Mark Danner

Emanuel addresses torture memos

Author: Daniel Libit


White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel responded to critics of the President Obama’s decision to release torture memos by saying that the information was already public and that former President George W. Bush had already “allowed a lot of this information out.”

“So if they’re saying that you basically have exposed something, it’s been written,” said Emanuel. “Go get the New York Review of Books. It’s there.”

Emanuel was referring to the story written by Mark Danner, based on a “confidential” Red Cross document he came into possession of which enumerated the interrogations of 14 detainees.

Emanuel said the rough interrogation techniques, now banned, have been “one of the key tools Al Qaida has used for recruitment.

“There has been a net cost to America,” he said. ” By changing the way America is seen in the world, which means banning this technique and practice, we have actually stopped them and prevented them from using it as a rallying cry.”

Asked if Obama believes that those who devised the policies should be prosecuted, Emanuel said “no”:

“Yes, but those who devised policy, he believes that they were — should not be prosecuted either, and that’s not the place that we go — as he said in that letter, and I would really recommend people look at the full statement — not the letter, the statement –in that second paragraph, “this is not a time for retribution.” It’s time for reflection. It’s not a time to use our energy and our time in looking back and any sense of anger and retribution.

We have a lot to do to protect America. What people need to know, this practice and technique, we don’t use anymore. He banned it.”

12:46 PM