The former director of the CIA, Michael V. Hayden, reveals that the purpose of keeping the CIA interrogation memos secret was to preserve the right to torture people in the future.
He writes on CNN.com that releasing the CIA interrogation memos was a "mistake" and claimed "to reveal the details of this technique would tie the hands of a president in a future emergency -- since, after all, laws and policies and presidents could always change"
He means the policy about torturing people. He means "tie the hands" of any President who wants to torture people.
Michael Hayden: "Based on a declaration I signed, the judge had agreed in 2008 to allow us to continue to protect -- on the grounds of national security -- the specifics of waterboarding, a technique that had not actually been used since March 2003 and one the agency had not even authorized for use in years."
If what you are saying is the truth, why would it have been necessary to fire me for saying that "waterboarding is torture, and torture is wrong" on my classified blog? Something doesn't add up. If the practice had discontinued, and there were no plans for its revival, then I would have merely been reprimanded and my blog taken away.
Instead, I was fired and put under investigation for my clearance. I was followed everywhere I went for a week and a half. I am blackballed from my former profession. That's fine. I took the risk and will accept the consequences. However, do not pretend that exactly how you torture people is itself classified. The only classification is that it happened at all, and you wanted to be able to do it again. That information is not critical to national security, it is political.
Michael Hayden claims that the choice to release the CIA interrogation memos was political. It was. So was your desire to keep them secret. By exposing the illegal practices the CIA was engaged in under the previous Administration, President Obama let everyone know that waterboarding and torture were not acceptable practices. He further let them know that breaking the law and violating human rights will eventually be exposed. Good for him.