Your Evening Reading: The Bush-Era Terror Memos


Barack Obama today released several Justice Department memos detailing torture tactics used under the Bush administration. In a written statement, Obama acknowledged that sometimes the U.S. must “carry out intelligence operations and protect information that is classified for purposes of national security.” But since much of the content of the memos is already public, and since he has abolished the use of many of the torture methods listed therein, he felt that “withholding these memos would only serve to deny facts that have been in the public domain for some time.” “This could contribute to an inaccurate accounting of the past,” he added, “and fuel erroneous and inflammatory assumptions about actions taken by the United States.” The president ruled out charging CIA agents who carried out these methods, which included tactics like using “insects placed in a confinement box” and the combination of “water dousing with other techniques, such as stress positions, wall standing, the insult slap, or the abdominal slap.”

The Memos (pdf) [Salon]
Obama Rules Out Charging C.I.A. Agents in Interrogations [NYT]