The Plank

Who's Steve Hayes's "expert"?

Various news outlets are reporting that the CIA has turned down Dick Cheney's request to release memos that Cheney contends show torture produced valuable intelligence. The reason the CIA gives for its refusal is that the memos are currently subject to pending FOIA litigation. Stephen Hayes, the Weekly Standard writer and Cheney biographer who first reported the CIA decision (presumably because Cheney gave his Boswell the CIA's rejection letter), is making a big stink about this, arguing that the CIA has come up with a bogus excuse. But Hayes's support for that claim seems pretty thin:

President Obama has the legal authority to declassify the documents “with the wave of his hand,” according to one expert.

Who's the expert? Cheney? I don't know enough about declassification procedures to know if Hayes's expert is telling the truth, but it might help if we could assess his credentials--to say nothing of his motivations.

--Jason Zengerle

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