“Lifting Bush’s Shroud” by Center for American Progress
March 05, 2009, 1:00am

During his confirmation hearings in January, Eric Holder promised that if he became attorney general, he would increase the Justice Department’s transparency. Specifically, he pledged to make public controversial memos the Bush administration fought to keep secret. Earlier this week, Holder made good on his promise, releasing nine Bush-era memos that formed the basis for the previous administration’s policies on issues such as torture, wiretapping, and the suppression of free speech. Jennifer Daskal of Human Rights Watch said the memos “read like a how-to document on how to evade the rule of law.” “Americans deserve a government that operates with transparency and openness,” read a statement by Holder, underscoring the clean break with the Bush administration. “It is my goal to make OLC [Office of Legal Counsel] opinions available when possible while still protecting national security information and ensuring robust internal executive branch debate and decision-making.” Also this week, the Obama administration revealed in court documents that the CIA destroyed 92 tapes showing interrogations of detainees — far more than the Bush administration was willing to admit. In December 2007, the New York Times reported that the CIA had destroyed at least two videotapes documenting suspected al Qaeda operatives being subjected to “severe interrogation techniques.”

From The Progress Report