April 16th, 2009
03:05 PM ET
5 years ago

Administration to release torture documents from Bush era

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Obama administration will release four Bush-era memos on terror interrogations Thursday, according to a senior administration official.

The administration has also informed CIA officials they will not be prosecuted for past waterboarding


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    hahaha...the Cheneybot's mechanical heart must be ticking at warp speed. And he though we already hated him enough...

    April 16, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. artemisios

    Why should CIA officials be prosecuted? They were just following orders. Wait a minute - I think I've heard that somewhere before.

    April 16, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. LIP

    This is good.
    It is well for President Obama to remember that like him or not, George W. Bush was elected by a clear majority twice and that Obama as president represents all those people. It would serve no purpose to alienate so many millions of people just for political points, because that is all that this would be about. Extraordinary meansures for extraordinary circumstances will always rule the day during a crises and that is what we had on 9/11.

    April 16, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. Angie In PA

    I dont understand why President Obama is Blocking Prosecution of the Bush Administration very Disapointing!

    April 16, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Well, I see the Obama administration finally got something right! I'm a strong advocator of torturing Islamic terrorists that are out to kill Americans!!

    April 16, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. Brian Crooks

    April 16th, 2009 3:22 pm ET

    why not? We've already got the Torture Document from the Obama administration – it's called the "Stimulus Plan."
    =================
    Yeah, all those people working on the new road plans in my city and all those police on the streets trying to keep ingrates like you safe are REALLY being tortured in the same way as those people who apparently had their heads smashed into walls during detention.

    That's not a rumor, it's what happened. In the memo, John Yoo said it was ok to slam a detainee's head into the wall so long as the interrogator's hands remained on the detainee's head and the interrogator had control over how hard the head impacted the wall. Give it up, THAT WAS TORTURE.

    April 16, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Jackie in Dallas

    As a moderate, I can see both bad and good with this action. On the good side, we make more transparent what went on in the Bush years, and just how far off from the ideals that this country USED to espouse we veered. This will prove, hopefully, to our allies that we no longer intend to violate the Geneva Conventions which we helped write.

    On the other hand, it exacerbates an already acerbic situation that widens even further the gulf between those who supported our former Administration's choices and those that did not.

    April 16, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. Bruce Spiegelman

    if the Bush administration did not approve torture, then they have nothing to fear from releasing these documents.

    April 16, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Brian Crooks

    April 16th, 2009 3:28 pm ET

    Obama is setting a new precedent by trying to smear a prior presidency by releasing documents that will damaging to the reputation of our nation. It's a radical move in the tradition of Saul Alinsky's philosophy. This kind of political activism is damaging to the entire nation, not just Bush. When this is done to Obama in a few years, how will his supporters react?
    ==================
    How is it a smear to report on laws that were broken by a former Presidential Administration? Was it smearing the Soviets when we learned about Stalin's gulags? Was it smearing the Baath Party when Saddam's atrocities came out? It's not a "smear" to let the American people know what was done in their name. Give me a break. If they didn't want to be "smeared" they shouldn't have tortured people.

    April 16, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. SD,Michigan

    I don't care to know the names of those CIA operatives, and if they don't wanna prosecute them, fine. But I want an investigation on who ordered these tortures in the first place and made them look "legal".
    Mr. Patrick Leahy, start that Truth Comission already.
    I care more about the reasons behind the bosses' decision, not particularly their "minions"...

    April 16, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. John in Ohio

    I'm sure conservatives will find a reason to hate this, because it will bring to light the criminal excesses of when they controlled the government.

    And I'm sure liberals will find a reason to hate this, because it assures those criminals that they won't be prosecuted.

    I wish Obama would realize that you're not going to make Republican fanatics happy, and just focus on enforcing the law.

    April 16, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. proud army navy mom

    The administration has also informed CIA officials they will not be prosecuted for past waterboarding.

    CNN try, just try to report all the facts. the administration stated that the ones carrying out the torture will not be prosecuted because they were following the orders of higher ups. you know, rumsfeld, cheney, bush, etc.

    How i wish we had real journalists that actually investigates and reports facts accurately.

    April 16, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    bue where is the prosecution of these torturers?

    April 16, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Brian Crooks

    April 16th, 2009 4:05 pm ET

    I dont understand why President Obama is Blocking Prosecution of the Bush Administration very Disapointing!
    ==============
    He's not blocking prosecution of the entire Administration, just the footsoldiers that carried out orders from on high.

    April 16, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. Neuter Newt!

    NOW, that is my idea of transparency! Another tick mark for President Obama for fulfilling campaign promises.

    This is indeed Change we can believe in and what the majority of American voters brought in on 11/4/08!

    April 16, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. adam

    Um LIP, he wasn't even elected by a majority twice, let alone large ones. He gots half a million less votes than Gore in 2000

    April 16, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Tim

    "U.S. does not torture…." George W. Bush, Oct 2007. Although I would not agree with torture, I would have more respect for former President Bush if he would come clean and say that he felt it was the only way to save lives. Be a man and admit it!!!!

    April 16, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. paul coke

    how can you hold those accountable for carrying out orders to harm somebody. Let me see, what happened after ww2...?

    April 16, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. magella

    LIP "It is well for President Obama to remember that like him or not, George W. Bush was elected by a clear majority twice and that Obama as president represents all those people."

    Obama was elected by a "clear majority." You can't possibly say the same about Bush (Florida 2000, Ohio 2004).

    April 16, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. Irene

    Bosh & Cheney are going down, just like Nixon. It's about time. I hope they spend their retirement in jail.

    Gotta love the GOP Moonies who still support these idiots. What is wrong with you? Seriously, you must have some kind of resoning deficiency to continue to support the Grand Oppressive Party and their newest fool: Palin.

    April 16, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. Dave NYC

    These memos are legal opinions concerning the interpretation of our Constitution and Laws, and as such they are historical documents that most definitely be open to public scrutiny.

    These are historical documents we as citizens have a *right* to view – come on people, let's not forget the values our nation was founded upon!

    April 16, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    @ Mississippi Mike, who said "Obama is setting a new precedent by trying to smear a prior presidency by releasing documents that will damaging to the reputation of our nation."

    I've got news for ya, "my friend": that damage has already been done. Once the s–t falls out of the dog, you can't put it back in. There's not a country on this planet that doesn't think we tortured people and not a country on this planet, other than redneck GOPer country here within our own borders, that believes it was ok.

    April 16, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. ABOUT TIME!

    Let's see what Cheney has to say about this – even more is will the Republican CNN "State of the Union" also present how the Bush administration used torture OR will the reporting continue to slant towards harsh criticism of President Obama!?!?!

    Can't stand Republicans – all of you are crooks.

    April 16, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Jackie in Dallas

    Mississippi Mike, What planet do you live ON? With a public approval rating of 26, President George W Bush rates as one of the worst presidents of this country. There is no need to smear him, he did a good job of doing that to himself. When there are ALLY countries of ours seeking to try members of the Bush Administration for torture and crimes against humanity, do you really think that there is much President Obama can do to make it worse?

    In four years, President Obama will likely still be President. For all the "tea parties" yesterday, and all the hype about them today, there are signs that the economy is righting itself, that our standing among our fellow nations is improving, and that there are still over 60% of Americans who believe that President Obama is doing a good job. But even should he not run, or when he finishes his second term, there will ALWAYS be those who use the 20/20 vision of hindsight to second-guess and criticize decisions they couldn't themselves make. Every President has had their detractors, from George Washington (oh, yes, he had HIS detractors, too!) to Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. There has been NO President who has been uniformly idealized and idolized as never having made a mistake.

    April 16, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. Left Coast Mike, Laguna Niguel, CA

    So when does the author get indictedand , at minimum, disbarred?

    They should be published everywhere and added to political science and civics curriculae in schools nationwide so that our children can study them and see how the mind of a traitor functions.

    April 16, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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