign on to that petition.

    Profanity in the service of outrage, where extreme outrage is merited, is not a descent. It is an ascent! Shout it from the mountaintops! Let’s hear for the Rule of Law! If profanity gets us us a hearing, please use it with abandon!

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks, TheraP.

      You know what really gnaws at me? Probably the same thing that gnaws at you about this mess: where are those children?

      And what polite, sweet words will ever make it easier for me to explain this to my own kids? I teared up in front of them a week ago talking about the photos we haven’t seen which likely show rape of women and children in front of detainees. This is the obscenity beyond human words.

      • TheraP says:

        Yes, the children. If people simply saw a list of detainees, and that it included 2 children. And then a later list, and 2 children were still on it. (or not, and if not, unaccounted for), yes, how do you tell that to kids? How do you account for that personally to kids? How will they grow up, imagining kids like them, taken from parents, subjected to who knows what?

        Children see things so plainly. They know the difference between fantasy and reality. And they are clear on rules. They would know that you never treat humans worse than you’d treat an animal. Kids would see that with a clarity that would amaze some adults!

        @104: I hope somebody spills the beans! But more than that, I hope people begin to listen. And to care!

  40. lllphd says:

    my oh my, the thought plickens….

    one has to wonder just how dreadful the truth must be for so many otherwise upstanding folks to risk so much to cover up.

    which brings me to a small point, but an interesting one. EW calls panetta out for lying here, and likely he has. but the wording of his declaration in this respect is pretty interesting to me. he says his actions are NOT driven by a desire to suppress evidence of unlawful conduct. take note here; this is not an assertion that said unlawful conduct, or evidence for it, do not exist. he is merely asserting that his actions are not determined by such a desire to suppress.

    don’t get me wrong here, i’m not on the side of suppressing all this evidence. but remember, panetta was brought in to the agency to increase morale and comraderie, not to reform it from the inside out. so it would run fully orthogonal to his mission to turn on them, i suppose.

    still, there is something quite odd about this full press protection of the cia who got us into the whole torture mess to begin with. i smell deeper truths at risk for revelation if the photos are out, that contractors actually contracted for protection against such eventualities and they’re threatening to not only sue for breach for to spill all the beans.

    who knows? unlikely we ever will.

  41. greenbird4751 says:

    the only thing holding me back from complete and utter despair is the white hot light marcy keeps focused on any and all who try to hide.
    cauterize away. they can take it…can’t they?

Comments are closed.