Michael Hayden is at it again. This time it is CNN that has donated the bandwidth to his continued petty whining about the release of the OLC Torture Memos. After acknowledging that the matter is over and now simply a matter of history, Hayden, in a “Special to CNN Comment” bearing today’s date, says:
I know that the story has moved on, that the outline of the journalistic narrative has been set, and that the “first draft” of history has been just about finalized. Before the ink dries though, I would like to offer at least a footnote.
And this footnote has to do with President Obama’s decision in April to release opinions drafted by the Department of Justice that detailed the CIA’s interrogation program for high-value al Qaeda detainees.
Make no mistake. The decision to release those memos in April was a political one, not a legal one — a question of choice rather than necessity.
This was a deliberate decision and, if it is to be defended, history (and journalism) should demand that it be defended on those grounds and not on some hapless “the judge was going to make me do it” argument.
As I said, this is all now a footnote, and Hellerstein’s September decision was barely remarked in the public discourse.
But the good people of CIA follow this more closely than most and, like the good operators and analysts that they are, they know what they see and they know what it means.
“Make no mistake”, just as the decision to release the torture Memos is old news, so is Hayden’s objection. He made it abundantly clear, on many records, before, during and after the Memos’ release. Why did CNN decide that giving Hayden a prime “special” opportunity to continue the same relentless petulance was a good idea? Where is the CNN “Special Comment” on the decision of the British High Court that heroically proclaimed:
It cannot be suggested that information as to how officials of the U.S. government admitted treating (Binyam Mohamed) during his interrogation is information that can in any democratic society governed by the rule of law be characterized as ’secret’ or as ‘intelligence’…
Where was the CNN “Special Comment” on US Federal Judge Jeffrey White who trumpeted the public’s “right to know” what their government has done in their name in a very similar FOIA case?
Why is it that CNN has special space available for Michael Hayden, a man centrally involved in the alleged Bush war criminal misconduct, to rehash his same old self serving petty whining from months ago, but not for the current news that actually supports the rule of law in a democracy?