This story first appeared on the TomDispatch website.
[Editor's note: Our old friend Colonel Manners (ret.) made his first appearance at TomDispatch last October. Today, he's back for the third time. We have yet to run into anyone more knowledgeable in the mores, manners, and linguistic habits of the national security state. His CV (unfortunately redacted) would blow you away. At a time of heightened tension among the US Intelligence Community, the White House, Congress, and the American people, who better to explain the workings and thought patterns of the inner world of official Washington than the Colonel? Once again, he answers the questions of ordinary citizens about how their secret government actually works. Among advice columnists, he's a nonpareil. Here's just a sampling of his answers to recent correspondence.]
Dear Col. Manners,
When Barack Obama entered the Oval Office, he insisted that we "look forward," not backward. While he rejected the widespread use of torture and abuse by the CIA in the Bush years, his Department of Justice refused to prosecute a single torture case, even when death was the result. (The only CIA agent to go to jail during the Obama presidency was the guy who blew the whistle on the CIA torture program!)
Jump ahead five years, and instead of looking forward, it seems that we’re again looking backward big time. The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, usually the staunchest backer of US intelligence, seems to have sworn a vendetta against the CIA on the Senate floor for spying on her oversight committee as it prepared its still-unreleased report on the Agency’s torture program. The CIA denies it all and claims committee staffers spied on them. Once again, the Justice Department faces the issue of charges over the Agency’s torture program! It seems like little short of a constitutional catfight.
What gives, Colonel? Shouldn’t President Obama have prosecuted CIA torturers in the first place and isn’t it time that he and his Justice Department finally take all this to court?
Tortured in Tacoma
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