And They Took No Note

Until the flood came and swept them all away,

Let’s skip ahead a little bit first, and then get to the other, more crucial breach. In December 2012, the Intelligence Committee completed its 6,300-page review of the Bush administration’s torture programs. The public has not seen this report, as it remains classified, but it has been described as “searing” and highly critical of the CIA and the Bush administration. The CIA has reviewed the report and agrees with some of it, but disagrees strongly with other parts—generally the most damning ones.

But that public stance directly conflicts internal agency analysis. Over the course of the committee investigation, staffers discovered what has been come to be known as the internal “Panetta review.” This was essentially a report ordered by Panetta examining the documents that were being turned over to Congress, in an effort to get a grip on what exactly was being revealed. The committee has a partial version of this review on its computers, Feinstein said, as well as a printed-out, redacted hard copy in a secure location inside the Hart Senate Office building.

By all accounts, the Panetta review is damning. The public first learned of it in December, when Senator Mark Udall referenced it in an open confirmation hearing for CIA General Counsel Dianne Krass. “It appears that [the CIA’s internal detention and interrogation program review], which was initiated by former Director Panetta, is consistent with the Intelligence committee’s report, but amazingly it conflicts with the official CIA response,” Udall said during the hearing.

Feinstein also described the Panetta review this morning as quite critical of the CIA programs, and described “analysis and acknowledgement of significant CIA wrongdoing.”

Naturally the Panetta review is a monumentally important document that appears to undermine—in the CIA’s own words—the agency’s public dismissals of the most serious criticisms of Bush-era torture. It is this document that Feinstein alleged Tuesday morning was taken from Senate computers by the CIA.

Nothing makes Ted Cruz look smaller than his own words, and instead of pining for the lions of the Senate, he should tell his constituents where he has been in all of this.

The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the Allied forces after World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of Nazi Germany. The trials were held in the city of Nuremberg. The first, and best known of these trials, described as “the greatest trial in history” by Norman Birkett, one of the British judges who presided over it,[1] was the trial of the major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal (IMT).

Some things in our own history are too large for that of Senator Cato and rhetoric, demand action out of our own self respect, and our own sense of shame.

And therein my friends, is the essence of the decline of the United States. We have the government we deserve, and all the pogo sticking of politics cannot change the obviousness of ourselves.


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