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. Matt

    For those bashing Obama for coming clean, just stop typing. This is ridiculous. I love how everything is his fault and no one elses. I'm sure every single person whose typed that leads the perfect Christian life and has never had to clean up after someone else. Just wait in 4 years and see how far we've come. If you don't like then please leave. I am an American and regardless of who sits in that office he is our commander so quit your whining b/c 99% of the things you type 1. make no sense. 2. You have no idea what you're talking about. 3. You can't even back up much of anything with actual data b/c they're still sifting through all the BS Cheney left.

    April 16, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. Alex

    I have to say that I am anti torture but this sounds like a good plan to me. This way everyone will know what happened and the people that did the torturing will not be punished for doing what the were told to do by their employer. Sure it may have been wrong for them to do it, but if they didn't do what they were told to do then they would have been tried for not protecting the country. Good job Obama!

    April 16, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. Dante

    all you morons that worry about the geneva convention as it applies to TERRORISTS, think a minute....they don't wear uniforms, they don't belong to a 'traditional' army for which the geneva convention was written....they aim to kill innocents, not soldiers....their home nations don't want them back....their only aim is to TERRORIZE, MAIM, and KILL and die in the process..........so climb upon your high horses and enjoy a few more months of relative tranquility because i think we're becoming soft and thus more vulnerable to attack by those who would do us harm.......after napoitano opens our borders and blesses the illegals, after obama makes nice with TERRORISTS and their supporter nations, after obama dismantles the CIA and our anti-terror apparatus and scares the rest of our intelligence operatives into meek silence and inaction with his most recent stunt, after obama puts a stop to our anti-missile defense systems development, after he finishes trying the palsy-walsy anti-terror strategy.....well, you get the picture..........

    April 16, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. Matt

    Does anyone remember how 6-7 yrs ago that if spoke out against Bush you were a TRAITOR or Un-american? You do realize that the fingers are putting back at you now right.

    April 16, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. stormerF

    All this from a community organizer that could not even buy his own house....Obama does not know what torture is,too bad he did not grow up in the early 1800's in the west,the Indians coud have taught him something about torture.

    April 16, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. LIP

    For all those that actually read the dibble I leave behind; since our president is elected by the Electoral College, then a clear majority would be "electoral votes". For those less astute, I will try to be more specific.

    April 16, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. Matt

    I love the fact that probably 90% of you have never even seen war except in bad movies or on tv. How about you actually know what you're talking about you COWARDS. Any President that understands that we shouldn't have even gone into Iraq understand the best thing we can do is let them take over but we can't b/c some id.iot got into a really bad situation we may never be able to get out of. I should know. I was there.

    Why did we go in? WMD-were none. Saddam's ties to Al-Queda? were no ties. To Bin Laden? They weren't any b/c before the first Gulf War Bin Laden went to the Saudi King to ask if they could start a jihad against Saddam and the King chose us to go in and take care of the problem. If you're going to type then at least know what you're talking about. Go buy the book Ghost Wars. It was written by CIA ops dealing with the Mujahdeen in Afghanistan and our role. It is not a liberal book by any stretch of the imagination. It was written and has interviews, documents, etc explaining every single move we made in order to assist and arm the Mujahdeen by first using the ISI of Pakistan and then later the Afghan warlords themselves. Enlighten yourself.

    April 16, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. Objective Thinking

    I agree with Obama's approach. At the time, waterboarding was not defined as torture. The current administration is saying "it is now, so we're not doing it." So to prosecute those CIA officials would be prosecuting them for an action that was not considered a crime at the time. But at the same time, we can't continue it, so releasing these memos is good so we can see what we should not do anymore.

    April 16, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. Ignorance

    It amazes me how people use the 911 to justify everything, yet our government and the republican right bash the 911 wives daily. Why can't we water board republicans? Let's waterboard Perry to see what he knows about Texas leaving the union. Bush, Limbaugh, Hannity and the rest of them.

    That is change I can believe in...

    April 16, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Lucy

    I want to read the memos and vote for a trial of war crimes against that egregious fascist. don't forget to include all the terrorists he palled around with like Cheney, Rove...get the point?

    April 16, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. Tim

    Now that they have released the book, I hope they release the movies. I have my popcorn ready and can't wait to see how we made these guys talk and give up details that saved American lives. Thanks Bush. Thank God the spineless liberals were not in charge during these trying times when we needed someone to make tough decisions. I'm with you 100%, and I'm glad that the methods we used proved to be effective.

    Anyone who thinks these methods made us less safe because it would make the terrorists do likewise are just plain foolish and naive. I'd much rather be waterboarded than have my head cut off.

    April 16, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    @ SD, Michigan, who asked "who says somebody won't try to spin the Constitution someday?"

    Haven't you been listening to the rightwing fundy neocon dingbats for the past 50 years (give or take, depending on your age)? They're still trying to eviscerate our nation's most sacred document...it's what Bush did for 8 years and what McCain promised to continue if elected and what Palin and her ilk promise to do if they are ever elected POTUS. They HATE civil rights getting in the way of their ideological theocracy.

    April 16, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. b


    Talk about people living in make believe land, Bush is a Saint and Obama is the devil right? Sounds familiar? You need to renew your kkk membership. You’re right Obama is probably torturing as I type; it is mind-boggling how you people can be so obtuse. Just because he those things contrary to what you want.

    April 16, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    @ LIP, who said "since our president is elected by the Electoral College, then a clear majority would be "electoral votes". "

    That's nice. But that's not what people mean in common parlance.

    April 16, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  15. Tim

    The Geneva convention doesn't apply to enemy combatants. It does apply to prisoners of war. Once taken prisoner, the only thing you can ask is name, rank and serial number. You can not ask any other questions, even if the prisoner is talkative, otherwise, you are not following the Geneva Conventions.

    According to Obama, he will only follow the Geneva conventions. So no matter what, no one will ever ask an enemy combatant anything other than their name, rank and serial number. We have Obama's word. If he goes back on that word, then it wil be "a dark day in the history of the United States".

    Liberals really are a bunch of tools.

    April 16, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. Same Old White House

    Pepou, you are the reason I do not trust the school systems in this country. Are you also teaching not to do what the democrats do such as starting the Viet Nam police action? What about the Bay of Pigs? Are you teaching your students that Obamas stimulus plan will be paid for by them?

    April 16, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    @ TCM, who said "the grip is slipping…like most celebrities…his star is fading fast!"

    Whatever you gotta tell yourself so you can sleep at night bub.

    April 16, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. Chi Town


    We have to leave by Dec 2011... Bush signed that into law under the SOFA with Iraq. So don't worry we are leaving.

    As far as going in... WMD was one of 19 reasons as agreed upon by congress when we went. Not the least of it being Saddams failure to follow the cease fire he agreed to at the end of the Gulf War. He continued to harrase no fly zones and fire on US Air Force pilots in the mean time... any of which is an act of war. I agree that no WMD was found. As far as calling everyone a coward... that's easy to do on a website when you have no idea who served... or how many times. I did... embedded for a year training Iraqis in Al Anbar... many of which would tell you "oh yea... we had plenty of chem weapons... and used them up North or in the Iran war".

    All in all I agree with you though... Iraq was a very big mistake. Staying in Afgahnistan will be as well... The Russians learned that... at well as most countries who have had a land war in Asia.

    PS: The movie Charlie Wilsons War goes a long way to explaining what happend in Afghanistan in the 80s.

    April 16, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. arithmetic is liberal

    For those who say waterboarding and face slamming and hooking up electrode to tea bags isn't torture, I say please SIGN UP!!

    VOLUNTEER to have this done to you and prove all us bleeding heart pinko liberals wrong!

    April 16, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. flybyshoeing

    The memos are posted on Huffington Post. Get the Pepto Bismol cuz your stomach will need it. Disgusting. I understand the decision not to prosecute the CIA agents, but the higher ups that allowed this and the lawyers that wrote them should be disbarred.

    April 16, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. Robert

    Obama administration should also release Bush-era documents pertaining to:

    1. The initiation of Iraq war.
    2. Intelligence reports that Iraq has WMDs.
    3. Authorizing subprime lending to homeowners.
    4. Hiking gas prices to $4.50 a gallon and then brining them down
    during elections.
    5. And many more clandestine activities of Bush-era.

    April 16, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  22. Expat American

    Bush, Cheney, Rummie the whole despicable evil lot of them will never face justice for their crimes against humanity....Others like them have escaped justice too, among them Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot...

    But just for a second, imagine the key players of the former Republican administration on trial in an international court facing the judge as they are about to receive their sentences....

    It would be a beautiful sight...one that the world and history would applaud.

    April 16, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  23. Phil

    And people are mad about the waterboarding of these captured combatants/terrorists why?

    April 16, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  24. arithmetic is liberal

    Tim April 16th, 2009 5:08 pm ET

    Thank God the spineless liberals were not in charge during these trying times when we needed someone to make tough decisions.

    Because the decisions we got from the Decider were really something to write home about.

    Here is what Gore would have done on September 12:
    1. Institute $1 Patriot gas tax on fossil fuel to encourage our switch to fossil fuels and stop up the money draining East.
    2. Bombed the ever loving out of Tora Bora, and start carpet bombing west until we killed that rat b_stard. Replace the Taliban government.
    3. Fund rebuilding the Twin Towers exactly as before and 1 story higher, with that heartwrenching ruin with the flag draped on it preserved as a memorial for all time.
    4. Moved on to things that didn't involve creating an American Empire.

    April 16, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. pt

    This administration wants to erase the last one. They also want to blame everything on whites, conservatives, Christians, military, etc. – essentially anyone who is remotely not an extreme liberal. I think the wording on that "terrorist threat" document should replace all issues with things such as homosexual rights, pro-abrotion, anti-military, animal and plant religous, etc. – you know, all the people who violently demonstrated, violently physically attacked opposition, attempted/threatened to kill people, and continue to enrode my rights.

    April 16, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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