Media Watch: The Sharyl Attkisson approach
Drudge has the scoop:
In a two part interview airing tonight and tomorrow night on FOX News Channel’s Hannity (9-10PM ET), former Vice President Dick Cheney shared his thoughts on the CIA memos that were recently declassified and also revealed his request to the CIA to declassify additional memos that confirm the success of the Bush administration’s interrogation tactics:
“One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure is they put out the legal memos, the memos that the CIA got from the Office of Legal Counsel, but they didn’t put out the memos that showed the success of the effort. And there are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity. They have not been declassified.”
“I formally asked that they be declassified now. I haven’t announced this up until now, I haven’t talked about it, but I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country.”
“And I’ve now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was, as well as to see this debate over the legal opinions.”
Time to cue up the “Darth Cheney” music Seriously, it’ll be interesting to see where this goes. Probably nowhere, but if Cheney continues to make a public stink about it, maybe some intrepid outfit out there will file a FOIA request for the information, the release of which would surely make the Obama administration squirm.
Meanwhile, Obama visited the CIA today to defend the release of the memos last week, and to ‘boost’ the agency’s morale:
WASHINGTON – Days after releasing top-secret memos that detailed the CIA’s use of simulated drowning while interrogating terror suspects, President Barack Obama went to the spy agency’s Virginia headquarters on Monday to defend his decision and bolster the morale of its employees.
“I acted primarily because of the exceptional circumstances that surrounded these memos, particularly the fact that so much of the information was public,” Obama said.
Obama said Monday that a court case was going to force the memos to be released and that much of what they contained had already been compromised through leaks to news media.
The president urged the hundreds of CIA employees who gathered in a secure auditorium to ignore the recent controversy. “Don’t be discouraged by what’s happened the last few weeks,” he said.
A round of cheers erupted when CIA Director Leon Panetta introduced Obama, who quickly reassured them that they had his backing.
“I know the last few days have been difficult,” he said. “You need to know you’ve got my full support.”
But Obama also heard a reminder of the intense criticism his decision sparked from many in the intelligence community. Four former CIA directors and several senior agency officials opposed the release of the memos.
“You don’t get credit when things go good, but you sure get some blame when things don’t,” Obama said. Pausing when he heard an “amen” from someone in the crowd, Obama added, “I got an amen corner out there.”
No report yet on what Al Qaeda leaders think of the contents of the memos. Then again, no report is really necessary anyway. It’s not hard at all to guess what they’re thinking.