Last April, Vice President Dick Cheney went on Fox News to talk about the great successes they had had with waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques.
“They didn’t put put out the memos that show the success of the effort… what we gained as a result of this activity,” he told Sean Hannity. “I know specifically of reports that I read I saw them lay out what we’ve leanred through the interrogation process. And what the consequences were for the country.”
Cheney said in that interview that he had asked the CIA to declassify those memos — probably knowing very well that wasn’t likely — so the world could see what he was talking about.
Well, while those memos have not been released, last week the House Judiciary Committee released a report by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility that referred to the memos, the key of which is known as The CIA Effectiveness Memo.
The news was not so good for Cheney.
The report makes it clear that the Effectiveness Memo had several problems — mostly where it came to being accurate.
While the whole report is 289 pages long, I suggest headed about 252 pages in where we find out that while the memo asserts that “Abu Zubaydah ‘provided significant information’ about Jose Padilla and Binyam Mohammed, ‘who planned to build and detonate a dirty bomb’ the truth is that he actually disclosed the information when confronted with “traditional interrogation techniques before the CIA began using” Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.
“More importantly,” the report continues, ” the CIA Effectiveness Memo provided inaccurate information about Abu Zubaydah’s interrogation.”
The report concludes that because of the problems with the Effectiveness Memo, they question legal memos that used it as a building block such as memos — known as The Torture Memos — by Steven Bradbury, who was the head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, giving the CIA added legal authority to use the EITs.