Greg Sargent appears to have caught Cheney in the middle of a lie over whether or not he has actually requested that new memos be declassified (Update- nope- Cheney was not lying– just wrong about who he asked- he put the request through the National Archives, not the CIA), but it seems like there is an even more basic lie than that. Here is what Cheney told Hannity:
One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure is they put out the legal memos, the memos that the CIA got from the Office of Legal Counsel, but they didn’t put out the memos that showed the success of the effort. And there are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity. They have not been declassified.
I formally asked that they be declassified now. I haven’t announced this up until now, I haven’t talked about it, but I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country.
And I’ve now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was, as well as to see this debate over the legal opinions.
Is this really the case? Did the Obama administration just pick and choose which memos to release?
Unless I am missing something, no. The three Bradbury memos were all released because of an ACLU legal action, and the Bybee memo was tossed on at the end in an agreement:
The Justice Department has sought an extension of the government’s deadline to decide whether to disclose three legal memoranda authored in May 2005 by Steven Bradbury, then a lawyer in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). The memos authorized the CIA to subject prisoners to torture methods including waterboarding. In ongoing Freedom of Information Act litigation brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, a federal judge had given the Justice Department until today to disclose the memos or explain its refusal to do so. The ACLU has consented to extend the production deadline to April 16 in return for the government’s representation that high-level officials will consider the release not only of the Bradbury memos but also a memo authored in August 2002 by Jay S. Bybee, who was then the head of the OLC. The Bush administration had previously withheld the Bybee memo.
In other words, it appears Cheney is lying. Again. The Obama administration wasn’t just putting out memos to make Tricky Dick Two look bad, they were reacting to a specific request for those memos.
If I’m wrong about this, fill me in. Otherwise, explain to me how Cheney keeps getting away with this sort of stuff? And couldn’t he have declassified all this stuff just a few months ago?