April 16th, 2009
03:05 PM ET
9 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. A little sad

    LIP April 16th, 2009 4:00 pm ET

    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


    Actually, although he eventually was granted the most electoral college votes in 2000, he did not win a 'majority' in that election, he lost the popular vote.

    April 16, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. RRR

    Bush tortured alone......no other country would admint to even being a part of this. Funny, when other nations act unilaterally you 'Code Right' fanatics want to invade and torture them ala Bush.....yet when the U.S. used to act unilaterally under Bush, you ignorantly turned a blind eye.
    How crass to feel that you are above the rest of the world. And how crass to think an American dictator is above a dictator from any other country or era.

    And.....how small to think that Bush is the only President villified by the other party......Bush went after Clinton the minute he stole the election in 2000! I agree that minions should not be procescuted for following orders........too bad we can't quietly send Cheney to Guantanamo himself and have HIM deprived of any rights, just like he did to so many others......how can he sleep at night??

    April 16, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. Beth

    Everyone is so quick to judge, but none of us were in Bush's shoes immediately after the 9/11 attacks. We don't know what kind of information he had or what kind of attack was coming next. I'll say this- if an attack was coming in my city, and someone had to resort to waterboarding to get info on that attack, then I don't care if the terrorist was in a little pain. His pain does not compare to the thousands of husbands, wives, children, etc. of people who were lost in 9/11. So unless you were there, in the Pentagon, with confidential memos in your hand, no one has a right to judge. I think these CIA guys did what they needed to do, and in the process, they thwarted many more attacks that could have costed more lives.

    April 16, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. Dan

    We are Proud of Obama and Biden.
    We are Ashamed of Bush and Cheney.
    Bush and Cheney are war Criminals and should be in Jail.
    Bush and Cheney mislead Americans into Iraq war by creating a false intelligence report that Iraq has WMDs.
    Bush and his Father as Presidents put America into war with Iraq, for their greed for oil.
    Thousands have died, including 4200 US Troops due to the unjustified war.

    April 16, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. President Obama could walk on water and the Party of NO would still complain that he left footprints!

    "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"

    If the prior chump-in-chief did everything straight up like we heard from both the administration and the talking bobble-head, then what are you folks of being exposed that would "smear" the shrub.

    This is your chance to show your unfailing support and shout out loud and proud!

    April 16, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. Jimmy the Greek

    Can't wait until the next administration... we'll get releases of Obama memos going over Obama's birth certificate, campaign contributions from Palestine, and efforts by his administration to target private US citizens.

    April 16, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. Chi Town

    Pepou April 16th, 2009 3:26 pm ET

    "I am anxious to see them. I am teaching a class and want to inform my students so they understand the past and don't repeat it."

    Then you might want to look at FDR and extending the Depression by ten years because of gov spending.

    April 16, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    @ FreeNLovIt, who said "Extremism is so deadly and horrible that we really needed to do this to beat the heart of extremism. "

    How do you feel about us torturing confessions out of KKK members and militia wannabes who worship at the bloody altar of St. McVeigh then? Hmmmm? Your premise doesn't even make sense anyway because torturing people didn't help us "beat the heart of extremism." Last I checked, we wasted 7 years farting around in Iraq killing tens of thousands of people instead of going after bin Laden and Zawahiri et al. in Afghanistan. Ideology is not a prism, it's a blinder.

    April 16, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. But Obama is not prosecuting the torturers....

    this is a sad day for the liberal wing of the Democratic party-Obama is letting all those government torturers and waterboarders go free--
    where is the Change I can believe in??????

    April 16, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. Ron

    To virginia nielsen.

    It's hypocritical that liberals accuse Bush of having ignored the CIA's warning about 9/11 and then call them idiots for listening to the CIA about Iraq's threat. Make up your minds. And no, the Bush Administration did not make the CIA lie. The CIA (and most of the Democrats – including the Clinton's) believed it was true. Get your facts straight.

    April 16, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. Chi Town


    Obama is on CNN right now saying how no good can come from looking back and pointing blame...

    HA... the hypocracy of this guy is astounding.

    April 16, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. phoenix86


    And in 4 years the new administration can release Obamas memos on terror interrogations. Believe me there will be plenty.

    Im sure Obama wont need it 4 years from now…

    Quite true. Obama will have surrendered to terrorists and their sponsors by then.

    April 16, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. Jack in Florida

    The all need to be taken to the Hague and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!!!!

    April 16, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Seth

    What good can possibly come of this? Just more fodder for terrorists and liberals. They should do a study of how many terrorist attacks were thwarted by subjecting some of these terrorists to a few seconds of extreme discomfort. The USA is and always has been the nation that tries to play by the rules. Where is the outcry when some sorry soul gets his head sawed off on video? I'm fed up with being the apologizing superpower. Deep down you all know we are playing into the hands of these terrorists, you also know they had it MUCH better than Americans would in their hands. How long will it be before I see some commercial asking people if they were tortured at Guantanamo Bay because they could receive a settlement?

    April 16, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. SLM

    I support any method used against terrorists to keep this country safe. So many of you seem to forget what they did to us on 9/11 and beyond.

    April 16, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Mike Dallas

    No one is after the heads of any of the grunts in the CIA or any other organization that was only doing what they were told, even if they actually did the deed. They were only following orders.

    The head of the "decider" that decided to torture uh, excuse me, "enhance introgations"

    Now, that MAY be a different case, so to speak.

    April 16, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. arithmetic is liberal

    In 1945 after the Allies overran, conquered and divided Nazi Germany, many of Germany's citizens wouldn't, couldn't or didn't beleive that a genocide had taken place just down the street from them, at their countrymen's doing.

    When American troops went through and closed the concentration camps, they didn't bury the bodies of tortured, mutilated, murdered European Jews. No. They forced, sometimes at gunpoint, the unbelieving Germans who lived close to the camps to dig the graves so they could see just exactly how horrifying the Nazi rhetoric was that they helped support.

    Will the people who live in a right wing propaganda echo chamber (all news from Fox, Drudge & AM radio) need to one day confront the horrors of their rhetoric? Or will we one day have to force them at gun point to bury the victims of their own violence?

    I am not remotely kidding, by the way.

    April 16, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. DT

    In fact the Obama administration is probably doing these very same things (difference is Bush used it on the US enemies, Obama's using it on people who don't agree with him).

    April 16, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. Dan, TX

    I am sure the release will prove that the Bush administration did nothing illegal. Conservatives should be happy we are putting the left-wing lies to rest. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you are liberal and nothing to be afraid of if you are conservative. Why are people so immature on this site?

    April 16, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. b


    Ah Beth but it’s ok to the criticize Obama for trying to get us out of the recession. If you know what he knows maybe you shouldn’t be quick to judge also. Practice what you preach….

    April 16, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. Rick

    I don't know if they tortured those despicable animals at Guantanamo Bay or not but I sure hope so.

    Waterboarding is not torture.
    Abu Ghraib was the most overblown story in the history of journalism.

    April 16, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. DT

    Quite true. Obama will have surrendered to terrorists and their sponsors by then.
    Dont see how if he sendin off more troops and is actively finishin the war that idiot started...

    April 16, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. phoenix87

    which should we surrender to?

    the Bush administrations taking away civil rights and 8 years of fear and suppression of the media and taking us to war on fabricated lies and dragging us into recession and ...



    neither sounds appealing

    your post was equally unappealing and extreme and
    far fetched phoenix86

    April 16, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. Kevin B

    Wowzey wow !! Listen to the republicans screech and howl..........

    Go Mr Obama, Ain't nobody mad, but the devil.........

    April 16, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  25. SD,Michigan

    Just finished reading the first memo. Basically, to go past CAT, they only needed to redefine the term "severe", as in severe pain and suffering, with some bogus excuses.
    Hey Cheney, why don't you volunteer to be waterboarded and let us know if it was severe or mild...
    Laws are laws, and should be respected. If they put a spin on this, who says somebody won't try to spin the Constitution someday?

    April 16, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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