President Obama indicated he would not have wide ranging investigations into Bush's past policies such as wire tapping and torture. He said there should be prosecutions if "somebody has blatantly broken the law" he said his legal team was still evaluating interrogation and detention issues and would examine "past practices." (6 ).
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sent a request on January 28, 2009 to the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). The letter requested releasing numerous documents that were secret and provided the basis for many of Bush's polices. The letter said in part "Releasing the memos would allow the public to better understand the legal basis for the Bush administration's national security policies; to better understand the role that the OLC played in developing, justifying, and advocating those policies; and to participate more meaningfully in the ongoing debate about national security, civil liberties, and human rights," (7 ).
There was concern over President Obama releasing the memos that authorized torture to the public. Jameel Jaffer of the American Civil Liberties Union said "Withholding this information would be completely inconsistent with the Obama administration's promise of transparency and its commitment to turn the page on the abuses of the last eight years," (8 ).
Under reported threats by members of the Republican Party, President Obama made the memos that provide the "intellectual underpinning" for the Bush Administrations torture program. It was reported that the Members of the GOP threatened to block his nomination of constitutional scholar Dawn Johnsen to the Office of Legal Counsel, if he released the memos (9 ).
A Department of Justice investigation into the 2002 Whitehouse memos that authorized torture and domestic surveillance did not cite case law (precedence). This report was prepared by Marshall Jarrett, the head of the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR)(10 ).
It now known that the CIA destroyed hundreds of tapes related to terror investigations. Why were these tapes destroyed? They could have been very useful in proving the CIA's and the Bush administration claim that "tough interrogation" was needed to gain information (11 ).
The ACLU said the destruction of the torture tapes violated Manhattan federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein 2004 order of preserving all records on the treatment of detainees (12 ).
details still leak
The memos detailed some of the techniques used on terrorism suspects. They included sleep deprivation, forced nudity, spraying with cold water, confinement in small boxes, and walling the memos said about walling "A detainee may be walled one time (one impact with the wall) to make a point, or twenty to thirty times consecutively when the interrogator requires a more significant response to a question," (13 ).
Human rights organizations released more that a thousands of DOD and CIA documents. These documents had information on rendering terrorism suspects to black sites, keeping detainees' identities secret, and tempering bad publicity. The documents gave details on how the Conventions can be interpreted to allow both agencies to refuse visitations from the Red Cross. This would allow the agencies "maximize intelligence collection efforts."(interrogate) inmates for a longer period of time (14 ).
International Committee of the Red Cross (Red Cross) released a report that said the US engaged in acts of "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" in Secret detention centers (15 ).
Former Dick Cheney asked the CIA to release two CIA reports that allegedly prove torture thwarted terror attacks. Critics said Cheney was trying to "cherry pick" to justify torture. Director of the ACLU National Security Project Jameel Jaffer said "If we really wanted to evaluate the effectiveness of the CIA's interrogation program, we have to look at more than two small documents," (16 ).
US AG Eric Holder said he would release as much information as possible about interrogations of suspects and he wouldn't play "hide and seek" with memos on harsh interrogations. Sen John McCain was a long term critic of the Bush Admin torture policy, and was subjected to torture when he served in Vietnam, he opposed bringing charges against Bush administration officials and said "To go back on a witch hunt that could last for a year or so is bad for the country," (17 ).