Bachmann Thinks the ACLU Runs the CIA (It Doesn't)

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Rep. Michele Bachmann doubled down on her claim that the ACLU dictates CIA policy on Sunday morning talk show appearances. Commentators would beg to differ.

The claim is hard to square with the dire concerns expressed by civil libertarians about both George W. Bush's and Barack Obama's approaches to fighting terrorism, says Adam Serwer at Mother Jones. For one thing, the ACLU has condemned the Obama administration for keeping in force most of the Bush administration's approach to terrorism.

Her answer to a debate question on waterboarding and other forms of "enhanced interrogation techniques" (or "torture," depending who you ask) made more mistakes, Serwer says.

Bachmann also said the CIA was no longer interrogating anyone, which is false. The CIA is part of the interagency High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, or HIG. Also, prior to 9/11, the CIA didn't actually have an interrogation program.

Bachmann's one-liner was "perhaps the most substantively absurd moment of the debate" on Saturday, says The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf. (But if you're offended by that absurdity, The Atlantic's Andrew Cohen, adds, blame Obama; he never approved a meaningful investigation of the country's adoption of torture and extrajudicial strikes on terrorist suspects.)

It could all be a big mistake. Surely Michele Bachmann is a loyal Gawker reader. Maybe she was thinking of this?


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