Saturday, April 25, 2009

Whose Interest?

President Obama has continued to spin his decision to declassify and release the Department of Justice "torture memos" as a decision based on the national interest, even on national security. It certainly doesn't have anything to do with a continued campaign against the Bush administration. Because of course, the Obama administration is about "post-partisanship".

Right. The Washington post publishes an account of the 11th-hour deliberations over the memos' release, in which the President compelled his staff to participate in an academic-style debate. Those supporting the release of the memos argued it would "focus public attention on the coldness and sterility of the legal justifications for abusive techniques" and "demonstrate that the nation lost its "moral bearings" in the Bush years" Those arguing to keep the memos secret, on the other hand, feared their release "would spark a national security debate with conservatives that could undermine Obama's broader agenda." So the debate was entirely about which course of action would be more beneficial to the administration; the national interest never came up. Or, on the other hand, it was the center of the debate, since the administration's interest is the national interest as far as these people are concerned.

UPDATE: (HT PowerLine) Stephen Hayes comments in the Weekly Standard on the selective redaction of the details on the intelligence value of the controversial interrogations, as well as the suspicious editing of Admiral Blair's statement on the matter:
It is possible, I suppose, that a series of fortunate coincidences has resulted in the public disclosure of only that information that will be politically helpful to the Obama administration. It is also possible that Dick Cheney has taken up synchronized swimming in his retirement.

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