The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

State Department ‘Unaware’ of Zelikow’s Torture Dissent

Last updated: July 31, 2020 | April 22, 2009 | Vishal Hodgson

After Philip Zelikow, a former aide to Condoleezza Rice, disclosed yesterday that he wrote a memo in 2005 dissenting from the Office of Legal Counsel’s embrace of the CIA’s abusive interrogation techniques, I called the State Department to get a copy of Zelikow’s dissent. I traded calls for the past 24 hours with the press office for the memo, because Zelikow wrote that he believes “one or two” copies of it “are still at least in the State Department’s archives.” But the department says it doesn’t know about that.

Noel Clay, a spokesman for the State Department, told me that he checked with “several different bureaus” and is “unaware that such a memo exists.” However, he helpfully added, “if one does, you’d probably have to file a FOIA request” for it.

So guess what I did a couple minutes ago. The department has confirmed receipt of my Freedom of Information Act request, and now begins the interminable wait for disclosure, which may never occur, since no government agency respects FOIA, in my experience. (This is actually the second FOIA request I filed since lunchtime. It’s annoying me.) But you can see Zelikow on Rachel Maddow last night talking about how the Bush administration suppressed his memo. (Video after the jump.)

I leave it up to the reader whether the department’s current lack of familiarity with a memo from a former senior official has anything to do with the campaign of suppression Zelikow describes here.

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Vishal Hodgson | Healing people who have been through traumatic or painful experiences is one of my greatest passions. I’m a psychologist, Studied Sociology & Psychology at University of Cambridge, and today I’m assisting people in developing positive self-perceptions and improving their relationships so that they can identify themselves as peaceful, complete, whole, and stable.


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