Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Officials release Bush-era memos, rule out prosecutions

April 17, 2009 by  

Officials release Bush-era memos but rule out prosecutionsThe Department of Justice released four previously undisclosed Office of Legal Counsel opinions yesterday that were issued to the CIA in 2002 and 2005 to guide the treatment of prisoners apprehended in connection with the war on terrorism.

According to Bloomberg, the documents show that Justice Department lawyers authorized CIA to use techniques such as sleep deprivation, slapping, nudity and waterboarding.

Attorney General Eric Holder said officials who acted in good faith based on the legal advice from the Justice Department, and conformed their conduct to that advice, would not be prosecuted.

"It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department," Holder said.

In response, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which filed a lawsuit earlier this year to obtain the memos, said in a statement that those who "gave legal blessings to acts of torture" should be prosecuted.

Amnesty International, while welcoming the release, expressed a similar opinion to that of ACLU.

In the view of executive director Larry Cox "The Department of Justice appears to be offering a get-out-of-jail-free card to individuals who … were involved in acts of torture."


Personal Liberty News Desk

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Officials release Bush-era memos, rule out prosecutions”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at

  • Barry

    This was a stupid this for the Obama Crew to do. I have never seen this happen in my life time where one President turned of another president. Course I never thought I would see a president try to force the US into a Socialist government before,

    If the People (Esp Youth) of America do not wake up they will be living in the new United States Social Republic run by a Dictator government. By then it will be too late to do much.

    • Isir Abelon

      There are some good elected Democratic Senators and Representatives who opposed Obama’s agenda. Time to Break away, Speak up. This is not what we want for America. Work hard to be successful, not to stay home and wait for the government check to arrived. WOW… (Hilary where are you) Abide with the constitution. We can do everything in accordance with the constitution, even impeach the President. I hope it will not come to that point. Thank you.

    • Robert

      The Bush-era memos’ release eliminates any impetus for the prosecution of government employees for anything that the current lame-liberal crowd finds questionable. Although I have no use for our current president (little p, he hasn’t proved himself to be a U.S. Citizen and as such is not yet qualified to be BIG P President), his administration is trying to let the interrogation issue die. Bed-wetting liberals such as the treasonous Nancy Pelosi will not do so as they swoon over tree-hugging and animal rights, let alone the way that we treat prisoners who would set off an atomic bomb in the United States if they could do so!

      Wake up folks, America is dying unless we resusitate her!

      • http://personalLivertyDigest P. Lynch

        Please give Oboma a little slack. He inherited the biggest mess in history from George Bush.

        • http://yahoo S. Butkowsky

          Listen up Nutjob, in case you forgot, Obama voted for the Bush plan which was only 760 billion. Obama has more than tripled that and your great grandchildren (if you have any) will be paying the tab!!

  • http://WWW Vince DiPentima

    Why not print the results obtained from these interrogations, that will show we were able to stop ,any further terrorists attacks on American soil. DUring the Clinton administratiopn terrorists had A free ride all over the world including the United States,If you are looking for indictments, do a good deed for the American Public And investigate the lack of action by Clinton and his fellow Democrats


    PLEASE! Sleep deprivation, slapping and nudity? Who is going to regulate how the terrorist treat their prisoners? Last time I looked the terrorists were beheading their victims! It is absurd for Obama to release these Bush memos let alone suggest that those that were doing their job be prosecuted! What Obama is doing is like lifting up his skirts and exposing himself and all of America to these terrorist radicals that have no moral imperitives except to kill as many Americans as they can! Obamas no one job is to protect the American people! However, seems like Obama thinks his job is to make nice nice with terrorists and dictators while making America look like a fool!

    • Stryker

      You are SO right! I keep on wanting to pinch myself, ‘cuz this just MUST be some kind of bad dream…..PLEASE tell me it’s not real!

    • Diana

      Very well stated. I agree 100%.

      I have spent 20 years in the Air Force Reserve, My husband had 22 years in the AF and my dad was a career Navy man. Never in my life have I seen anything like what Obama is doing. When you play poker you do not show your hand in advance. Why is he giving our playbook away so the other guys can win against us?

      • http://yahoo S. Butkowsky

        I’ll tell you why, cause Obama isn’t a true American! He’s a true radical muslim believer born in Kenya, raised in the muslim faith, and also a believer in the fascist/socialist ideas of Karl Marx. He was schooled in activist thinking by his friends in Chicago, Harvard in Massachusetts, and Jeremiah Wright. He’s a follower Saul Alinsky’s book.

    • Walter

      Obama is off his rocker, going against the advice of so many AG’s and military brains. Waterboarding is not “torture” in the vain of torture of physical person, but phsycological torture making a person “think” they are drowning. It is very effective. Now the bad guys know they have nothing to fear, Obama might cut out their desert or short them on soap, but won’t touch them! Heaven help us!

  • jasony

    O’bama and Congress is doing this to keep attention on Bush and not what he is doing. Since the first bill O’bama tried to get passed, Americans have been writing and calling into their Congressmen and women in such great volumes that the Congressmen and women are shaken up by it. (I’ve been in several debates with my Congressman, Brad Elsworth.) Diverting attention away from what they are doing onto something they consider worse and responsible for “this mess” in America is their way of hiding what they are really doing. O’bama talks about transparancy, but that is the last thing he wants, as is evident by his response to real criticisms across America, like the Heritage Foundation, Bob Livingstons work, Rush Limbaugh, the TEA Parties across America, and others. We have got to keep up our objections in a manner that is intelligent and in the face of this threat to our liberties as true American citizens and not be deterred by their efforts to shut us up! We, as President Bush once said, are the balance in the voice of American that has to speak out for there to be a true chance for the security of liberties and prosperties for all American people!

  • http://windows AL LUONGO


  • http://JUDATUTOR@AOL.COM tina

    America wake up …………. He did not hide one thing when he was running for president. He told you what he was going to do, well here he is.
    They will change the subject to any thing else to keep it off the Democrates.
    We are alread headed for socialist and here we are. what can be the people do, please publish something to help the people take a stand.
    I have always been a democrate, BUT NO MORE.
    He is a mulsium for sure.

    • Isir Abelon

      Obama, told the truth during his campaign, including using drugs when he was a teenager, his association with Bill Ayers, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the ACCORN and has no Military background etc. He has not mention about his original Birth Certificate. American people are eager to know the authenticity of his Birth Certificate. Also,
      Not to mention about Michelle Obama, while she dreamed for the White house saying “for the first time in her lifetime, she is proud of her country” .
      You know what people were deceived by Obama’s Rhetoric “Change we can” thats why they voted for Obama. (Did you read the “Obama Nation” book). Most People who voted for Obama has regrets, because what Obama doing for the nation as a President is not what they voted for. Keep listening to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and other conservative talk show because you might learn something that ABC, NBC, CBS, CNBC will not tell you. I already stop listening to these Stations, I use my Computer to find the News I want. Go BBC and Fox News. Thank you.


      Actually Tina…… He did hide many things while he was running for president. Such as, His long standing involvement with the church pastored by Jerimiah Wright a radical who supports Louis Farrakhan and even made a trip to Saudi Arabia……He also hid his relationship to Bill Ayers an unrepent Terrorist who bombed the pentagon and whos confession is he did not do enough! What about his questionable connection to the social activist group ACORN? Many people did not hear about these things from the main stream media because they are so in the tank for Obama they get “tinggly feelings down their legs”! The only place you could have learned these things were from conservative talk radio why do you think he is now trying to shut people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and others down? What can we do? The only way for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing! It is time to stand up and be counted! Make our voices heard! The Tea Party rallys were a good begining! For everyone who has buyers remorse when it comes to Obama, don’t let it get you down! America has the best government system in the world! We the people have the power! Remember that at the next ellection! In the mean time we can all work to at least slow this guy down if not shut him down. We may have momentarily lost the battle but the war has not been decided by a long shot!

  • http://windstream Joanne

    We have GOT to stand up for what we believe in. We are slowly but surely being dragged into a socialistic form of government. Also, I am sick and tired of kids and teachers being made afraid to mention our maker’s name or bow their heads in prayer. Our kids need all the prayers they can get and so does our country!

  • Don

    I hope you Republican Obama voters are taking note of this Administration’s actions.

    This is unprecedented and changes the course of politics in America, Obama’s turn in four years…and Clinton and every Democrat President I imagine.

    Obama is the idiot I think he is if he thinks this is going to improve America’s image abroad in any way.

  • Robin

    I agree with the comments above, it is time to wake up, and smell the smoke people. The Liberals are burning the house down around our ears, and trying to get us to believe its a new flavor of air freshener. I am a grandmother, but one that spent seven years in our military, and proud of it, and the oath I took to defend this republich against all enemies, both foreign and domestic still resonates within. I have been one of the silent majority for too long and have also been calling and pestering my elected officials, I am sick and tired of the attempts at the bait and switch of the current administration, there is no transparency, there never will be with this administration if we don’t act and take upon ourselves to stay informed. The Teaparties where a start, and there are more on the horizan for this July 4th, to continure the movement. Check your local areas for these and stay on it, I for one do not want to see the downfall of this country, and the loss of the ideals that founded it.

  • Michael R Steinberg

    The people who wrote the pseudo-legalistic memos justifying torture, or calling torture, not torture, or permissable under international law, can and must be prosecuted. The underlings are saved by “just following orders!, sir” although this did not work for the Nazis!!!

    • 08hayabusa

      People like you are what’s wrong with our country. Water boarding, sleep deprivation, nudity. You call this torture? What planet are you from?
      Haven’t you been following the news for the last 30 years?
      200 plus Marines killed in Beirut, Israel Olympians killed in Munich, American serviceman killed in Germany, Our Embassies blown up in Africa, Pan am 103 blown up. USS Cole crippled, World Trade Center twice.
      I’ve got some other eye opening news for you too. These are not extremists Hy-jacking a so called religion of peace. These people are practicing true Islam, and they damn sure want America destroyed. We are the only thing standing in the way of their goal. World domination and Sharia Law.

      • Michael Steinberg

        You seem to say the ends justify the means. Civilized people do not sign on to that proposition, which you clearly espouse.

        • Michael Steinberg

          You list the evil deeds of terrorists; by using their deed to justify American evil is to become as bad a they are!!! This is the danger of ends justifying the means philosophy.

        • W. R. Klabo

          Michael, this is war, not an NYU or Columbia University courtroom exercise. These men mean to do us harm, and we need to obtain information from them. They do not cooperate when asked questions in a civilian police style interrogation. You must use your control over them to make them uncomfortable, or frighten them, into giving you answers. BO’s release of enhanced interrogation methods has greatly reduced the level of fear needed for their cooperation. I am prior military and have personally been through all these enhanced techniques. It is not torture. Torture is something that leaves you maimed for life. Humiliation and discomfort is nowhere near that level. You make them think the worst is about to happen, and you must be convincing to achieve it. Furthermore, you must trust in our personnel and institutions to carry this out. I believe in America, and have faith in the soldiers and professional intelligence personnel to do what’s right. God Bless and protect them from ignorant and vengeful like yourself!!

        • 08hayabusa

          I don’t know what your definition of torture is , but scaring the hell out of somebody isn’t my definition. Now if in the future we’re talking about pulling peoples teeth or pulling their fingernails out or maybe cutting fingers off or brutally beating people, then lets talk. But sleep deprivation, water boarding, Pleeeeeeese.

  • geoff

    In the view of executive director
    Larry Cox “The Department of Justice
    appears to be offering a
    get-out-of-jail-free card to
    individuals who … were involved in
    acts of torture.”

    can’t very well prosecute when these acts were sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department.

  • Luz

    It’s just unbelievable. I can’t believe that they disclosed all of those memo. I can’t believe that Obama administration are irresponsible. Does he know that the terrorists doesn’t even care who they are killing? They just want to kill anyone who disagree with them? It’s very disturbing to know that Obama and the rest of his people are outing all of those memo of torture. Anything that the Bush administration did in order to keep America safe has gone ashtray. I for one dislike Obama during his candidacy because I read a lot of negative about him. Now that he bacame a president, his true colors are coming out ( his mentor in Hawaii is a Marxist ) and I believe that upto this day, he is a Socialist or on his way to turn U.S, into communism. Other countries are stoning woman to death without any proof of adultery, what’s wrong with water boarding?

    • 08hayabusa

      Obama hates America’s Supremacy. He hates Capitalism. He’s one of the many Globalists who wants to burst America’s bubble, so their can be one world Government. The only way that is going to happen is to cripple our economy and our military. So far, he’s right on track of the Liberal agenda to do just that.
      America, you’d better wake up before it’s to late.
      You had better start getting involved in our government and educating yourselves, and stop listening to THE MAIN STREAM MEDIA. They are totally on the Liberal left side of the spectrum. Every single thing he is doing, was out there before he was elected but the MSM kept calling us right wing extremists when we pointed out what he was saying and who he was hanging out with.
      You’d better get involved before we lose this country.

  • Andrew Mackenzie

    During WW2 we used Hypnosis. It usually took 24 to 48 hours to get control of a subject. this worked on everyone, period. Every prisoner captured by north Vietnam under went this technique. There is no way torture has ever worked. People will say anything you want to hear to stop torture. Only a perverted masochist would use physical torture and these people have to be prosecuted under the law or they will be using it on our citizens under the HOME LAND SECURITY ACT.

    • Luz

      If you call water boarding torture, why don’t you watch one of the UAE (crown prince) did to one of his people? Do you realize how brutal are the terrorists? They don’t even care about human life as whole if you’re against them? Why do they hate free world? Don’t you notice the double standard way of life of those people? Water boarding or sleep deprivation are incomparable of what they do to you if you will be captured by those enemies. Do you expect them to be more humane? I think Democrats like you are too soft on crime (why not read the history of Dem. Pres from Carter to Clinton?).

  • Jim Retzlaff

    I am so upset over this Pesident. I called both of my lefty Wisconsin Senators yesterday and told them they need to stand up against these policies and start representing us. It just angers me to see what this guy is doing to our country.


    Jack Bauer Has it right!………….Get the info you need to save the world! Too bad Obama has no respect for his own country!……….Revealing our play book to the enemy only serves to enbolden them……….In another time you could almost say what Obama is doing is treasonist to our nation! Like a modern day Benedict Arnold! Seems the only tranparency we are going to see is revealing our strengths and weeknesses to the enemy! Here are three quotes to consider! Hence that general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skilful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack. (Where is the protection of our secrets?}
    Sun Tzu When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths, it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce. { Obama Looking for a truce with our enemies?}
    Sun Tzu
    Secret operations are essential in war; upon them the army relies to make its every move. (What secrets? By the time Obama is done the enemy will know everything!}
    Sun Tzu

  • Wayne

    All of you folks are morons… no intelligence or education apparent……. right wing neo -cons, who haven’t a clue about the world, other than their own….. narrcisstic, arrogant, and self serving!!! It is about time the Bush, Cheney, et. al. get their justice!!

  • Gerri

    As I read this “thing” that Holder and the ACLU are doing, I only have to close my eyes and see all of these mothers and fathers jumping from the burning towers to be assured there is NOTHING in the hearts of these people but cold running water. Why is it always ok for others to torture us.

  • Elle

    Prior to the TEA Parties, Obama was advised by Paulson to be prepared for an uprising of the people. Eventually, that could culminate into him declaring an emergency and enforcing Marshall Law. . .indefinitely? That would mean that he would never have to leave the Office of the Presidency. Remembering that his wife has never been proud of America until he ran for President. Her bitterness was evident in her college years. No doubt he feels the same way and may be the reason that he keeps degrading our country and bows down and appologizes to foreign leaders for America as though it’s not his country. Actually, it hasn’t been sufficiently proven yet that he was born in the U.S.A. The birth form that he posted on the Internet was a form that Hawaii gives to parents of children that are not natural born citizens in order to get them into school. Why wouldn’t he produce a legal birth certificate if he is a natural born citizen. Impeachment may be the only way to protect our freedoms and our country. Any bill or law that he has thus far signed would then be reversed. Just a thought.


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.