Obama team blocked from documents on torture, wiretapping

The Justice Department has evaded a request from President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team for documents about the secret programs of U.S. intelligence agencies.

The team asked to “review classified legal opinions related to secret CIA and National Security Agency programs,” but the inquiry has been denied.

Among the information requested are official documents about the “legal rationale” for the secret wiretapping and torture programs conducted by the two agencies.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey addressed the issue with reporters, saying that his department was reluctant to give up the documents without permission from the two gencies involved.

“And so what we try to do is determine whether, and to what extent, we can clear that information and try to do it as quickly as we can so as to get it to the transition team so that they’re aware of all the things that they need when they take over on the 21st,” Mukasey said, according to a transcript provided by the department.

An editorial demanded Friday that Obama fulfill his promise to end torture.

“He can begin to fulfill this pledge by signing an executive order that bans torture and inhuman treatment. In doing so, he would end the legal double-speak clouding U.S. policy and send a clear message to all Americans that torture and ill-treatment of detainees will not be tolerated.”

A former interrogator wrote in a new book that the US military’s use of torture is responsible for the deaths of thousands of US soldiers by inspiring foreign fighters to kill Americans.

Andrew McLemore
Published: Friday December 12, 2008

Source: The Raw Story

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