Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The CIA IGR public release: A DoJ IO

IO, IO, it's off to work we go ...

Like many, I grabbed my own copy of the CIA IG report, started plowing around and through it. I took note of the contents and went directly to the section on "DETENTION AND INTERROGATION OPERATIONS AT ________," page 33. Let's check that out. ...

Sadly, though not too surprisingly, this is what greeted me:

Given the blanket redaction that "operational" aspects within the document have received, what becomes immediately clear from an inspection of the document released by Holder's DoJ -- actually, let's call it Obama's DoJ, just like we did with Bush -- is that it has been designed to bolster AG Holder's announcement that the DoJ would conduct investigations only of CIA operatives who exceeded the guidelines drawn by the Bush OLC torture memos.

We don't need to delve into why such grunt hunt is a terrible idea -- there are plenty of sources expressing that -- but, rather, this is brief (it need not be otherwise) exploration of the publicly released document demonstrates that it has been redacted in such a way so as bolster and compliment Holder's announcement.

Apart from this first glaring example of massive redaction, note the first instance where this information operation is apparent: page ii of the table of contents. Note that two sections labeled "Specific Unauthorized or Undocumented Techniques," are clearly presented with some gory and ignominious details, while everything else in the "contents" listed is blacked out. These sections serve up exactly and only what AG Holder has stated that his DoJ would investigate.

Page ii, CIA IG report:

Not unsurprisingly at this point, we find those relevant pages heavily unredacted. The contrast is especially noticeable at the transition from page 68 to page 69, the above cited section. Page 68 is completely blacked out. Page 69, and forward, offer up the grisly details of those specific techniques listed in the contents.

It must be emphasized that this "analysis" remains solely concerned with the purpose of the release of the CIA IG report, its temporal and political context. Whatever other illegal activities were uncovered by the IG report, whatever bungling may remain covered-up, no details outside the parameters AG Holder specified have been broadcast by the release. A cursory examination of the public document reveals that the exposed content and its timing have been planned to support the Department of Justice announcement of investigations of low level CIA operatives, and only those who employed "unauthorized or undocumented techniques" described by those glaringly wordy pages so generously and selectively left legible by the Department of Justice.

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