(The Clyde Fitch Report) -- Ron Fournier recently wrote in the National Journal, “Patriots may get away with torture. Not with lying about it.” He was talking about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation and ensuing report about the CIA’s post 9/11 interrogation program, the fact that President Obama called the torturers “patriots,” and the CIA’s attempts to cover up, lie and even spy on the Senate committee staff.
Sadly, Fournier is wrong about the lying part. Both torture and lying are going to be given a hall pass. Other than a flurry of columns and comments including Fournier’s excellent piece, not much will happen as a result of the investigation, despite the committee concluding that a program of brutal torture had little to do with the finding and killing of Osama Bin Laden or disrupting or investigating other terrorist activities. The committee’s report itself recommends no punishment or further inquiry.
So far the Obama Administration has shown no sign of concern with the committee’s findings. Indeed, while the President conceded that tactics went too far (“We tortured some folks,” he said, looking uncomfortable), he wasn’t contrite and he certainly wasn’t angry. And although CIA Director John Brennan flatly denied that his agency spied on Senate staffers, President Obama said, “I have full confidence in John Brennan.” (To be fair, Brennan did apologize for the spying that he said didn’t occur.)
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