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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This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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