Over objections from the U.S. intelligence community, the White House is moving to declassify — and publicly release — three internal memos that will lay out, for the first time, details of the “enhanced” interrogation techniques approved by the Bush administration for use against “high value” Qaeda detainees….According to the administration official, ex-CIA director Michael Hayden was “furious” about the prospect of disclosure and tried to intervene directly with Obama officials. But the White House has sided with Holder.
Obama’s record so far on the related issues of torture, civil liberties, detention, and surveillance has been mixed. I hope that part of this is simply the caution of a new administration that doesn’t want to make irreversible decisions before it’s given them enough thought. Releasing these memos is a small sign that perhaps once they’ve settled in they’ll start unraveling the abuses of the Bush-era more thoroughly.