Senate Torture Report Ignores Bush Administration Officials

That Senate torture report that we’ve been waiting for so long to be released even in highly redacted form completely ignores the role of Bush administration officials who ordered and provided legal cover for the CIA’s torture regime from 2001 to 2009, according to a McClatchy report.

A soon-to-be released Senate report on the CIA doesn’t assess the responsibility of former President George W. Bush or his top aides for any of the abuses of the agency’s detention and interrogation program, avoiding a full public accounting of one of the darkest chapters of the war on terror.

“This report is not about the White House. It’s not about the president. It’s not about criminal liability. It’s about the CIA’s actions or inactions,” said a person familiar with the document, who asked not to be further identified because the executive summary – the only part to that will be made public – still is in the final stages of declassification.

The Senate Intelligence Committee report also didn’t examine the responsibility of top Bush administration lawyers in crafting the legal framework that permitted the CIA to use simulated drowning called waterboarding and other interrogation methods widely described as torture, McClatchy has learned.

“It does not look at the Bush administration’s lawyers to see if they were trying to literally do an end run around justice and the law,” the person said.

As a result, the $40 million, five-year inquiry passed up what may be the final opportunity to render an official verdict on the culpability of Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and other senior officials for the program, in which suspected terrorists were abducted, sent to secret overseas prisons, and subjected to the harsh interrogation techniques.

“If it’s the case that the report doesn’t really delve into the White House role, then that’s a pretty serious indictment of the report,” said Elizabeth Goitein, the co-director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program at the New York University Law School. “Ideally it should come to some sort of conclusions on whether there were legal violations and if so, who was responsible.”

Yes, but we wouldn’t want to actually hold a powerful person responsible for war crimes. I mean, it’s only required that we do so by UN Convention Against Torture, which was pushed through and signed by Ronald Reagan. But Obama has done everything he can to protect the Bush administration, including threatening other countries who wanted to use the universal jurisdiction granted them under the UN CAT to file charges against Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

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  • theschwa

    “It does not look at the Bush administration’s lawyers to see if they were trying to literally do an end run around justice and the law,” the person said.

    So it does NOT analyze a football game between Bush’s legal team and a team from the Dept. of Justice and/or FBI? What good is the report!?!

  • Artor

    $40 million and 5 years spent to produce a puff of hot air to blow up everyone’s ass? What a disgrace! I’m revolted at what my country has become. I wish some very horrible things would happen to everyone involved in torture, and then to everyone involved in covering it up.

  • Modusoperandi

    Yes, Ed, mistakes were made. But, as a nation, to heal and to move on, we have to look ahead, not back. It should be noted that Obama’s DoJ will be going after these so-called “Senators” who leaked this information to the public, as they are forcing us to look back and not ahead.

  • Pianoman, Church of the Golden Retriever

    Now, now everyone! Put your eyebrows back down. You know as well as I that this committee is a totally independent body, completely bereft of any outside political influences and that their skimming over the Bush team was pure apolitical objectivity. Just because it doesn’t address the innocent decisions of Cheney et al to make America safer by innocently promoting torture…

  • left0ver1under

    The Bush mis-administration did what they were hired and paid to do by wall street, invade other countries and “acquire” natural resources for corporate America.

    Now they’re getting their reward: A whitewash and a lifetime of protection from war crimes trials.

  • busterggi

    I have it on good authority, i.e.: virtually every conservative talking head, that not only was George W. Bush never POTUS but that he was never even a Republican. Its a calendrical misunderstanding that caused a jump ahead from 2000 to 2008, no actual years passed.

  • lanir

    This sounds more like the basis for a comedy sketch than anything else. Imagine you hire a guard to watch over things for you…

    you: How is everything?

    guard: Nothing to report, sir!

    you: You know, every time I ask that you always say the same thing. How do you do it? Everyone else who’s taken this position always complicated things.

    guard: Well, I close my eyes sir. And then I report on what I see.

    you: Good man! Keep up the good work!

  • shadow


    I prefer the term mal-administration. Mis-administration could conceivably be due to ignorance or change — the damage they (Cheney, Bush,et al) did was deliberate.