Do You Want Cheney With That?

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We still don’t have a CIA IG report, but Greg Sargent reports that the release will come with special bonus features: two documents requested by former Vice President Dick Cheney that he claims prove torture’s “effectiveness.” Zack Roth has corroborated the report by pointing to CIA Director Leon Panetta’s memo to CIA employees today, which refers to the release of two documents from 2004-05 (presumably the same ones Cheney wanted).

As for Panetta’s memo itself: it’s what you might expect. The CIA director calls the story “old,” lionizes the agency’s intelligence-gathering during a time “when inside information on al-Qa’ida was in short supply,” and calls debate over the “methods used” “legitimate.” (Another way of saying that he thinks it’s possible to defend the agency’s treatment of detainees.) He also dredges up an old Bush excuse: “The Agency sought and received multiple written assurances that its methods were lawful.” And as you know, in Bushland, whatever John Yoo writes is legal and right is, in fact, legal and right. We create our own reality.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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