When will reporters stop taking Cheney claims at face value?

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Greg Sargent is trying to pin down former Vice President Cheney's staff on the details of his claim to have "formally" asked the CIA to release intelligence that he claims proves the efficacy of torture. Several news organizations are uncritically repeating Cheney's claim, but Sargent has a source who says the CIA never received such a request, and a Cheney spokesperson is refusing to explain how the request was made.

Meanwhile, I haven't seen any reporter ask Cheney or his staff what seems like an obvious question: If there exist documents that prove that torture prevented attacks on the US, and those documents can be released without jeopardizing national security, why didn't the Bush administration release them before leaving office?

It isn't like it's a surprise that the Obama administration has made some changes in Bush administration torture policy; Cheney and Bush had to know that was a possibility. So why didn't they release this evidence that supposedly proves that torture is a necessary national security tool? (If the answer is that they feared releasing the documents would jeopardize national security, there's an obvious follow-up: Why does Cheney want them released now?)

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