September 8, 2009

Former Clinton White House Spokesman Bob Weiner and Policy Analyst Jordan Osserman Demand End to Excessive CIA Secrecy, Investigation of ‘Deciders’ of Bush Law Change for Torture Program Including Cheney; Op-ed in Cleveland Plain Dealer Today

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a column in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer, "IS THE CIA'S EXCESSIVE SECRECY NEAR AN END?" former White House Spokesman Bob Weiner and Policy Analyst Jordan Osserman call for an "end to excessive CIA Secrecy" and ask for Investigation not only of torture practices, but of the originators and expediters of the Bush law change for the torture program including Vice President Cheney. The authors contend, "Obama's team must ensure that a full investigation occurs into actions of the 'deciders.' It's not politics -- it's the law."

In response to Cheney's statement that the probe is "political," the authors ask: "When was the last time that lawmakers-turned-lawbreakers did not assert that any investigations into their actions were 'political?'

"Cheney claims investigating the Bush administration's torture program 'is a loss of focus on national security.' His assertion is a thinly veiled attempt to escape accountability and hide his misdoings, including likely pressing both DOJ and the CIA."

They point out that Cheney told Chris Wallace, "What I miss most is having the CIA show up on my doorstep six days a week."

The authors say, "We want to know: Did Cheney urge White House and DOJ staff to change the legal definition of torture before any court agreed, and then get CIA and its contractors to carry it out?"

"The CIA and others have often invoked secrecy not for national security, but to prevent agency embarrassment."

"In the baby boomers' college days, there were accusations of paranoia about the CIA conducting dark and conspiratorial activities. The government said the allegations were myths. At least in the last administration, the 'dark side' became reality."

"On May 28, President Obama mandated a 90-day review of classification policy, with the goal of 'unprecedented openness' in government. However, human rights and civil liberties groups are concerned that investigations may only look into individual abuses by low-ranking officials."

Weiner and Osserman conclude, "The legal duty includes reaching as high as the facts show. Holder himself said it's a 'duty to examine the facts and follow the law.'"


CONTACT: Bob Weiner or Rebecca VanderLinde, +1-301-283-0821, or +1-202-329-1700

SOURCE Robert Weiner Associates