Bring it On

April 21, 2009 8:05 am

Andrew Sullivan had an interesting point yesterday about the whole torture memo controversy — and particularly Dick Cheney’s claim that he wants the release of other documents which he says demonstrate the effectiveness of his torture tactics. Cheney’s claim seems more than a little improbable since all the available information suggests that the administration’s torture tactics — whatever their legal and moral standing — just didn’t produce much information.

But why not take Cheney up on the offer? And not just the handful of documents he wants to cherry-pick but everything. Or perhaps more realistically, assemble a diverse and accountable panel of distinguished Americans who will review the most secret records, lean forward in the direction of disclosure while taking a due account of the need to protect genuine national secrets and simply get about the business of letting us know what happened.

What we really need is more light and disclosure, not less. In other words, the sort of Truth Commission that many of us have been calling for for years now. And if Dick Cheney wants to enlist and array the forces of darkness on behalf of this much-needed proposal, great. Call him on his bluff.

Late Update: It’s looking more like a bluff. Cheney has apparently not requested that the CIA release the documents in question. An intelligence source tells Greg Sargent, “The agency has received no request from the former Vice President to release this information.” —dk

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