President Obama admitted the US tortured “some folks” following the 9-11 attacks.
Obama has used the word “torture” before to describe the harsh interrogation tactics used at CIA-run secret prisons during the Bush administration. But his words at a White House news conference were notably more direct than previous statements.
The comments reflect the line the president is preparing to walk as he gets ready for the release of a Senate committee report on the Bush-era rendition, detention and interrogation program.
According to the president, torture is not OK – but lying about torture is acceptable, as long as you apologize for it. Why do I feel like he learned this strategy by parenting pre-schoolers?
Amidst calls for Brennan’s firing, Obama basically responded, “Sure, we tortured some folks, but I still have confidence in the guy who found the waterboard and black sites at which to torture.”
But I’m not sure why folks are so surprised by Obama’s reluctance to criticize Brennan for lying about hacking the SSCI. Aside from the mutual complicity — Brennan was personal witness to each and every drone strike Obama approved that violated international law, after all — CIA Directors don’t get fired for lying.
They get fired for fucking their biographer.
In the first hour of the show, Howie Klein was on for our weekly “Steve Israel Hour.” We touched on the torture and lies problem, and both admitted to having the same scary thought: that once a president is sworn in and sits at the Oval Office desk for the first time to read the letter left by his or her predecessor, they find out just how limited their power really is, and that the CIA and NSA are the ones calling the shots.
Howie wrote “If You Let Criminals Off Lightly, You Guarantee One Thing: More Crime” about the problem with Obama’s thinking in excusing Brennan’s role in all of this.
We also talked about some important Senate races (Tom Udall who was the first to call for Brennan’s ouster after his “apology” and is facing a very tough re-election. Plus Shenna Bellows, Jeff Merkely, Brian Schatz and a few others.) Blue America has a Senate page for donations here.
We also talked about some gubernatorial races up for grabs, including a tough re-election campaign for Illinois’ Pat Quinn and his “sleazy billionaire sociopath” challenger. They also have a gubernatorial page here…
And we called out another World’s Biggest Asshole today, Iowa Congressman Steve King who we remember as the one who claimed that for every valedictorian among the Dreamers, there are 100 who have calves the size of cantaloupes from smuggling marijuana across the border. Yeah, that guy. He’s back…
During a conference call last month with the National Emergency Coalition, Rep. Steve King said that the U.S. needs to crack down on immigration because our nation’s borders were established by God. Disrespecting the borders, the congressman suggested, is disrespecting God’s will.
He also blamed the child migrant crisis not on drug-war-related violence in Central America but on President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, or as he calls it, “deferred action for criminal aliens.”