Friday, May 08, 2009

Another Torture Memo?

Special thanks to David Corn for bringing up the Foreign Policy blog post, written in late April by Philip Zelikow, in which Zelikow discusses his (classified) dissenting memo against the Bush Administration's moves towards instituting a torture policy. I urge everyone to read it.

I also urge everyone to read David's Mother Jones post on the possible Cheney-directed cover-up of the memo, which he wrote with Nick Baumann.

At the time he wrote the memo, Zelikow was counselor to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, if you can't place his name. He also served as executive director of the 9/11 Commission.

Here are David Corn and Jim Pinkerton discussing this issue during their diavlog on, which was posted yesterday. This segment is about twelve minutes long.

(alt. video link)

It's worth restating a couple of points: If Zelikow's claims are accurate, his memo was buried by the Bush White House, and what's more, they tried to destroy every copy of it. The latter is all by itself a crime.

According to the David's post and the Boston Globe, a Senate subcommittee chaired by Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) is scheduled to begin the first set of public hearings on the Bush Administration's torture policies beginning next Wednesday, 13 May. Zelikow is expected to be a witness, as is former FBI interrogator Ali Soufan, whom we've mentioned before.

Sen. Whitehouse (and don't think that won't get confusing as time goes on), of course, has formally requested the Zelikow memo. It's worth passing along Spencer Ackerman's observation that the current request by Whitehouse marks the fifth time a member of Congress has asked for this memo. Let's hope this time is the charm.


Finally, if you'd like some more background, you might begin with a couple of short posts on TPMMuckraker from Zachary Roth, dated 21 April and 4 May.

And here, also via Spackerman, are videos of Zelikow appearing on Rachel Maddow's show on 21 April 2009:

Part 1:

Part 2:

He does look a little like John Dean, doesn't he?

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