One year ago today, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to adopt a 6,000-page report on the CIA rendition, detention, and interrogation program that led to torture. Its contents include details on each prisoner in CIA custody, the conditions of their confinement, whether they were tortured, the intelligence they provided, and the degree to which the CIA lied about its behavior to overseers. Senator Dianne Feinstein declared it one of the most significant oversight efforts in American history, noting that it contains “startling details” and raises “critical questions.” But all these months later, the report is still being suppressed.
The Obama Administration has no valid reason to suppress the report. Its contents do not threaten national security, as evidenced by the fact that numerous figures who normally defer to the national-security state want it released with minor redactions. The most prominent of all is Vice President Joe Biden.
Another round of the long-running GOP civil war broke out this week, and you could be forgiven for greeting it with a yawn. House Speaker John Boehner proposed something; conservatives immediately rose up against it, egged on by right-wing pressure groups. News flash: There’s disunity in the Republican ranks.
But this chapter of the story turned out very differently than last time, when the clash between the Republican establishment and grassroots memorably ended in a two-and-a-half-week government shutdown. This time, it’s ending with a bipartisan budget deal, brokered by GOP Representative Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray, that will keep the government open for more than a year. The House passed the bill by a resounding 332-to-94 margin Thursday evening, putting final passage in the hands of the Senate.
So what happened? Why didn’t those Tea Party lawmakers and conservative groups get their way? Here’s what happened: Boehner took control.
Read more.[Image: J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press]