Of all of the dishonest and hypocritical statements by the defenders of torture in the wake of the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the matter, this statement from former CIA Director Michael Hayden could destroy every irony meter that ever has or ever will exist:
“Let’s get to the report itself, which reads far more like a prosecutorial screed than it does some reasoned document as to what went on there. I mean, this is a bill of attainder. This is accusations. You know the people at CIA were never interviewed, not me, not the other directors. No one actively involved in this program was ever interviewed by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence staff. It’s as if we were tried and convicted in absentia. We were not given an opportunity to mount a defense. And there was no discovery process by which alleged evidence could be revealed and challenged.”
Hey, you know where all of those things could take place? You know where he could be afforded all the due process protections of the Constitution, including the right not to be tortured for information, the right to an attorney and a fair trial, the right to question his accusers and mount a defense to the charges against him? At a criminal trial. But that isn’t going to happen, of course, because we have a president who continues to do everything he can to prevent such trials from taking place.
But imagine what his response would be if he actually was subjected to a criminal trial. Imagine if he was given all of those protections that he denies to everyone else. I’m willing to bet his outrage at that would be far more hyperbolic than his outrage at the release of a report. This is a man who has argued for indefinite detention, for drone strikes and for every other appalling policy in the war on terror. And now he demands the very due process he argues against for others. And if he got it, he’d be even more angry about that.
I think I may need to rename the Bryan Fischer Award to the Michael Hayden Award.