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April 17th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Mistake to release Bush era interrogation memos?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is being criticized for his decision to release those Bush-era memos about CIA interrogation techniques. Conservatives say releasing them damages our national security by telling the terrorists what we do.

Michael Hayden (right) directed the CIA under President George W. Bush.

Michael Hayden - who led the CIA under President Bush - says CIA officers will now be more timid and our allies will be less likely to share sensitive intelligence. Human rights groups aren't happy that the president promised the CIA that officers who conducted interrogations won't be prosecuted if they used techniques that were authorized at the time.

The president insists there's nothing to gain by "spending our time and energy laying blame for the past." President Obama spent a month deciding whether or not to release the memos and consulted numerous officials. He reportedly weighed the "sanctity of covert operations" and what impact this could have on national security against the law and his belief in transparency. In the end transparency won.

The documents themselves are quite revealing... They show the CIA used waterboarding, sleep deprivation, slapping, keeping detainees naked and in some cases in a diaper, putting detainees on a liquid diet, and using a plastic neck collar to slam detainees into walls. The memos also authorized keeping suspected al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah, who was apparently afraid of bugs, in a dark, confined space - and then putting a harmless insect in the box with him, while telling him it's a stinging insect.

President Obama banned the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques - what some call torture - soon after he took office; and has pledged to make sure the actions described in these memos "never take place again."

Here’s my question to you: Is the release of the Bush era interrogation memos a mistake?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Chris from Bronx, New York writes:
Obama did the right thing. America has always enjoyed a moral high ground to get things done around the world. I reject the claim that the CIA will now be timid after the release of these memos. He has left the CIA alone, so they can continue to do their great work.

Jason from Norfolk, Virginia writes:
As soon as you can explain what good will come of releasing the memos, go ahead and release them. For the time being, I will consider it a betrayal of our national security apparatus and the obviously necessary confidence in which it must operate. No matter that some believe that "mistakes were made" – we have to have some secrets to protect our sources and methods of gaining intelligence information.

Karl from San Francisco writes:
No.The mistake is not prosecuting Bush, Cheney, Hayden, Gonzales and maybe Rumsfeld and Ashcroft or at least appointing a totally independent prosecutor to look into it. Until we correct the course of the past, we are just another third world country that tortures people and the rest of the civilized world knows it.

Katty from Oregon writes:
Jack, Absolutely it is a mistake. There are some things we just simply do not need to know. Might as well supply a blue-print to the terrorists. Believe me when I say my husband would have preferred a little waterboarding instead of the horrendous torture he underwent in Hanoi. He was there over 6 years. Where were the ACLU and all the bleeding hearts then?

Elle writes:
No. I need to know what my country did on my behalf in all issues. Let's hear it.

Annie from Atlanta writes:
No. The only mistake going forward would be not prosecuting and imprisoning everyone involved.


Filed under: Bush Administration
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Anne

    The mistake is not holding anyone accountable for this disgusting behavior.

    Anne
    Texas

    April 17, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  2. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    It was a mistake on the global scene because we are not far enough removed from those days to where people will believe we have truely changed. Nationally, it was brilliant on part of the Democrats. Do everything you can to keep linking the opposition to former President Bush, and continue to down play the fact that he was hated even among many Republicans.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  3. Ed Reed

    No. The mistake was the Bush's decision to torture prisoners in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture, which is a U. S. law. This stain on the nation's honor is worse than that on Monica Lewinky's dress.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    April 17, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  4. Diane/Allentown PA

    And what island did that slimball Rumsfield slither off to? He was behind most if not all of this along with Cheney.

    Bring them up on war crimes and prove it will never happen again.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  5. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    It not only would have been a mistake not to, it would have been a crime. It would have been aiding and abetting after the fact. A white wash. Obstructing Justice.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  6. David Alexandria, VA

    Yes - but not becasue we could not learn from them - because too many people will use them to seek some sort of political or criminal vengence. "Torture" is an extreemely subjective term except in the extreme. Everything will be taken out of the context of a time of war and fear and specific circumstance, people operatin within the rules of the day, and so on.

    That's not learning.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  7. Phil, A Canadian Observer

    Absolutely not! Transparancy and full disclosure are the only ways to keep any Politician honest and ethical. One they make their first $10 million or so the presidents all become obsessed with their "legacy" and their place in the "history books" Every decission should be open to examination immediately after it is made. My boss does it to me and I'm sure yours does too.

    Think of it this way...Higher office requires higher standards and higher scrutiny....

    April 17, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  8. KimSmith, Dodge City, Kansas

    This is a huge first step in removing the cloak of secrecy that seems to be the trademark of unscrupulous administrations. Perhaps now we can start to shed light into the dank, dark shadows of the Washington insiders and manipulators. The next organization that needs to be exposed and discredited is the corrupt Black Water mercenary outfit.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  9. Joan B

    People seem to ignore the fact that these interrogations saved the lives of thousands of "good" Americans.
    Who is more important? Barabarian Murderers of children, elderly and others, or good decent honest people? Only an ignorant person would say the latter and their effort to weaken our security indicates who they really are.
    Bush kept us safe and we felt safer w/him as President.
    Joan B
    Mn

    April 17, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  10. Pablo in Tejas

    Jack
    it is never a mistake to do the right thing. It's painful, embarrassing, maybe even humiliating sometimes, but it ain't wrong. From a purely political point, this may give the Democrats and Republicans in Congress enough spine to go after and expose the full panoply of illegal, unconstitutional and unAmerican action taken by Bush, Cheney, and their crypto-fascist minions in the unholy name of "Homeland Security".

    Pablo
    Arlington Texas

    April 17, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  11. steve

    I think the release of these documents at this time serves very little purpose except to feed the kook left's appetite for anything negative about the Bush administration. As far as I'm concerned, it's a self serving move, which isn't a surprise coming from a politician.

    I guess only time will tell if it was a good or bad idea, but as of now I can't see any good that comes from it.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  12. Jane S. Nixon in Phoenix Az.

    I think terrorists know what techniques were used-unless they are plain stupid.The mistake is that the torturerers are being given a free pass by the current administration.Didn't the Nuremburg defendants already try the I-was-just-following-orders defense?Another mistake might be for Bush,Cheney,etc. to travel to Spain or some other country that thinks torture was a big deal.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  13. Ben from Gaithersburg, MD

    Absolutely not!!!! Ever since I was 3 years old, I've been taught that coming clean on my own misdeeds is the right thing to do. The same is true of our government. It will make the USA more respected throughout the world and will restore its image as a true democracy, an image that was destroyed, even among allies and friends, as a result of arrogance, stupidity, and bullyboy behavior for 8 long, tortuous years. 'Following orders' as an alibi should have disappeared at Nuremburg.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  14. Larry

    Releasing the memoes will damage security by telling terrorists what we do, is that it? But, I thought we didn't do that stuff any more. Anyway, I'm sure the sadists that gravitate towards the professions involved in secret interrogation have vivid imaginations and will come up with new and interesting techniques when our conservative brethren get their way and we return to the mindset of the Spanish Inquisition.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  15. Rose in Az

    I don't think it is a good idea, why let the world know how we treat our prisoners. I don't think any of the treatment they received was terrible when you consider they thought nothing of be-heading Americans. They are a brutal bunch and deserve what they got. How soon we forget 9/11 and what they did to this country.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  16. Dean in PA

    Jack,

    Whether it comes out now or twenty years in the future, what was done was illegal by the Geneva Conventions, which the US signed. If we no longer want to abide by this we should have notified the other 200 countries of that.
    Just because another person or persons in this country break the law of the land; ex. murder, does not mean we should be allowed to do the same. If murder is to to be legalized change the laws to reflect what you want to do. Either we uphold the laws or break the laws, we can not have it both ways!!!!

    April 17, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  17. Jim El Paso Tx.

    Hell no it wasn't a mistake Jack. The American people can now see how criminal the Bush administration was. Hayden's criticism is not worth much considering he was nothing but GW's LAPDOG during this affair!

    April 17, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  18. Richard, Providence, RI

    Jack,

    It is not a mistake to release these memos; the mistake being made is that arrest warrents for Bush & Cheney aren't immediately following.

    Richard – Providence, RI

    April 17, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  19. An old lady from the deep south

    No. In fact I breathe easier knowing what we were told we did, we did. Now maybe the UCMJ will mean something and will follow it. Then take any sadist who goes beyond it and prosecute.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  20. Bruce, Georgia

    No, and what conservatives are defending those techniques? Surely not Reagon Repulicans, Ronald Reagon committed this nation to not only not using torture but prosecuting torturers.
    So all you good morale Reagon Republicans unite with the rest of us good morale Americans and call for the immediate impeachment of Bush and Cheney, prosecution of those who authorized torture, and at least removal from the Government payroll of all those who tortured others.
    Makes me sick calling defenders of torture conservatives, not really sure what they should be called but definitely not conservatives!

    April 17, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  21. John from Alabama

    Jack: President Obama is a thinking commander in chief, therefore; in the name of transparency and giving the CIA a break it is a good thing to make the interrogatiom methods public. The Justice Department pointed out the CIA did not authoruze the harsh techniques, but rather permission was given from higher up the food chain. President Bush and Vice President Cheney are ones who have been outed, sort like some lady CIA operative.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  22. Kenneth Kohlmann

    Here we go again, let's make Bush look bad and make us look good. If I were a terrorist, I would use the info that Mr. O just released to justify my cause and to step up what I'd do against Americans and espcilly captives. Mr. O's action makes me feel less safer than I did a couple of days ago. Thanks Mr. Prez.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  23. Julia from Fayetteville, NC

    I am not savvy on this subject but I have an opinion. I think the very top officials today need to know what happened and make sure it doesn't happen again if it were something that approached being unlawful or sneaky. I don't see that we, the people, need to know what WAS going on even though we THINK we would like to know. Most of us had a feeling that they were doing things that approached illegal, unlawful, or corrupt. But we don't need to know that stuff. You get all kinds of feelings when you are pretty sure the Vice President was really running things.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  24. Mark in OKC

    Of course not, if it pertains to former President Bush, then by all means let's release Bush's e-mails to his mother also.....anything to gig the Republicans....I thought this administration was all about CHANGE.....I guess "change" to the Obama bunch means "hunt for dirt on the previous administration"....the Obama White House needs to get a life!

    April 17, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  25. Al, Lawrence KS

    We have laws and treaties that govern our actions. As a country we have always thought that those laws should be transparent to all. For the last few years, our government has been ruled by WWJBD philosophy. (What Would Jack Bouer Do?) This isn't some TV show where you can pick and choose what laws to follow. This is the real world, where laws have meaning and actions have consequences. The more we reveal about the mentality of the previous administration, the quicker we can heal, not only our own divisions, but our standing in the world.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  26. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: I think it was a mistake. Normally one does not "air" their dirty laundry on the international scene. Is Obama being honest or transparent? I believe it is a question of right or wrong, not a matter of policy--because there is no right way to do something wrong.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  27. KarenB, centralFlorida

    They should NOT be released. Interrogation techniques used by the CIA or the military should NEVER be released to the general public. If you tell it all, then your ENEMY knows your techniques. They already know too much, I'm sure they have great TV reception, even in the caves or bunkers or in fancy apartments in cities, or hideouts in various towns all over our country. They have the eyes, ears and mouths of many other US sources of information - one of our downfalls is that we seem to have to "spill our guts about everything"...this public "rght to know thing" has gone WAY TOO FAR.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  28. Nik Kowsar

    Some might say that it's to much negativity to release those memos. But, negative times a negative equals a positive!

    April 17, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  29. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    No,it was absolutely the right thing to do. They showed that the bush cabal was nothing but a criminal organization that destroyed everything that the United States stood for. It is a black eye that we will never recover from. Everyone involved needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law at the world court in The Hague,Belgium.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  30. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,the only reason that makes any sense at all, to release the Bush era interrogation memos,is to embarress the previous administration,I think they did that well enough on their own.This whole thing is really petty!

    April 17, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  31. Mike

    No -

    Al Quaeda and other terrorist organizations were able to increase their recruiting to astronomical levels because of torture - they are now stronger than they were before 9/11. It's already been proven that torture does not work.

    The release of these memos ensures that Bush's Administration is not able to hide the gruesome truth of what happened during his tenure as President.

    I applaud President Obama's courage in ceasing such techniques while not burying the past.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  32. Tina Tx

    No the only mistake is not charging Bush and Cheney on war crimes and torture.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  33. Stephen

    It was a mistake; however, the mistake was made by the U S Supreme Court in siding with the ACLU in ordering the release. Modern presidents have been very un-successful in violating Supreme Court decisions. Nineteenth century Andrew Jackson got away with overriding, and defying, the Supreme Court in removing the Native Americans. Twenty first century Obama cannot.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  34. Nancy, Tennessee

    The economy and the country are trying to recover from the Bush years. It served no good purpose to release these memos to the public. Democrats and Republicans realize that President Bush and Vice President Cheney almost ran the country into the ground and hurt our image internationally. These papers only confirm how far out in right field Bush and Cheney were "Roving". We need to move on and concentrate on healing the nation and proving ourselves worthy to be called the "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave".

    April 17, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  35. Katty OR

    Jack,
    Absolutely it is a mistake. There are some things we just simply do not need to know. Might as well supply a blue-print to the terrorists.

    Believe me when I say my husband would have preferred a little water-boarding instead of the horrendous torture he underwent in Hanoi. He was there over 6 years – where were all the ACLU's and bleeding hearts then.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  36. SHIRLEY-OHIO

    Yes, that was TMI (too much information). Who wants to hear about the cruelty of some of the soldiers. I thought we were better than that.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  37. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    NO, it is not a mistake. We are a Nation of Laws. As a Disabled Vet I urge the President to look into filing charges against member of the Bush Administration. We owe it to each and every person in Uniform or ever wore a Uniform to insure that We Do Not Torture.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  38. Don (Ottawa)

    It's a mistake only if Obama doesn't follow-up with an investigation to identify and prosecute those who wrote the memos authorizing the CIA to conduct torture to get information. It should be made known that it is the duty of any American ([particularly a government interrogator) to disobey an order that is against the Constitution. Can you imagine if police departments had this authority? Oh, one more thing Jack. If I'm not mistaken didn't we execute Japanese officers after the war for waterboarding American POW's?

    April 17, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  39. roger dowdle lockhart, tx

    The people who were breaking the law were doing so under the guidance of the attorney general, pres. and vp. Those three are the ones who should face charges of torture!

    April 17, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  40. Ralph Nelson

    I do not think so, the public has a right to know, and public officials need to know they cannot break the law. But the President is wrong, by just saying breaking the law is okay he is setting the stage for worse and a future Republican dictorship. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  41. Ramona Las Vegas, Nv

    NO. The American people need to know the facts on what was going on in the last admin. with the torture issue. There are so many versions in the media on what really happened. Also, whoever was following orders should not be charged with any crimes. It would be the same as military following orders, protecting the Country. Put the BLAME where it belongs.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  42. B in NC

    Nope – it doesn't tell what we DO - it tells what those Republican criminals DID when they were in control.

    Watch how you say things, Jack. The far-right is just watching for ANY opening to attack our President. You want t be the one that writes that last thing that sends them over the edge?

    April 17, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  43. marlene

    No, Jack, it wasn't a mistake. The release provides the background for a healthy debate on what is torture. It is interesting to put a name on the folks who think it is OK for the US to use torture. But the most important reason, is that this information would have never been included in any "tell all" book about the Bush administration, by anyone involved. Marlene in Mich

    April 17, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  44. John A. Maloney Jr.

    It was a good idea only if you care about the rule of law, the bill of rights and the constitution. If you don't then you are probably a secessionist from Texas and that’s what people become when there is no rule of law.
    John from St. Marys Pa.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  45. Karen

    Of course we deserve to know how our government has operated. But what are we willing to do about it? Apparently Obama wants to do nothing. That's his mistake–giving the CIA operatives a pass. We didn't give Nazis free passes because Hitler forced them to commit genocide. The CIA operatives knew the difference between right and wrong. They should have refused to carry out such inhumane orders, quit their jobs, reported to the country what was going on. Now they expect a free pass for lacking the moral spine to do what was right. No wonder we're in a mess, and Obama is letting this go. I'm outraged.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  46. Larry in Florida

    The Bush Era was a mistake period. I think releasing interrogation memos is just telling American's and the rest of the world something we already knew. The damage had really already been done. Now we are wondering what other lies were told to us by this Administration. To many I'm afraid.

    April 17, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  47. Kelly NJ

    Yes. We should have released them DURING the Bush years. It would have given Nancy Pelosi a reason to call for his impeachment.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  48. Hope M. Madisonville, KY

    It's about time that the truth comes out about the Bush administration's policies. Torture is wrong and does not get us any real information. All it does is create more terrorists. I applaud Obama for releasing these documents. Now, the DOJ should put Bush, Cheney and the others who authorized this policy on trial.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  49. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    Taking time to make such decision shows the importance put on the true meaning of transparency which means to show what is not acceptable according to our principles...in that case it is not a mistake!

    April 17, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  50. Venia PA

    The republicans have been screaming at Obama about transparency and when he gives it to them, they balk???????????

    April 17, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  51. Bob

    Mistake? Commiting the attrocities was the mistake.

    We tried members of the Japanese military for crimes against humanity when they inflicted the same types of torture during World War II.

    Those responsible for authorizing these attrociites should be tried as war criminals. To do otherwise is the heigth of hypocrisy and that is the way the rest of the world will view it

    Bob
    Louisville,Ky

    April 17, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  52. George, Dunedin, Florida

    The mistake was first made when Bush decided to overstep the bounds of the Constitution of the United States,and no it isn't a mistake to try to set the record straight. If Bush, or the Republican Party wants to build a legacy for his administration then lets start it with the truth, and go from there. The second mistake was made when they tried to hide it from the American people, and that is one of the reasons that we now have a Democrat in the White House. The third mistake that could have been made was to have an investigation, and not share it with the public. Open-ness, and truth is what our country is supposed to be built on, so lets do it right this time around...

    April 17, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  53. Crystal

    What makes them think that the terrorists don't alredy know what we do? I am surprised at them...it's obvious they were trying to hide the fact that they were using torture tactics on these poeple. They were wrong and I don't blame them for not reprimanding the soldiers they were just doing what they were told.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  54. Irv Lilley

    Jack , Of course they should have been released. Bush and Cheney
    hid so much stuff from the public, we'll never know all that went on.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  55. Daniel Indiana

    Not in the least. The mistake is to not prosecute anyone for their part in this fiasco. Would Americans have sat back and allowed that after WWII? If this is the case, then why hasn't Obama overridden the Demjujick, or whatever his name, deportation? If the shoe fits.... Why is one prosecutable and the other not? More reason for me to lose faith in this administration. All criminal acts need to be prosecuted and not just the ones that fit an agenda.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  56. Nancy from Arizona

    Yes, what's the point of rehashing old news. We know that Bush made both bad and good decisions during his presidency, but so has every other president, vice president etc. since we became a nation. Let's drop the "let's get Bush attitude" and move on. We can't change the past, we can just try to do better in the future.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  57. Katiec Pekin, IL

    No, Jack, it is not a mistake.
    The American people have the right to know what our ex-president
    approved. What a black mark this man and his co-horts have put
    on our country with this and numerous other actions.
    Being exposed will help ensure tactics such as this never
    happen again.
    Far as the people, they were just implementing orders. They should
    not be held responsible.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  58. CHRIS, Bx., NY

    He did the right thing.....America has always enjoyed a moral high ground to get things done around the world.......I reject the claim that the CIA will now be timid afer the release of these memos.....He has left the CIA alone, so they can continue to do their great work.....

    April 17, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  59. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    That is a two-edged sword. It is not good for our enemies to see it but at the same time shows just how sadistic the Cheney/Bush regime really was. Opened our countries eyes to see what really happened behind closed doors. Not a pretty picture.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  60. mike murphy North Port Florida

    Physical abuse, slapping, slamming people into walls, is uncalled for and un-American. However I see absolutely nothing wrong with sleep deprivation or playing on someones phobias to gather critical intell that could save American lives or lives of those who live in ally nations. If we think as a nation that simply asking terrorists to reveal needed info is going to work we are more naive than I thought. Waterboarding is also out of the question but liquid diets under the supervision of medical personnel...absolutley fine. My doctor put me on a liquid diet against my will and the ACLU didn't come to my rescue!

    April 17, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  61. Chris - Ottawa, Canada

    Of course the memos should be made public.

    The CIA is funded by taxpayers who have every right to know how the government is wasting their money. If the CIA insists on secrecy and pretending that they're above the law, then Obama should do what Ron Paul suggested: abolish them.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  62. Mary from Houston, tx

    NO the release of the torture memos was not a mistake, Jack, the mistake was electing bush/cheney.
    "Enhanced methods", just more spin/lies from an administration that took spin/lies to a frightening level.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  63. Richard - Knoxville TN

    Nope - It is time to end the speculation and clear the fetid republican stench from the CIA - The only reason the so called republicans are whimpering in dark corners about the President "damaging our national security" is because releasing the documents paints a truer picture of the last administration - Sure hope this don't upset Chaney and Limbaugh -
    Knoxville

    April 17, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  64. Don (Ottawa)

    Less safe now? You have to be kidding me! You don't have to be a genius to understand that torture (no matter how it's defined) is wrong. Do you think that all those that were tortured for nothing are going to forget it? Laws have been broken dispite any authorization memo, and someone should pay. If not, our Constitution is worthless.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  65. barbara in tacoma

    no,they should be released and those that were involved in the whole thing, should be subject to these same methods and then lets see if it was torture.Bush and Chenny wouldn't last one day, ask JohnMcain or any other soldier if they like torture.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  66. Barry Butler

    Barry in Denver;

    I notice the Bush smirk in the background of the picture. Classic !

    The Bush years were the most secretive of any administration. The paranoia that surrounds most of what guided these people is astounding. Most Americans are oblivious to what has been done to them. I look forward to much more inside information. It is long overdue.

    This exposure will not harm the US in any way. It may however harm those who wish to keep America away from Americans.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  67. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    When transparency reveals what a political miscreant has been emphatically denying, that is a good thing.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  68. Dennis North Carolina

    THETRUTH always hurts that is why your leaders like to hide every thing under top secret. this is only tip of the iceberg.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  69. Angela

    Absolutely not! Americans were lied to so many times by the Bush administration, it's nice to have some real proof, and have it broadcast on the news. That is the transparency we all were looking for. The former president was as corrupt as he was incompetent. I think we have a right to know all of it. I am dying to hear how FOX news takes this...
    Angela
    Keizer, Oregon

    April 17, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  70. J Georgia

    My general attitude is that anything that reverses anything the Bush administration did can't possibly be a mistake.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  71. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: It was the right thing to do. We espose ourselves as being a "Christian Naion." Obama has put a mirror in front of the nation and is asking us if this is how we want to treat human beings? The right wing is blatently pro-life – except when it comes to how we treat prisoners. Hmmmm.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  72. Dr. Sam

    Not at all. Those responsible belong to the nations most famous houses–the jails houses. After their acts, what else do we have to teach other nations about American democracy and justice system? Nothing!

    April 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  73. Allan - San Jose

    In a democratic society, secrecy is an anathema. No, it wasn't mistake to release these documents. Classifying information to protect wrongdoing is not legal. The mistake will be that those who committed the criminal acts will not be prosecuted, while many who were whistle blowers have been investigated, harassed, castigated and ignored.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  74. Dan from Alliance, OH

    Yes, wait for 10 to 15 years before releasing this stuff.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  75. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    Release of secret information isn't just foolish; it's downright stupid. The less our enemies know about our self-preservation techniques the better. It's amazing how our current leadership has forgotten the perpetrators and the carnage of 9/11. I hope this is a clever strategy to get Osama bin Laden laughing so loud at our stupidity that we will be able to detect what cave he is in and blast him and his co-horts to oblivion.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  76. NICK

    No Jack, it was not a mistake. If a Police offical did these things to a cilivian criminal, he would be put on trial.
    Americans need to know what their elected officals do on their behalf. The world needs to know that we will always maintain the High Ground.
    ex Pres. Bush, Cheney, Hayden, and those Attorneys who wrote those horrible decisions should, most definitly be charge with crimes.
    Pres. Obama truly reflects what a " President for the people" really means.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  77. Potter

    Yes. A big mistake. It's going to be real trouble for the U.S.
    intel community. Not that this administration cares. It's the
    first time I've ever seen an incoming administration go into
    the private files of the previous administration, looking for
    stuff to put out for the world media. This must be the "transparency"
    they were promising during the campaign. We THOUGHT they
    were talking about being transparent about what THEY did. Not.
    We can't even find out who has our money, or why.

    Potter
    Indiana

    April 17, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  78. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    I'm all in favor of transparency, but is it really necessary to air the prior administration's dirty laundry in front of the world? I was embarrassed enough when he was our President, now I get to be an embarrasssed American all over agin? It can't be good to let the enemy have the facts when they are soo good at manipulating through hatred.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  79. Kevin, Punxsutawney

    Hi, Jack. I see no valid reason to oppose the revelation of these memos. Firstly, these reveal much of what was either already known or greatly siuspected. Why the big deal about honesty from from our government? Sure, it is highly unusual for truth to come from the American (or any other) government. I guess President Obama really IS trying to change things...for the better, too.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  80. Marcos Tenzin

    the last administration was run without any accountability. we should take responsibility for those actions, and make sure it doesnt happen again.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  81. Terrance in Hartville, MO

    No Jack, they needed to be released, along with all the other so called "Top Secret" memos on the war that they have stashed away from the publics prying eyes. I don't know who Obama is trying to protect, but he is really starting to alienate those of us who voted for CHANGE! This crap of not going after those who broke the law is BULL! The President and Congress should be RUNNING to implement a broad sweeping investigation into what happened and why, AND THEN PROSECUTE those who broke the law!!! This is not rocket science. It is called JUSTICE and anything less is call collusion and cover-up! And while we're at it, stop the illegal wiretaps!

    April 17, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  82. Donald in CA

    The right is always complaining about where is the transparency
    Obama promised, well whoops here it is.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  83. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    If we are ever to learn from our mistakes we need to learn the truth and the whole truth about the lies and deceptions that have occurred in our past. Let us not just scrutinize the past eight years, though. We must have the truth about all history as best as we can decipher. Obama is right in that laying blame or seeking retribution will serve little purpose other than revenge. When we know our sins, we can learn from them, forgive them, and go sin no more.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  84. Joy From Texas

    It definitely was not a mistake.....we need to know what Bush and his cronies did. I would like the policy makers put in jail....not the poor guys that just followed orders.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  85. Jim from Chicago

    Of course not, Jack. If we are a country of laws, and torture is illegal, exposing past crimes is the first step toward elimination of abuses. In the future, we can instead make potential terrorists listen to the ramblings of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Bachmann. That should make even the most hardened terrorist want the pain to stop.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  86. Mike of Hot Springs.

    It is not a mistake to release them. It is a mistake not to prosecute those responsible.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  87. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    It's really a non-issue Jack. Contrary to what the pro-corruption, pro-Bush news is reporting, the memos seem to contain nothing we haven't already heard in the last several years.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  88. Donna Wisconsin

    If Bush and his cronies had never done these despecable things, no one would think we were in any greater danger from extremists. So no it is not a mistake. Thank God the next President will never have to worry about this cover-up because President Obama has integrity and the US can now stand proud with morals that were lacking under Bush. The things Bush did have only made the rest of the world hate us, fear us and distrust us. Christian nation? Never heard the Bible say Jesus would sanction torture.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  89. Jay in Texas

    Absolutely not. "Transparency", like Obama promised, is vital to a free society. What is a grave mistake, however, is Obama's Justice Department refusing to investigate and prosecute those who ordered and those who carried out these brutal and barbaric torture policies.
    Brownwood, Texas

    April 17, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  90. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    I have mixed emotions about this. On the one hand it does provide the transparency that was promised and proves that we are willing to admit our mistakes. On the other hand it shows how hypocritical the US was while preaching the Geneva Coventions then resorting to these enhanced interrogations. Anyway you look at it, this situation is an embarrassment to our country.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  91. Lynne Parker in N. Augusta, SC

    Releasing the memos is not a mistake. It is necessary for any accountability, not that I'm going to see that happen.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  92. maggie muggins

    What's the big deal these memos don't make the U.S. any worse than countries like Syria, Lebanon, Iran or North Korea.

    At least releasing these memos allows everyone to know the truth which is something America has not been used to for the past 8 years.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  93. Earl

    Is is a mistake to release this information, I am only one person whose opinion is no it is not a mistake to release the memos, it may reflect former President Bush in a darker light. The tactics are no longer used by the current Obama administration, so I do not understand why it would be a risk of security. President Obama is doing what he believes to be right. Now if something in those memos is damaging to the former President, then perhaps former President Bush should have given more thought to what light the CIA and the nation would have been viewed in, should the information have ever been released.

    Earl in Temple Texas

    April 17, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  94. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    Enough with this secretive non-sense, lets put it all on the table. As Americans this is supposed to be what were all about Honesty. Isnt it ?

    April 17, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  95. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    The answer Jack is NO it is not a mistake to release these documents. It really confirms what many of us thought of president Bush and Cheney's lack of following our Constitution and how human rights were thrown out of the window. I agree that the people who followed orders should not be prosecuted but would really like to see the person who permitted this be put on trial for these terrible crimes, his name is George W.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  96. Carol S. Dixon in Dallas Tx.

    No. The mistake is that the current administration appears to believe"I was just following orders" was a valid excuse.Wasn't that argument tried (unsuccessfully) by the Nuremburg defendants?Another mistake might be for Bush,Cheney,Rumsfield ,etc. to plan any trips to-say-Spain- where torture tactics of our previous admin. might be taken seriously.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  97. Macmillan T

    Was it a mistake to promise to stop using torture? Was it a mistake to promise transparency in government? Obama is essentially admitting to the world that America isn't proud of its actions, saying it won't happen again, and telling the whole truth of the situation. It's a dignified apology on behalf of America to modern civilization for actions taken and decisions made, and damn fine form on his part.

    Say what you will about his economics or his agenda, just about anyone in the world respects a person who can admit mistakes, learn from them, and say sorry. Anybody who thinks this weakens America's standing in the world has no concept dignity and honor, something Mr. Obama is showing he has in spades.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  98. Ken M . Millington MI

    Hello Jack. Americans need to know that the bush administration played by their own rules whenever, however and to whomever they wanted to. This one act has outraged the world against america. For conservative to justify these acts with the statement , our soldiers and citizens are tortured is wrong. German POWS and Japanese POWS were treated awhole lot better then our Soldiers were. Yet America always took the higher ground. Ask Sen McCain if he condones Torture.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  99. Robert Dolan

    Jack: As to the president excusing those who actually conducted the torture sessions, the "I was only following orders" defense did not work at Nuremberg, it did not work at My Lai, and it should NOT work in America!

    April 17, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  100. Allie in San Diego

    Jack, I don't think those memos detailed any form of torture used against detainees that we didn't know about (or speculate about, anyway). I'm sure the terrorists already knew what was happening at Gitmo and the other prisons, too. So I think the arguments about national security being compromised are the same old rhetoric we've been hearing from conservatives since January 20th.

    What the memos did detail was a shocking view into the minds of those who rationalized the meaning of American and International laws to fit the wishes of the Bush Administration. These men have brought shame upon our country. I'm ready for a Watergate-like investigation.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  101. Allen L Wenger

    No, not when President Bush's old staff is out there trying to rewrite history.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  102. Joe, Clinton Ma.

    No I don't think so. I feel we need to know just how much Bush and Cheney lied if at all. This country needs this debate if to heal and come to grips that our country could have done something so wrong,

    April 17, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  103. Marie Ontario

    The mistake was in not investigating and prosecuting those people responsible for this embarrassment and not in releasing documents that expose Americans to the truth of what the Republican regime did to America's image.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  104. Melissa

    No. The only reason the Republicans are so against it is that they don't want their wrong doings publicized. Its an embarassment to them. Not to mention humiliating.

    Obama has done the right things, whether the far right fundamentalists like it or not. It also shows that for all their claims that they are loving, they are anything but. Its shows them for the lie that they tell everyone else.

    Its their own fault. Hopefully people will be bright enough not to vote for them ever again.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  105. odessa

    nope!.we wanted to know everything..although i still support my president obama, i wished that he should have prosecuted them because they were wrong regardless.bush and his cronies got away with murder for committing these stuipd acts;yet they want to complain at obama.give me a freaky break! when judgement day comes, every elected official will have to explain their actions for hurting folks for nothing regardless of their politcal reasons.the only person who isn't making any noise so far is bush because he knows that he sill get prosecuted. i'm still scratching my head though; is president obama going to use legal push on somebody from the bush administration or getting dick cheney?. i wish he would do something.stop giving gop a pass;it's time for them to suffer like the dems suffered since the clinton-lewinsky scandal.if this was kept quiet about clinton getting his personal deals on the side, we wouldn't care about it.but bush officials followed orders for terror suspects at what cost?nothing.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  106. Roy - Chicago IL

    I do not feel it is a mistake to release these memos.....at least this was controlled by the government and not leaked by news sources from unofficial memos.....which would be a lot worse.

    The hypocrasy in this, is that, during the Bush years, many many people decried the use of these interrogation techniques, and THEY were called Un-American, terrorist sympathizers, etc..by the same Bush administration. It is a shallow and narrow view of the world that regards just your own citizens as 'people', and the rest of the world as enemy combatants to conquer. I applaud the Obama administration for at least going this far to release these memos. i do not think we are ready to try Dick Cheney for war crimes yet, though it would be appropriate.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  107. Milla

    I don't know if he should Jack, if he's not going to prosecute Bush officials then what is the point?

    April 17, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  108. Roland - St George, UT

    Jack, having worked in military intelligence for a number of years both abroad and at home, and including time at NSA, I believe it is a mistake, and while Mr. Obama's desire for transparency is commendable, it can also be seen by our enemies as a sign of weakness, because I think releasing these memos goes a little too far and comes across as pandering. People already know the heart of what is in the memos. If Obama wants to direct the CIA to change what they do going forward, fine. But as he has already said, we should be moving ahead and not laying blame for the past. Frankly, I am more concerned with the illegal wiretapping and spying on American citizens that went on under Bush (and still goes on today), than I am about questionable handling techniques of captured terrorists. Let's see those memos instead.

    (Roland/St. George, UT)

    April 17, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  109. Judy

    Big mistake. The American government loves to air its dirty laundry doesn't it? While we have young men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, lets not give terrorists (yes, I said terrorist Sec. Napolitano) another reason to rise against us. Anway, I'm still trying to figure out how "sleep deprivation, slapping, keeping detainees naked and in some cases in a diaper, putting detainees on a liquid diet" are considered torture.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  110. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    No, and I hope this sets a precedence that a presidents actions will not always be kept secret from the public. Keep releasing the info from the Bush admin. so we can see what he really did during the worst times of our lifetimes.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  111. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Yes,big time............we are doing everything we can to be sure we
    cower in the corner and get attacked again.
    Bad bad policy................
    David

    April 17, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  112. mitchell, arkansas

    no. the mistake is letting the torturers off the hook. noone involved in the bush policies of torture, should be given immunity for breaking the law. but, that's ok, we have more important fish to fry. you know, like marijuana users, that are infringing on everyone else's rights, by getting high in their homes.....,

    April 17, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  113. Alan - Buxton, Maine

    It is absolutely not a mistake. We all need to know what crimes were committed by the Bush administration. I will take exception though to the decision not to charge those who committed the crimes. The CIA operatives had to know that what they were doing was wrong and illegal and should not be excused. If the memos had advised that beheading was OK I suppose they would also be excused from prosecution for that crime. It is insane not to pursue these criminals to the full extent of the law all the way to the top of the chain of command.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  114. Chryssa

    No, it wasn't a mistake. This president promised transparency and that's what we're getting.

    Boise, ID

    April 17, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  115. Chi Town

    Yes and No Jack...

    Yes... because it lets the world know how mild and restricted they are.

    No... because it lets the world know how mild and restricted they are.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  116. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    It's the right thing to do, the mistake would be not to release the memos. There is no proof, as Cheney claims, that the methods used kept us safe, but it will let the world know if any of these methods are used against our citizens, they are not safe.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  117. Karl from SF, CA

    No. The mistake is not prosecuting Bush, Cheney, Hayden, Gonzales and maybe Rumsfeld and Ashworth or at least appointing a totally independent prosecutor to look into it. Until we correct the course of the past, we are just another third world country that tortures people and the rest of the civilized world knows it, thanks to Dick Cheney. To even say the United States doesn’t torture is just lip service at this point. We do and we get away with it apparently. This is setting a precedent for future torture based on the Bush administration. CIA operatives should be very careful about what orders they follow. They knew better but sold their soles to the Bush administration.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  118. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    No! We're not going to USE those methods anymore so the argument that we're "trumpeting out techniques to the terrorists" makes no sense. And many intelligence experts said waterboarding only got garbage out of KSM and others. It's the right thing to let the world know what the Bush administration did and to also let the world know it won't happen anymore.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  119. Matthew Schmitz Oxnard, CA

    No, President Obama ran for President on th promise he would keep nothing secret from us.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  120. Ken in NC

    No it was not a mistake. The mistake was doing the torture in the first place. Just because other countries did it does not mean it is ok for us to do it.

    April 17, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  121. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    If we are ever to learn from our mistakes and progress as a people, we need to learn the truth and the whole truth about the lies and deceptions that have occurred in our past. Let us not just scrutinize the past eight years, though. We must have the truth about all history as best as we can decipher. Obama is right in that laying blame or seeking retribution will serve little purpose other than revenge. When we know our sins, we can learn from them, forgive them, and go sin no more.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  122. Dylan from IL

    It would only be a mistake if the CIA kept on torturing people, which President Obama has already ended.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  123. Kerry Diehl

    I’m not too worried as they (al Qaeda & Taliban) already know what a push over Obama and our military now are for them. Let’s see some strong coverage on their torture techniques or graphic descriptions of a suffering victim from their next beheading.

    Running around naked (local nudist colonies do that), wearing diapers (many nursing home clients do that) and ohhhh my goodness! CATEPILLARS in a room with a prisoner – HOW TERRIBLE!! Geez! Most college students get tougher hazing treatment than that!

    So “Obama reportedly weighed the “sanctity of covert operations” and what impact this could have on national security and his belief in transparency.” How about the rest of the transparency he’s supposed to provide regarding his and the governments accountability??? I believe we are still waiting on that!!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  124. Jack Martin

    Jack
    Few people believed President Bush when he stated that "we do not torture". Release of the torture memos resulted from the actions of the ACLU and not from President Obama who does not want to whip a dead horse. The torture memos will end all the speculation and will provide for the transparency in government advocated by the Obama administration. Another Bush "legacy " come to the light light of day.
    Jack in Boynton Beach FL

    April 17, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  125. Jim S Gardendale, Alabama

    Jack, most people are well aware of the covert tactics used by the Bush administration by now. If they don't plan to prosecute the man, I see no positive benefits from making these memorandums public. He's out of office and back in Texas. I say let him live out his life and let history judge him, which it will.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  126. John Webster, Aldergrove BC Canada

    The mistake would be in not releasing them. Doing so reinforces the new administration’s promises of more accountability and honest governance. Admitting past mistakes is the first step in not repeating them and shows that Bush is gone and Obama is here.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  127. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    American prisons are full of criminals that wish their crimes had remained secret. No individual or group is above the law or the constitution. It is absolutely mind boggling to have United States Army Reserve members with far less education and training sent to prison for torture and other abuses in Abu Ghraib Prison while a lawyer in the Bush administration that sanctioned some of these very same types of interrogation methods is given a lifetime appointment as a federal court judge.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  128. Susan from Greenfield, WI.

    The so called Conservatives are right about this being a breach of National Security, because you have to look at it this way. The Al-Qaeda, Taliban, and rebel fighters that escaped from Afghanistan prisons in 2003, 2005, and 2008 were sworn to secrecy by the CIA, therefore they did not reveal the techniques that were used to their brethren. There, it's that simple (minded). Bad Obama.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  129. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    No, loose lips sinks ships. Nothing will be changed if we do and a lot of retribution could follow if we do.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  130. Richard Green

    Absolutely not. We Americans need to know what perverse things have been done in our name. The mistake will be if those who have been entrusted with enforcing our laws choose to not do that. We Americans deserve much better. Maybe a European country will enforce our law for us. It's humiliatingly sad.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  131. RMDrury

    Absolutely not. The best way to scatter cockroaches is to turn on a light.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  132. James D. from CA

    Not at all, we need to know what happened and why so that history will not repeat itself.
    The only thing Obama can do that will hurt America is to not prosecute those members of the Bush administration who authorized and used these torture tactics.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  133. Mike

    The “torture” methods described are NOT torture in the classic sense, because they don’t cause permanent injury or death. The insect that was tossed was a caterpillar, not a spider or worse. These methods should have been kept secret, and still used. The exposing of these methods has definitely damaged America’s ability to neutralize the efforts of those who are committed to America’s destruction, showing how un-American you folks wearing Liberal Blinders can be, including the ACLU.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  134. Elliot Kauffman

    No it was not!
    I unlike many Americans actually believe that in extreme cases "enhanced interrogation techniques" should be used. The only way to ensure that torture is used only when necessary and without abuse (unlike in the previous administration) is to tell the world what we are doing, and what rules we give to interrogators.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  135. Cody McLelland

    The United States is on the cusp of a new role in the world. If we want to move forward we have to come to terms with the mistakes we have made in the past. It's time to move forward as an example to the world. We need more transparency and I hope that the release of these interrogation memos is merely the first step that the US Gov't takes.

    Cody, Redlands, CA

    April 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  136. Simon in Syracuse, NY

    Why stop there? Since President Obama and the DHS have declared our own citizens to be the new enemy, why don't we give Al Queda the launch codes and the GPS coordinates so they can obliterate us with our own nuclear weapons. Who's side are you on Mr. President?

    April 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  137. rich philadelphia pa

    The President has angered conservatives and liberals at the same time..sounds like he made the right decision to me...he has set a precedent that i think he should follow in the future

    April 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  138. Patricia Edwards

    No. It is never a mistake to tell the truth. Isn't that a part of what this country and Christianity is built upon?

    April 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  139. Margie Fletcher

    Not a mistake to show those memo's but a HUGE mistake to say there will be NO PROSECUTIONS! That is going to bite him as he has just assured us that the Bush overstepping WILL happen again.

    I am getting more and more sorry I voted for him. How DARE he say the past is the past.

    We heard that about Hitler and Vietnam too, didn't we? Yet here we went and repeated it.

    Thanks a lot Obama. You have NO RIGHT to stop investigations OR prosecutions if they are deserved; AND THEY ARE 😦

    Go ahead and protect Bush's crimes and YOU will not be remembered well either. This is surreal.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  140. gloria21213

    No, the truth should be told. Bush has put out country at risk. Not President Obama. What a huge mess Bush has left to be cleaned up. The Republicans want to justify all the wrong doing of their party. Tell it all.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  141. Dave in Key West

    The only downside I see to the release of evidence of this criminal behaviour would be if those who are resposible for directing it go unpunished. Indicy and prosecute Cheney & Bush!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  142. stefan mosley

    After 8 years of brain-washing Bush administration, any pursuit of truth sounds like blesphamy! A mistake to unclassify the records of the Bush crimes? No! A mistake not to prosecute the perpetraitors? Yes!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  143. Ben

    It was not a mistake as the files will intimidade criminals and cause them reason to avoid commiting acts of terror.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  144. Steve from Oregon

    Absolutely not!.......Gandhi said, "Make injustice visible." Our use of torture was unjust and therefore brought to light like all injustices should be. This exposure of the Bush-era memos is even more important to be made public because we are violating our own laws and humanitarian conscience. Everyone has a right to a fair trial, even suspected terrorists.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  145. Denise

    While I do not share the President's view that there is nothing to be gained from looking back and placing blame on those who so willfully violated the strictures of the law by authorizing torture, I applaud his decision to release the memos. It is absolutely vital that these ills are laid bare in the interests of transparency and for the historical record. As an American, I have the right to know what was done in my name.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  146. ElleJaye

    NO. I need to know what my country did on my behlf..in all issues..let's hear it

    April 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  147. docb

    Wow, Jack, the screechers are out in full force.

    It is apparent that the President has put out information that was already scheduled to be released...The memo's clearly put what we do not want our soldiers ever to experience at the hands of a Nation! Lets see what Congress does with this or foreign nations-this could prove interesting.

    As to CIA being none trusting-believe that is their job description AND BESIDES bclinton gutted the Agency in the early '90's so there is not that much to replace-Perhaps we could get agents that speak Arabic, Pushtan, Farsi or at least knew about the culture of people we are dealing with in the Terrorist population!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  148. Annie, Atlanta

    No. The only mistake going forward would be not prosecuting and imprisoning everyone involved.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  149. Diana

    If it happened it happened. Why hide something and not tell the truth? No matter what a person has done nobody has the right to torchour them or treat them the way they did.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  150. mel s

    I don't believe releasing the files will hurt us any more then the Bush admin has all ready done

    April 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  151. Mike

    If owning up and telling the truth is a mistake, So be it.
    Mike
    Prince George .
    British Columbia

    April 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  152. Allen in Hartwell, GA

    A mistake? Hell no! People who still think that Bush kept us safe need to know what he was willing to do to get people to talk, even though most interrogation experts acknowledge that information acquired this way is often if not mostly false.
    However, it was not necessary. Those same people will never change their minds, and the others don't need the memos to justify our opinions. As for our CIA operatives being timid or our allies not trusting us, give me a break!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  153. Kevin

    Yes it was a mistake the Bush Admistration didn't get a chance to shred those documents!! The Obama administration did what it did to please the general public and to make a point this will never happen again so it wasn't a mistake for them!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  154. Gavin

    I totally agree with Pres. Obama, why do we need to look back instead of looking forward. We already have other important issues such as the economy to be fixed etc. Plus, those CIA agents were only following orders so legally they should not be prosecuted. There will always be sensitive issues and the President will not be able to please everyone no matter who it is or what issue.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  155. John Jacobs

    It was not wrong to release the Bush memos. However, it would be wrong NOT to prosecute the executioners of those memos. Not prosecuting such criminals would only set a precedent for future administrations who might of the same ilk as Bush. Also, releasing the memos only reinforces for all the world just how evil George Bush and his henchmen are. They all should be in prison. Thank you.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  156. D. Satchwell

    The information was correctly disclosed. All in the former President Bush Administration should be reprimanded including the Mr. Bush and Cheney for their abuse of the executive powers and violating other individuals lives. Innocent people were maimed and killed at the order and consent of what to me fills the description of war criminals.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  157. Bonnie

    Its really sad to see so many people think that its ok to open up top secret materials for the world and our enemies to see. We are about to lose our country , our security and our freedoms. President Bush was no different than The other war presidents.
    This new administration and the democrats really make me want to move to another country. By the time you are finished with this country, there wont be an america left. Cuba will be looking really good!!!!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  158. Adam - KY

    No, I think that these types of things should be brought to the nation's and world's attention. These types of tactics do nothing but show our weakness and that we are stooping to desperate levels for our "safety"

    I do however partially agree with the Obama Admin. about not focusing on the past. As was stated these times were dark times in U.S. history and let's try to move past these for the moment and if need be, come back and deal with the unlawful actions of these officials.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  159. Darla Wilshire

    It is time to know the full extent of the these torture policies. Until the perpetrators of these policies are brought to justice, the stain on the U.S. can never be erased. If these people are brought to justice, the chance of another president overturning the No torture Rule will be greatly lessened. Besides, looking at a camera before the American people and stating: "America does not torture" was an absolute lie straight from the lips of the 43rd

    President, George Bush. If we are to be held accountable, why not him?

    Darla, Pennsylvania

    April 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  160. Bob Field Toronto

    No "Allit takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  161. mitchell, arkansas

    3rd times a charm?

    no. the mistake is letting the torturers off the hook. noone involved in the bush policies of torture, should be given immunity for breaking the law. but, that’s ok, we have more important fish to fry. you know, like marijuana users, that are infringing on everyone else’s rights, by getting high in their homes…..,

    April 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  162. Carlos summers

    It's not a mistake however someone should be held accountable, the (former) leader of this country said that we do not torture, what else did he lie about, not knowing about 9/11 perhaps?? He should go to jail!! Other countries lock up their current and former leaders, even outcast them, what's different about what all the lies and misleadings he's commited....

    April 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  163. Pranav Kothare

    It was never a mistake to release the memos. President Obama is ushering in a new era of transparency and he doing a good job at it too. I believe that he is setting a good example for everyone around the world to follow. He has made the right decision in releasing these memos and I think that at all levels, from goverments to small businesses, everyone should follow these high standards of ethics and transparency.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  164. Ron Snyder

    This "security breach" crap is just that, CRAP. We are not telling the enemy what we do, we are saying what we are not going to do any more because Americans don't believe that torture is the way to go. It never really works anyway. In the end, the tortured person will tell you anything you want to hear just so the torture will stop. What the far right cannot stand is an honest man in the White House and he's not theirs.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  165. Justin - Pasadena, CA

    Jack,

    I believe the CIA must conduct certain measures to avoid another 9-11. I was only in my teens, but I remember that day so vividly and how horrible it was. For many, it never goes away. To release the methods does nothing but stir the pot. If you were to ask a week after 9-11, I would bet nearly all Americans would say "do whatever it takes to keep us safe". Now, the CIA and our Nations's security officials must worry and think twice before doing what is needed to be done to keep our Country safe. Have we had another attack since 9-11? If it is not broken, do not fix it, and no need to release the methods used. Those methods may have saved thousands!

    Justin
    Pasadena, CA

    April 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  166. Adam

    No, it is not a mistake, coming to terms with the mistakes of the Bush Era shows the world that we are looking to be better, and we do not feared, but respected.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  167. Vinny Connecticut

    Of course it's a mistake; give me a break! I am so sick of hearing some people on this site calling Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld "war criminals." Grow up!! These terrorists want to kill Americans, including those who feel sorry for them. They are murderers, butchers, who slaughter innocent people and some posters are upset that they were interrogated using such "harsh measures" like scaring them with insects (oh my!) sleep deprivation, loud music, slamming them against the wall. Get a grip! Some of this so called "torture" led to info which prevented more attacks on the US. Pres Bush kept us safe; let's see how Carter, I mean Obama, will do "making nice" with these terrorists in the War on terror (oops- I mean "Overseas Contingency Operation!") Oh, and to those Canadians and other non-Americans who post on this site condemning Bush, but out!! (Now, will my comment be "awaiting moderation" forever?! Come on, Jack; let's be "fair and balanced." It's good for your ratings!)

    April 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  168. LUCI - ILLINOIS

    No, I think everyone and everything about the Bush era should be brought out for everyone to see. He was so braggert and swaggert and we need to know all about him and all of his cabinet. He was a very poor choice for president.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  169. Jim Blevins

    The real question is whether there are standards of humanity or not. If you believe that there is humanity in humanity, then there is no danger of these techniques ever being used again and releasing them simply shows our barbaric past. If you believe that people are vicious, unprincipled animals and that these techniques will ever again be used by America, you might not want the information released. In the latter case, you ought to seriously wonder if you existence was appropriate in this world.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    April 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  170. Louis Courteau

    No. If everything described in the report is not torture or could be considered acceptable because of the times, I guess having your nails done with a pair of pliers and a hammer could be called manicure.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  171. Michael Cunningham

    President Obama's decision to release the memos was not a mistake. We citizens need to know the interrogation methods that were used so that we can come to our own conclusions as to whether or not they were justified, morally or legally. It is refreshing to see some openess and transparency in our nation's executive branch after 8 years of darkness.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  172. Tony in the ATL

    I'm a 20 yr Navy vet retired in 04 under the Bush administration.
    I do not believe that inflicting torment upon individuals. A matter of fact, a president should fall under the UCMJ since they are Commander in Chief. And if this is the case then he just broke the law.

    Prepare for the Court Martial!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  173. Douglas Williams

    It is not a mistake to reveal the mistakes of the Bush administration, it was a mistake to vote that man into office. How many war mongering Texas presidents do we need to have before we get it. If Texas suceedes from the union we will have two third world countries on our southern border. The good part of that is the Mexicans well look better to us!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  174. Diane, Oklahoma

    Yes, I believe it was a mistake to release these files. I believe that we have been engaged in behavior like this throughout our history, it just wasn't in the news media. And President Bush and his administration are the victims of overeager journalists who wish to leave their mark on history and are only succeeding in making an ass of themselves. I believe people aren't getting the entire picture, just what you sensationalistic journalists believe will incite normal people to action. Did you actually see our towers fall? Did you see people jumping from the buildings? These terrorists deserve EVERYTHING we give them and more.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  175. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    Bush and company violated the Geneva Convention by torturing. He knowingly had his people change the laws to protect this immoral and illegal activity. Bush abused his authority to change those captured from POW status to "enemy combatant" to justify the use of illegal tactics. We need to show the world that the USA will not tolerate abuse of power, regardless of who is the abuser. And the release of these memos will show that our country is morally strong enough to withstand the allegations of abuse of power by a former president and his administration.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  176. Steve, NY

    Yes it is. Obama is loosing it. I'm sure the Russians, Chinese, North Koreans are all watching this and listening . It seems like Obama is not supporting his country , all he's doing any more is exposing his dirty linen. I voted for Obama but now I have big reservations about this guy. Whose side is he on.
    Sad day for our country. Another Jimmie Carter or may be even worse.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  177. Brennan

    As an American I find the use of so-called “enhanced interrogation” techniques, such as the ones detailed in the recently released Justice Department documents, abhorrent and counter to the values we hold dear. How do we win hearts and minds of the peoples of the world if we stoop to the level of adversaries whose values are counter to common human standards of decency? Furthermore, how can torture break self styled ‘holy warriors’ who believe their place in heaven is dependent upon their loyalty to a Jihad? Such individuals might rather go to their deaths and receive what they believe to be their just reward than do anything to jeopardize their status as holy warriors. As a philosopher I feel that the way to win the hearts and minds of humanity is through better, more creative wisdom, not embracing torture as an acceptable standard of conduct.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  178. Richard, in Kansas

    The worst thing about this is that it confirmes that the Bush/ Cheney administration was lying to us instead of just leveling with us and defending their decision. I wonder what else they lied to us about.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  179. circy in new mexico

    NO MISTAKE! The American People sat around for eight years and let the yokels remove The Constitution from us, piece by piece. We must NEVER, NEVER let that happen again! So. we should keep everything out in the light of day, and NEVER assume that the government is working in our interests!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  180. Nancie Ames

    No, it was not a mistake to release the Bush Admin's interrogation memos. It's so refreshing to be told the truth behind the Gitmo atrocities. The only surprise was how quickly the information became public! Hopefully this transparent policy will continue!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  181. Leon at Troutdale, Oregon

    There was no mistake Jack. This is what the public needed to know about how Bush and his conservatives do not believe in the rule of laws and have no regard to humanity.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  182. Anita from Tennessee

    It was right for the Obama administration to release the Bush administration's tapes–and I agree with Obama to not prosecute those of the CIA who were following orders. However, the people at the top that were responsible for writing and sending out the memos should be held accountable for war crimes. We all knew that this dispicable behavior was going on and now we have the proof for it. Releasing the memos does not make us less safe–the fact that the Bush administration did it and lied about it is the most disgusting part of releasing the memo. Thank God we finally have a President who is actually Presidential–representing the United States as we should be, and how the rest of the world perceives us to be!!!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  183. bruno Jacquet

    Hi Jack! (just kidding)
    No it was not a mistake to release those files. We pretend fighting for democracy, THAT IS DEMOCRACY! however, President Obama is right I think it would be a mistake to go directly after the individuals who were under orders, which does not prevent the justice system to go after those who made the decisions, I mean at the top, like Bush, Cheney. They deserve the same treatment as some got in Nuremberg after the second world war.
    Bruno

    April 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  184. Elsa Canada

    Yes it is wrong, We are not learning, we have enemies out there, you do not tell them all that we are doing. how can we win when they know how we operate.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  185. Jim from Tx

    Not a mistake at all. To hide them is to condone them. To expose and not prosecute is to condone and flaunt them. To prosecute them is to show the rest of the world that though any idiot might get to run this country (into the ground), they won't get away with it. And that if we don't let our own get away with war crimes after the fact, we won't let anyone.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  186. Michael H. Oil City, PA

    There are no surprises here. Deep down, Americans know the main jest of what's going on with in these memos. Obama is stuck between a rock and a hard place. I'd appoint an independent investegater, let him re-visit history, and let Obama make history, and the Bush Administration live in the present, and get a good lawyer.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  187. Marg

    It is never a mistake to disclose what our elected officials do especially when it involves how we officially treat other peoples, and other countries. We found fault with Hitler for abusing prisoners of war, and then Bush turns around, and mimics him. He has disgraced this country, and all we stand for. Maybe not a bad idea to try him in a war trial, it's never too late---or too soon.
    Butte, MT

    April 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  188. Gia in Los Angeles

    It was exactly the right thing for Obama to do. I think it demonstrates that these practices will no longer be tolerated. Those who were only following instructions should not be held accountable; however, those giving the orders, and especially Bush and his administration, should certainly be held accountable.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  189. John from Tillamook, OR

    Is it wrong to tell the truth? These are things that should never have been done in the first place. Covering up and trying to hide such incidents would only fuel rumors as to how much worse these things might have been, than they were in reality, which was despicable enough to turn the stomachs of most Americans.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  190. DE Joe

    No mistake the public needs to know the extent of abuse.

    Obama has not been nearly as open & transparent as he promised. Let's hope that this cahnges – time for CHANGE.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  191. Ray

    Not a mistake to release the interrigation memos. Let's see further revelations!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  192. delores

    I do not understand the reason for releasing this information. Maybe it is so President Obama can again apologize for America which I find really offensive. We have stood alone on many things and other countries never apologized to us. I would like to see an apology from our senate and house on voting for a stimulus package without reading it. Not reelcting them might be torture for them.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  193. G Porto

    Absolutely not. Just ask yourself the same question but regarding Enron. We need to bring the facts to the light, let the Institutions sort who was a hero and who was a villain, and act accordingly. Remember that we are not better nor worse than any other country; the strenght of our Institutions, starting with the Constitution, is the only differenciator.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  194. Patrick from Atlanta GA

    Absolutely Not! Did Nuremberg teach us nothing? The policies of the Bush Administration were a failure on all fronts. Lets do the math what came out of those policies of torture? Nothing tangible that we can see. Did we find the WMD’s? No. Did we get Bin Laden? No. I want to see Congressional hearings and indictments. Not of the soldiers who carried out these actions but those who wrote them including Bush and Cheney. It is morally imperative that we set a new standard of decency for our country. Or rather Re-set it.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  195. Vegas

    No, President Obama has not made a mistake releasing this information. There would not have been any information to release if everyone followed the law of the land on torture in the USA. Follow the law lawmakers. If we follow the law, there wouldn't be any worries about this or that getting released or having a light shown on dirty dealings.

    As for the prosecutions...back off everyone, maybe he (President Obama) knows a little more than we do behind the scenes. We do not want to make enemies with the CIA. It's only important that we move forward without doing trash like this again. Bravo President Obama! Bravo!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  196. Tom Ft Lauderdale

    Jack

    The only mistake is in the act or deed. The truth will alway's raise it's ugly head

    April 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  197. Mike

    Well at least we all know bush was 100% as bad if not worse as we thought he was. But now Texas can run off and take him with them too! Looks like a Bush free America is looking pretty good so far! And it keeps getting better all the time!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  198. Doug Tazewell Virginia

    Hi Jack,
    I don't think it is a mistake to release these memos, it was a mistake that these memo were ever written and things in them were ever carried out. It will come back to bite us later on.
    It would be OK if these people were put in front of a firing squad if they were guilty but not to torture them.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  199. |\/|aR

    Mistake. The Geneva convention only protects signators of the Geneva convention. If it applies to every vicious person out there what motivation do they have to abide by the convention? These beligerants are becoming more prominent. Terrorists, pirates, drug cartells. Unfortunately Bush declared war on all of them all at once.
    For those espousing total openness why not publish everything? Troop and fleet movements. You could just subscribe to their tweets.
    Certainly these coercive methods should be applied only in extreme cases. But I don't think we need a popular vote in international press or post to determine that.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  200. Adam H.

    If the US Justice Dept. approved such interrogation techniques for people irregardless of nationality on US territories does that open up the possibility for domestic and or federal law enforcement to do the same? After reading the report myself it would seem that if someone was going to violate any law that the US Gov. deems "imminent" in threat or deed they could, if wanted, use "extreme interrogation" to get the answers they want.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  201. George J. Lujan

    It was not a mistake to release the documents, but it is an enormous mistake to fail to take the steps necessary to disbar the attorneys who drafted those memos and prosecute those who ordered the implementation of the practices described in them. Forget about the small fry; go after those position allowed them to make their fears and petty sadism national policy. Remember that the past is prologue: Failing to take those steps tells those whose misdeeds have already taken place that their misdeeds have no consequences; worse, it tells those who misdeeds are yet to be done exactly the same thing! Inaction tells the world and forces us to admit to ourselves that there are limits to the rule of law and that there are people who are absolutely above it.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  202. Evan Cruder

    Won't the Spanish courts eventually request these documents anyway and won't we be required under treaty to comply with these requests.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  203. Dwight

    To not release smells of cover-up. When you talk the talk, you must walk the walk.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  204. patrick

    "Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph."

    April 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  205. Curtis, KS

    It's unfortunate that our president continues to look backward instead of forward. What is the value of releasing these documents? Transparency? He promised transparency of HIS administration – now that would be nice – like where has all the bailout money been spent?

    April 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  206. Adam

    No, it is not a mistake, coming to terms with the mistakes of the Bush Era shows the world that we are looking to be better, and we do not want to be feared, but respected.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  207. Tom

    The approved techniques by the US Gov. should have not been released. It is almost criminal to publicize the rules as it could cause harm or even death to our fellow citizens. The White House politicians are really overdoing the stagelike guilt and apologies. I wasn't exactly happy traveling around the world the last six years, but the current administration makes me even less happy to travel as an American.
    As an aside, most all US Military flight crews go through the same if not more stressful interrogations as part of their training. Also some hazing in 60's Fraternities used the same techniques!

    Tom
    Westport, CT

    April 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  208. Steve in Nashville

    Jack, part of righting a wrong is admitting your mistake. That's what alcoholics do, and that's what Japan did after WWII. People gain respect for you and everyone moves on when there aren't "dirty little secrets" hanging around. We need to tell the world we're better than that, and the Bush years were just a dark era we'd rather put behind us.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  209. Jenny Clark

    No it was not a mistake to release the memos on torture. Obama is making a mistake by not holding our own evildoers accountable. It is barbaric that the discussion is happening at all!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  210. Terry, Seattle WA

    No Jack, it isn't wrong. The speculation about what happened is much worse than what actually did. President Obama is right to release the documents. Get the truth out there. Resolve to never allow our values to be compromised in such a way again. And let's all move forward.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  211. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    The rest of the world already knows what went on. It's the American people that have been kept in the dark. And as for not prosecuted those responsible because they were "just following orders", that was the excuse the Nazis gave. It was no excuse then and it's no excuse now.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  212. Victoria, Pensacola Florida

    The release of this information has been long overdue. No political party should ever be allowed again to take away so many rights of our citizens. The Bush admininstration has done great harm to our beloved America. This is only the tip of the iceberg.... there will be a great deal more being brought to light. I say World Court will have the power to look in possible war crimes of the Bush Administration. Our elected officials need to know that they are not above the law!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  213. John

    No, unless this rules out using those techniques on the very people who wrote those memos and the officials in the Bush Administration that demanded they be written in the first place.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  214. Emilio

    Torture?? Seriously...we're calling that torture??

    April 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  215. Matt

    It was the right decision. Unfortunately, Obama has also pursued the wrong decision by declining to fully prosecute the guilty CIA agents, and for not supporting a war crimes tribunal against Bush and Cheney.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  216. Andrea from NY

    Jack, The President did the right thing in releasing these memos. The country needs to know what was done in the name of the United States. The former Administration takes great pleasure in boasting that it kept America safe from further attacks ,but at what cost to the Nation. That we end up looking to the rest of the world to be as bad as the people who attacked us. Two wrongs don,t make a right.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  217. John

    It was a mistake to ever let anyone know it was going on, thanks left-wing press.

    People today are blind to the reality of the evil our enemies. Don't they remember the beheading videos that were being published on the internet during the early days of the way? These extremists are a brutal fanatical group and doing anything it takes to extract information to keep Americans safe is ok with me.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  218. txkboy

    Jack, we are a government of the people and those who serve the people. Our government SHOULD be transparent with regards to policies and programs. We can still call our enemies "our enemies", interrogate, and detain them, and still be morally correct and treat someone with human dignity and be ethical in that treatment.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  219. Pennie

    Jack,

    I think that President Obama hasn't gone far enough, they should go after everyone involved in this terrible deed, from President Bush on down, to show the world that this will never happen again! That the United States does not torture prisoners, it makes us no better that the Nazi's during World War II.

    Pennie
    Saint George, Utah

    April 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  220. Catherine Beyer

    No, it was not a mistake. Really, this revealled information? Like the rest of the world didn't know we were waterboarding? The US looks like a thug right now. Obama is admitting to past mistakes and vowing to change US policies. This will hopefully go a long way with our allies, many of whom were alienated by Bush.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  221. T. G. from the virgin islands

    No. In fact, President Obama did the right thing by release those interrogation memo from the Bush Administration. This confirms what many of us believed for years, that Bush has done some questionable things in the name of fighting terrorism. A scripture verse in the Bible says, "Whatever is done in darkness, shall come to light.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  222. Jeff from Redondo Beach,CA

    Jack
    Of course not. The folks that think it was wrong to so call "torture" will be the same people that will be saying why didn't my country protect me if we are hit by another attack. I choose to think abot the 3000 people and their families. That was torture! Don't give a darn about the THUGS that are still trying to harm Americans. How quickly we forget. And the terrorists are just waiting for us to put our guard down and our leaders are broadcasting it.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  223. Anderson in Bristol, CT

    The mistake was not the release of the memos, but the fact that they were authored in the first place.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  224. Marietta

    The world already knew of the torture remember the naked pictures? Even detainees "told" the world they were being "tortured" and the world already hated us with the Iraq war because they were "deceived" also remember that is why 27 Nations left Iraq to continue the fight alone in Iraq!
    Americans asked for transparentcy good or bad and they got-liars should not prosper and justice should be served! CIA was lied to and told legal..they should not be punished they followed orders and told it was legal>>

    April 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  225. M. Howard

    Releasing the memos seems like a decent idea to many because if we aren't going to use the same prohibited techniques of interrogation which we used in the past then what would the harm be in revealing such methods?

    The problem is, the memos also reveal some of the necessary methods of interrogation. Now before you go off on how disgusting it is that we are interrogating these poor people, it is beyond strategic dispute that some interrogation is necessary. With these memos revealed to the public, it does indeed provie too much insight into how we operate. Covert intelligence, while fearsome to many citizens who are insecure about not having access to information on their own government, is one of the most crucial tools at our country's disposal.

    Without information, we become helpless. Satellites cannot pick up everything and HUMINT would be utterly useless if our enemies knew how we gathered information. I don't dispute that Barack Obama is an intelligent man, but a "community planner" and law professor has no idea how to handle matters of intelligence and national security.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  226. linda north carolina

    As they say Jack " The truth shall set you free." Now we know what Bush and Cheney have been up to. Here's hoping the rest of the story will come out in a trial!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  227. Don

    It was the right thing to do. Just like stopping the use of such procedures. Not only are tthese tactics morally wrong, but experts will tell you that they don't work. The public has a right to know what its government is doing. Releasing these papers doesn't jeopardize national security and give us insight into the workings of the Bush/Cheney admin. Saying it's wrong to release these papers would be like saying it was wrong to prosecute the Watergate spys. And when will these Republican apologists wake up. Bush did not keep us safe. If I recall, he was the deer caught in the headlights on 9/11.
    Don
    Arlington, VA

    April 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  228. Michael Stout

    If we're doing the right thing as a country, as human beings, as great Americans, then we shouldn't be afraid to tell the world the truth.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  229. Bruce

    No, it is not a mistake, we as Amercians have always prided ourselves in honesty and open society. No ones perfect, but without admission of we will never be so.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  230. Ale

    How is it a mistake? Why is this question even being asked? We should be questioning these critics as to why they think we should have tortured in the first place. Disgracful.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  231. TB

    Obama is giving the country away lock, stock and barrel. It's only a matter of time before it becomes clearly evident.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  232. Joe, Chicago, IL

    No. Releasing CIA-military briefings or memos discussing strategy only benefits the enemy.

    This was nothing more than trying to put on a black eye on the previous administration. Obama may think that the world will 'appreciate' him for airing dirty laundry, but it will just infuriate people's hate for the country.

    Lets say that Bush released all of Clinton's papers on Bin Laden and how they did not see him as a threat that required military action, just a policing action. Releasing the papers would never 'help' the country, just embarrass Clinton and enrage the country.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  233. Lisa

    I don't think its a question of "was it a mistake." I think the question should be "what is the purpose of it?" Why release the information when the past is dead and gone and nothing can be done about it. I thought under this new administration we were in for a "change" so we can reunite with one another and "build America up again." What good does it do to continue to look back at the past? Do people really think that the extremists that constantly threaten this country will want to, one day, sit around in a circle with us and hold hands and talk about our feelings?

    April 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  234. Andrea from NY

    Yes . the time has come to end this for the benifit of all the people who have had to endure this .

    April 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  235. Samilton

    No. The Mistake was allowing this type of inhumane treatment to take place. It lets the American people and others see what really went down. We don't have to stoop lower than low to win.

    Simply terrible.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  236. Tim in Texas

    Is it a mistake for us to know what our elected officials did or are doing? Heck no. There is no security threat in releasing these memos. First of all, we are presumably not doing them any more. Secondly, who couldn't guess what techniques we might be using? Silliest argument I ever heard - wait I take that back. All those tea bag folk were the silliest - all kinds of middle income folk who just got a tax decrease under a democratic congress and administration, protesting the very people who gave it to them. Crazy.
    Tim in Texas

    April 17, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  237. Teri K. in North Florida

    It isn't a mistake – it shows 'change we can believe in' in this administration as long as nothing ever comes out that these practices were ever used AFTER 1/20/2009. But for some reason I think there is more to the story as to 'why' they were released. I want to know 'what' will happen next. I am pretty sure that there will be some GOP payback.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  238. Nan

    When the safety of the American people is on the line, you do what you have to, to keep them safe, If you didn't and something happened then the Government would have been blamed for that. Bottom line is no matter what the government does someone isn't going to like it, that my dear is human nature.
    Should those menos have been released, absolutely not. There are times to be tuff and times to be gentle and I'm sorry but at that time it was time to be very tuff. Atleast we didn't cut their heads off and parade the in the village square. Can the terrorist say that? NO!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  239. Lauren

    Perhaps it might be ok to use torture/ enhanced interrogation techniques/ whatever label you give to that type of behavior on the "bad" people if it protected the "good" people, but there are a few big problems with that. 1) The good/ bad line is not as clear as it is in the movies. 2) The people with the power to torture do not always decide good/ bad correctly. 3) Even when torture results in information that stops a terrorist attack, it creates many more attacks due to the fact that it truly "emboldens the enemy." Whether the people we torture "deserve it" or we accidently torture the wrong person, those incidents are used as rallying cries against the "arrogant/ hypocritical/ evil" Americans. In the end, it does more harm to America than good (even if we get a little intel along the way).

    April 17, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  240. Keith Wedderburn

    I feel safer already with the likes of Obama and the appeasers in power. I was in World Trade on 9/11. I defy any of you people to have actually been there to feel the same way about necessary interrogation techniques.

    Keith
    NYC

    April 17, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  241. Eric

    Folks, this is war. People die. No one ever said war or terrorism is glamorous. We must do what we need to do to protect our country.

    Obama is completely irresponsible to allow this information to be publicized.

    Our nation's safety (and strength!) have been compromised.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  242. Pete

    The mistake is that the people of this country forget what terrorists have done throughout the last 2 decades. People think their comfortable lives sitting in that chair responding to this article comes without a price. Let these same people dictate interrogation methods that should be allowed and then we all can count the time before our country, its citizens, and military is attacked again.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  243. Chad

    He shouldn't have done that. What good is a transparent government if it cant keep the American people safe? Those techniques worked, and they succeeded in protecting the American people and rooting out terrorism World Court?? Why should we follow a court that isn't accountable to the American people?

    April 17, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  244. Karen, Idaho Falls, Idaho

    Hi Jack,

    A long time ago one of your questions asked "when it might be ok for George Bush to use a signing statement to ignore or reinterpret a law". My answer to you then was "Never–that we wouldn't know how much damage he had done to our freedoms until he left office and everything started to surface". Well, things are starting to surface and they are very ugly. My answer today is "Yes, all of these secret deals should be revealed. We cannot begin to repair our honor and good name until we reject the horrors of the last eight years. I hope President Obama continues to enlighten us as to what the Bush Administration considered acceptable and did in the name of the American people..

    April 17, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  245. Hippy Mike

    It was exactly what needed to happen. This entire situation is a terrible embarrassment and moral scar on our country. I also believe that President Obama's decision to not prosecute at this time was based on the fact that there is a process that has to take place before anyone associated with the government will be ready to prosecute and I believe that those who are guilty will be brought to justice eventually. It's the same with everything President Obama does for so many of us. After eight years of pain and confusion we want everything fixed right now.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  246. Steve

    Yes, whether the interrogations were legally or morally wrong, releasing the memos was purely a political ploy by the Obama administration.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  247. Jim from Tx

    To not show them would be a crime. It would mean that the administration condoned them. To not prosecute them means that not only do they condone them but they're willing to let them get away with it. Good way to give anyone abused in the process closure. When I was in the military I took a oath to represent and protect the country and those that couldn't protect themselves. Not to act like a terrorist and use their methods. And claiming "we were just following orders" is ignorance. Last I checked, ignorance of the law does not protect anyone in a U.S court room. Well these are laws of humanity being broken. Is there a exception here we didn't know about? I don't think so.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  248. Paula in Albuquerque

    The "mistake" is not lodging criminal proceedings against those responsible...to the fullest extent of the law...

    April 17, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  249. Vegas

    I have to add...this nonsense about releasing this information making the USA less safe. People need to grow up and get a little common sense. There are no safety guarantees. I'd love it to be that way, but we do not live in a perfect world. This notion, this idea that a president or anyone else can keep a person or a country safe is a myth.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  250. Brett

    As a current active duty military officer, I am glad that Obama has started to make the decisions that make me proud of my country again.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  251. Rick McDaniel / Lewisville, TX

    Not necessarily wrong, just serves no real purpose, save to knock the GOP, and the Dems would be better served by getting their own house in order, before knocking on someone else's door.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  252. Mike Syracuse, NY

    The methods used to collect intelligence have always been among our most closely guarded secrets. Obama's action is deplorable, and will cost American lives. By knowing what they will and won't face, our enemies are better prepared. Don't they have a name for giving aid and comfort to the enemy?

    April 17, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  253. Dave

    If this is standard policy to release this type of classified information this soon then I guess it is ok. However, what was the US protocol for tactics, policies, and disclosure for dealing with prisoners during WII, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf War? I find it hard to believe that the tactics used by the CIA were that dissimiliar from what had been used in the past. Let alone the disclosure of it all.

    Quite honestly, putting the scumbag who has admitted to being the mastermind behind the 9/11 planning, in a dark cell with a harmless cockroach let him off easy. Gimme a break.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  254. Anger

    Bush did nothing to harm America. He only hurt the feelings of the pacifists who are scared of terrosism and are willing to submit to the fear. The memos should not have been released and America needs to get over the Bush era and start paying attention to what is going on currently.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  255. Uncle B

    It was the right decision to release the memos. The mistake was committing the acts [torture] in the first place!

    April 17, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  256. Pat in Atlanta

    It was a step in the right direction after eight years of wandering off the path that made the United States strong and respected.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  257. Bob

    Torture is wrong. By allowing these practices to go on without resistance or protest from the American people is outright condoning it. By using the same methods that terrorists use we sink to their level. If torture worked out so well then why don't we start putting car bombs in the streets of Iraq and see what else we can accomplish.

    Bob
    Des Moines, Iowa

    April 17, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  258. Pugas-AZ

    Let's clean up the problems in this country first. Releasing this information at this time is just another distraction from the business at hand-saving the country. We can rehash the past once we are all working again and feeling relatively good about ourselves- if that will ever be possible again.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  259. michael

    I am totally in favor of Torture. I am a hardworking honest American who donates money to the poor, volunteers in the community etc etc. I have zero pity on people who are for no reason out to kill my wife and kids. Extreme Muslim terrorists would kill anyone of your kids or women in a heartbeat. The fact that you have pity on these people just because they might be sleep deprived, or roughed up. Look what they would do to you, no torture, they would simply cut your throat on video. Wake up people, the world is very different. By the way, if you lost a child to these murderers, my guess is you would think differently. Anything our govt can do to stop these pigs is fine with me.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  260. Dustin

    It was the right decision. If the conservatives were so worried about damaging our national security, they shouldn't have authorized the use of those techniques in the first place.

    Also, they shouldn't punish the CIA officers who followed the advice in the memos. Instead, they should punish the Justice Department lawyers/CIA executives who authorized the use of such techniques.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  261. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    It's a mistake only if there is no trial for treason for G. W. Bush and Darth Cheney.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  262. Scott in Dayton, OH

    Yes. What happens in the CIA should not be broadcast to the world so the enemy can use it to their advantage. Kind of hard to defeat the enemy or prevent future attacks when we show them our cards. Way to go Obama. Who's side are you on anyway?

    April 17, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  263. Tim - San Francisco

    Jack, I'm appalled. It makes me sick to my stomach to hear the things my country did to detainees who may or may not have had any viable information. Was the CIA using the same intelligence network that told them there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to detain these so called terrorists? What I find even more deplorable is the number of Americans who have written in to your blog who try to justify this disgusting behavior by stating "Well it was during a time of war..." These people really were brainwashed by Bush and his Administration, but after reading some of the logic behind these entries that justify the torture we inflicted, I'd say that wasn't too difficult a task for the Bush administration to accomplish since it's quite obvious that these Americans don't use their brains that often.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  264. Eric Los Angeles

    I believe it was wrong to release the Bush Era memo's. We need to keep the knowledge of our tactics towards terrorist as quiet as possible. Sure they may already know some of our techniques, but to release those memo's is just going to cause a stir that is not needed at this point in time. What the intelligence agencies do to keep our country safe is going to be hampered more and more as we keep bringing their tactics to the public eye. Let the intel people do what they do best, keep away from the spotlight and keep our country safe.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  265. Jim, MN

    No. First of all, releasing the memos won't be telling what the terrorists we do. It's telling the terrorists what we did. If we no longer use these techniques, which we won't under Obama, that argument is invalid.

    The mistake would be to hide it. This information would never have been kept secret forever. The longer it was kept under-wraps the more damaging it would be to our Nation's reputation.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  266. Chris Kirkpatrick

    President Obama was right to release the memos to the public. This transparency does make the previous administration look bad, but their thin arguments in retrospect seem like a used car dealer trying to defend selling a lemon.

    The president was equally wise to not prosecute those who used the techniques. At the time, such practices were legally sanctioned by our government. We are now drawing a line in the sand. What was done at one time will no longer be tolerated today.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  267. Jason Norman

    I think it's important that our leaders take ownership of what has been done by government officials past and present. If we're to reestablish ourselves as nation to be respected rather than feared, and followed rather than shunned, then we have to show the capacity to learn from our mistakes and correct them. That's what President Obama is trying to accomplish here and I think he's made the right decision.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  268. Mateo Young West Babylon NY

    I think it was a good idea to release them. Our former president claims that torture was never used but that is clearly a falsehood. If our country is ever again to gain the respect of the international community, we must show that we are willing to admit and correct these mistakes.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  269. Kevin

    Huge mistake. Not surprising given how bad this guy's politics are. Now we look bad for putting a bug in the cage with a guy who would happily kill and maim innocent women and children. His job is to protect us from these scumbags, not give anyone reason to feel "sorry" for them. He would rather try to make the previous administration look bad than protect this country.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  270. Expose the truth

    It was the right thing to do, to release those Bush-era memos. Bush/Cheney should have thought before they authorized these types of torture or interrogations. Eventually some of our military will become prisoners and how would the U.S. want our prisoners treated?

    Americans should be proud of President Obama for bringing to light our change in a new direction from the previous eight years under the Bush administration.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  271. Evert

    It is not a mistake. Remember Jack, the Bush Administration "made their bones" on secrecy, deception, and smearing people that tried to do the right thing. The former CIA Director like others in the Bush Administration will do what it take in an attempt to stonewall justice.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  272. Karen Wood

    The releasing of the memos was a good move by Obama – assuming we can just sweep these acts under the rug and "move forward" is not a good move by Obama. These memos provide evidence that the law was broken at the request of people high up in the Bush Administration. If we do not investigate and prosecute those responsible, we have no choice but to admit there are two systems of justice in the U.S. – one for common folk where lawbreakers are held accountable, and one that allows high ranking government officials off the hook. Our leadership status in the world will stake a significant hit. Who are we to complain if another courntry tortures our citizens?

    April 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  273. Eric

    I guess Obama is only open to transparency of government when it is not his government. Stimulus funds anyone? Where's the oversight and transparency on that?

    April 17, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  274. Bonnie Schweid

    Of course releasing the memos was the correct thing to do. Americans have the right to know what is being done in their names. The wrong thing to do is not prosecuting ALL of those involved. All the way to the top.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  275. Farrell Sacramento, CA

    The only reason Michael Hayden was at all interested in keeping Bush's torture memos secret was to try and protect his own behind; if he didn't believe these illegal methods were wrong at the time they were authorized then he shouldn't now be ashamed of exposing the actions he took at that time.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  276. Ra

    Releasing the memos was the right thing to do and so is shielding the CIA operatives who merely took orders. The buck should stop with President Bush and his team.

    April 17, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  277. MDW

    High moral ground!!! HA! It was wrong to reveal the CIA information. We will pay in the end..

    April 17, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  278. Larry CA

    It was treason to make public sensitive policies such as interrigation procedures. Bush era interrigation techniques were humane. Only people who want this countries sovereignty to be abolished or have been misinformed or in denial would not use these techniques to protect this country.

    April 17, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  279. Dave From Philly

    No. Most americans understand that govnernment must act and we do not need to know when, why and how. However, some actions should never happen and torture is one.

    Most of the information the CIA received from the tortured victims was false and none saved one american life.

    April 17, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  280. Tony

    Coming clean is the responsible and right thing to do. How can Americans make sound and informed decisions about our futures if these actions remain a secret? These actions are criminal and we all have a right to know, if you choose not to your TV has a power button for you turn it off. It is obvious Bush defenders and right wing nutz would rather bury their head in the sand and yell "it's all OK as long as I dont know about it...." Well, some of us don't agree.

    For Washington to change from the corrupt, unscrupulous, damaged state it is in we need to be able to hold any and all administrations accountable! Right wing, left wing, and everything in between is not above the law and judgement of the people in it.

    April 17, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  281. RR

    Ask the question again right after the next attack on our soil.

    April 17, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  282. Whitt, Quincy, MA

    It's better that everyone, particularly here at home, knows exactly what we're doing. If we're truly the good guys, then we have nothing to hide. If we have something to hide, then we're not really the good guys. Anything less stinks of hypocrisy.

    April 17, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  283. Ron Spooner

    The documents should remain as secret. Now we are limited to polite conversation with people who are determined to kill us! Matters having to do with anyone held at Guantanamo is not the business of the ACLU as the criminals are not Americans and they do not enjoy any of our civil liberties. The techniques used were not life threatening. Especially the bugs in the night PRANK!

    April 17, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  284. Ken

    That we did things we should not have is known and the current administration has commited to not doing it anymore. Isn't that enough? What good comes from airing details and giving terrorists an inside look at our own dirty laundry?

    April 17, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  285. Rastageneral

    A mistake to release the memos? He had no choice... by court order... he HAD to release them and he did so at the deadline.

    April 17, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  286. chris

    Totally in favor of the information being released. The USA needs regain the reputation of being a model for the world when it comes to interrogating terrorists. Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld are not welcome around the world because fact be known...Foreign Governments have said they will prosecute them for War Crimes. All three should be sent to Gitmo....and they should lose their pensions as well. Thank God we are rid of them.

    April 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  287. Juan Martin Lorenzo

    The only mistake had been the Bush administration and all his policy. It made not only America more vulnerable, but even less credible. Bush was the whole mistake, and republicans are who have to blame for all the worst in the economy, in the irresponsible war in Irak and afganistan, and for everything in Wall Street. The torture files is a shame for America and what Mr Obama is doing is the right thing. Right Now: MOVE ON !!!!!

    April 17, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  288. kathy rollins oklahoma

    I believe president obama did the right thing to release this information if we are going to be able to take the stance of no torture with a clear counsious to the whole.
    I think in order to believe what the government they need to tell us the bad as well as the good. All the while knowing there are some things they can't tell us but in this case. this was the right thing to do.
    as for the cia officers they were acting on the legal memos from their superiors that said this was not torture and should not be proscuted. Let me also say even though these were despicable acts but it was after the 9-11- and I feel this put the fear in them to protect us.

    April 17, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  289. R. Maloof

    Remember, many of these people who were tortured have been found to be innocent. In addition, as has been stated by Powell's chief aid, we have kept many innocent people knowingly for almost a decade, just to use them as "travel consultants". Everyone involved in this must be taken to court, since the condoning of torture and inprisonment of innocents has been a crime for all of human history.

    April 17, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  290. bobbie

    The mistake is not going after Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield, Ashcroft , Gonzales et al, or the CIA agents who stood by and allowed the torture to happen (or who participated in it)
    Torture is NEVER right!

    April 17, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  291. John G. Wright

    No!
    With mass media being owned by whoever, these days, the truth is rare. I welcome it.

    April 17, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  292. Donald

    Jack,

    Didn't the people at Nuremburg use the 'just following orders' defense? The real war criminals are Shrub and Darth. and they should be treated accordingly. Why does the World Court want to prosecute some African dictator for killing 100s of thousands but when S&D do it, it's OK?

    Donald
    Dallas

    April 17, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  293. Emilio

    The only people who are afraid of what the memos may reveal are those with something to hide. Cheney knew what was coming, perhaps he was given an heads-up by someone on the inside, and therefore he went the attack, by claiming that the country is now vulnerable under President Obama. I say, there is no better disinfectant that sunlight – open up the Bush cesspool of crimes and let us deal with them with maturity. If it hadn't been for the inaction by President Ford, with regards to the crimes committed by President Nixon, perhaps the likes of Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the rest of the criminal neocon cabal, i.e. the PNAC crowd, would not have visited their hell of the last eight years upon us.

    April 17, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  294. Richard dicks, jr

    Jack, I believe the release of the memos were necessary because it breaks the cycle of secrecy in the Bush era, and the transparency in combating terrorism. Perhaps the CIA will use other techniques, but those used previously, including renditions did not make Americans more safe. A complete reversal of policies with transparency is needed.

    April 17, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  295. ISAAC TAVERAS

    " Am not surprise that we have continously leak Top secret information that should stay....TOP SECRET as it is titled; this is the fault of someone who didnt get his point across at some point during the Bush administration but wants to keep on playing the Blame Bush administration Game; and thats the person who needs to get prosecuted for letting that information leak out to the whole wide world, at one point I actually thought that our Nation was safe but anymore when we are sharing information that needs to stay buried with the Bush administration, as for the prisoners being tortured...well they got what they deserved, we cannot forget 9/11 nor the beheadings that happen a few years ago..thanks

    April 17, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  296. Tim

    Shocks me how naive most americans are. There are really bad people out there who don't play by the same rules most of us in the west do. Trying to woo them with kindness may make the avg "put my head in the sand" liberal happy, but it will do little to deter the bad guys. Wake up America, the playing field is not level, and the bad guys are eating up this "can't we all just get along" attitude that Obama has embraced. Welcome back to the Jimmy Carter era....didn't like it then and won't like it now!

    April 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  297. scott oneill

    Give Bush a break. He was a man that had a lot on his plate and did pretty darn good for it all. Sadam had to go. Imagine Afghanistan with Sadam still in power. He would have had the whole Arab world up in arms about our involvement and would have spent his oil fortune arming his country and the rest of the arab world to fight our boys in Afghanistan. Its time to move on. Don't these people in the new administration have anything better to do? Look at the problems facing us today. I will say this, George Bush was a man of great faith, and in the end, brother, like it or not, its all we have. I was never so proud of an American president as I was when he gave his speech to congress regarding the 911 attack. God Bless George Bush.

    April 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  298. Jan M. Hollis

    Three thousand Americans died horrible deaths on 9/11 and upwards of another thousand or so died in IRAQ and elsewhere, some by torture and beheadings. So, the paltry responses the US used to learn from those we captured what they have been planning are now being made public? Unbelievable! Now, the bad guys can train for our capture tactics, knowing full well that they will be safe and coddled by a bunch of weak-kneed politicians in Washington and federal judges. We have lost the tactical advantage of fear of the unknown. The real purpose of the revelations was to embarrass the previous administration and pander to the extreme left and the media.

    April 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  299. Constitutional Lawyer

    If you have to ask, you know the answer.

    April 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  300. Alexander

    Releasing the memos became a mistake when Obama stated he would not prosecute those who committed torture. Why show the world our dirty laundry and then proclaim we aren't going to hold anyone accountable? If he wasn't going to prosecute anyone, he shouldn't have released the memos.

    April 17, 2009 at 6:05 pm |