Archive for the ‘CIA’ Category
Later today, the Senate Intelligence Committee will release a report on terrorist interrogations. It’s already being called the “Torture Report.” Retired CIA officer Jose Rodriguez wrote this op-ed to expose Dianne Feinstein’s and Nancy Pelosi’s dishonesty. Let’s start with this:
According to news accounts of the report, Feinstein and her supporters will say that the CIA violated American principles and hid the ugly truth from Congress, the White House and the public. When the report comes out, I expect that few of the critics who will echo Feinstein’s charges will have read it and far fewer will read or understand the minority response and the CIA’s rebuttal.
The interrogation program was authorized by the highest levels of the U.S. government, judged legal by the Justice Department and proved effective by any reasonable standard. The leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees and of both parties in Congress were briefed on the program more than 40 times between 2002 and 2009. But Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tried to deny that she was told in 2002 that detainees had been waterboarded. That is simply not true. I was among those who briefed her.
Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Pelosi should be tarred and feathered for their dishonesty. That Ms. Pelosi would say that she hadn’t been briefed by Mr. Rodriguez is proof of Ms. Pelosi’s utter dishonesty. She should be criticized mercilessly for being a liar. After that, Democrats should be tarred and feathered for deserting a program that saved American lives for purely partisan reasons.
Initially, Democrats insisted that the CIA do all that it could to prevent another terrorist attack:
In one ear they hear the public, the media and members of Congress raising alarms about the terrorist threat from the Islamic State: Do something! Do it now! Why didn’t you do something sooner?
The Democrats’ dishonesty is easily explained. In the days after 9/11, Democrats put the needs of the nation first. By 2006, the Democrats noticed how animated the anti-war left had become. Seeking to capitalize on the anti-war left’s enthusiasm, Democrats like Sen. Feinstein, Ms. Pelosi and candidates like Amy Klobuchar ran as anti-war lefties. The same anti-war lefties then powered Barack Obama’s presidential election victory in 2008.
Members of Congress and the administration were nearly unanimous in their desire that the CIA do all that it could to debilitate and destroy al-Qaeda. The CIA got the necessary approvals to do so and kept Congress briefed throughout.
Democrats say that waterboarding violates American principles. That’s BS. Since when does saving hundreds of American lives violate American principles? I’d love seeing a Democrat explain how saving American lives violates American principles, especially since the Constitution requires the president to protect and defend the United States.
This morning’s op-ed isn’t Mr. Rodriguez’s first op-ed. Here’s what he wrote in his April, 2014 op-ed:
On Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify and release hundreds of pages of its report on U.S. terrorist interrogation practices. Certain senators have proclaimed how devastating the findings are, saying the CIA’s program was unproductive, badly managed and misleadingly sold. Unlike the committee’s staff, I don’t have to examine the program through a rearview mirror. I was responsible for administering it, and I know that it produced critical intelligence that helped decimate al-Qaeda and save American lives.
Here’s Mr. Rodriguez’s opinion of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report:
The committee’s staff members started with a conclusion in 2009 and have chased supportive evidence ever since. They never spoke to me or other top CIA leaders involved in the program, or let us see the report.
The thought that this report would be praised by Democrats as the definitive report on the CIA’s interrogation techniques is insulting to thoughtful, honest people. The Feinstein Report is a political hatchet job. It isn’t a serious review of the CIA’s interrogation techniques.
If a CIA expert said that EITs “saved American lives”, I’ll trust him, not partisan Democrat hacks like Sen. Feinstein or Ms. Pelosi.
Technorati: Jose Rodriguez, CIA, Congressional Briefings, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Anti-War Left, Senate Intelligence Committee, CIA Torture Report, Democrats, Amy Klobuchar, Election 2006, Barack Obama, Election 2008
According to top US intelligence officials, al-Qa’ida is morphing so it can fight other fights:
“Is al Qaeda on the run and on the path to defeat?” Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-OK, asked in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper responded, “No, it is morphing and and franchising itself and not only here but other areas of the world.” Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, added, “They are not.”
Former President George W. Bush asserted that that al Qaeda network was “on the run” as early as October 2001. President Obama adopted the phrase and used it repeatedly on the campaign trail in 2012. Touting his foreign policy record, Mr. Obama often said, “al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.”
What’s troubling about this testimony is that it indicates this administration’s policies are flawed. While President Obama loves talking about taking out core al-Qa’ida, it doesn’t say what it’s doing to gather intelligence that’s capable of rolling up entire networks.
The Obama administration has trumpeted its successes in killing terrorists with drone strikes. They certainly trumpeted the killing of bin Laden. What they didn’t do is keep these victories quiet, giving terrorists information that helped them quickly adjust.
Further, this isn’t doing anything to adjust to al-Qa’ida’s changing identity, which is needed to thwart future attacks. Most importantly, though, is that this administration has stopped hunting al-Qa’ida where it lives. It’s frustrating knowing that America’s withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan is turning territory once taken from al-Qa’ida is now being given back to al-Qa’ida and the Taliban.
If al-Qa’ida sees that the US is exiting the Middle East and north Africa, they’ll know that they’ll soon be controlling large chunks of real estate that can quickly be turned into terrorist training camps. In short, President Obama is giving back the victories President Bush won.
President Obama won’t admit this but al-Qa’ida isn’t on the run. It’s growing its control of large parts of the developing world. Simply put, they’re achieving their goals. We’re failing at achieving our goals.
In a shocking statement after the House hearing, Rep. Peter King confirmed that Gen. Petraeus testified that the CIA’s original talk points were edited:
Here’s a partial transcript of Rep. King’s statement:
REP. KING: How did the final talking points emerge? He said it went through a long process involving many agencies, including the Department of Justice and the State Department. No one knows yet who came up with the final version of talking points other than to say that the talking points that the CIA had put together were different than the talking points that finally emerged.
Later, Rep. King said “The original talking points were much more specific about al-Qa’ida involvement.”
That’s explosive testimony. Gen. Petraeus essentially said that the CIA, the people that gather the intelligence, originally identified al-Qa’ida as being involved in the attack. Equally explosive is the fact that the original CIA talking points were changed by people outside the intelligence community.
That means what’s been known up till now as “the CIA’s talking points” weren’t put together by the CIA. It includes the possibility that the talking points that Susan Rice referenced were political in nature.
The minute Rice’s talking points don’t have the heft and credibility of being from the CIA is the minute these talking points lose their credibility. It’s also the minute Ambassador Rice’s story loses credibility.
During tonight’s roundtable, Sen. Saxby Chambliss told Chris Wallace that he had seen video during today’s closed door hearing that “clearly showed” the terrorist attack on the Benghazi Consulate was a terrorist attack.
Later, the panel discussed what Sen. Chambliss said. Here’s what Juan Williams said:
WILLIAMS: Well, he said clearly that, you know what, events in Egypt were triggered by the video and it could mean that some of the things that happened in Benghazi could have been in response but it could have been used as a pretext for people who wanted to engage in a terrorist attack. The second thing he talked about was throwing Susan Rice under the bus and then he said it was a political statement and then he defended his comrades in the Senate, Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham. But clearly, he didn’t respond to the notion that there was intelligence as you pointed out earlier in the show, the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, who said that that’s the intelligence that Susan Rice had. There’s no question about that. There’s nothing political about that. She said that she was responding to the intelligence community’s assessment that said, and by the way, the fragmentary stuff that they may pick up, the guy in Tripoli sent in this report, that’s not what the community based their assessment on. That was fragmentary stuff at the time.
Unfortunately for Juan, Steve Hayes actually paid attention to what Sen. Chambliss said. Here’s Steve’s response:
HAYES: It’s not at all fragmentary. The takeaway from what Saxby Chambliss said is that, after reviewing this information all afternoon, “It was clear from Day One that this was a terrorist attack.” Now we’re two months out. We’ve seen all of this intelligence and that’s his assessment. It’s also the assessment of everyone who’s looked at the intelligence. Even the State Department has acknowledged that there was no protest. You had Democrats coming out on Sept. 13 saying, in effect, that this was a terrorist attack. It was pre-planned. It was sophisticated. The question is why did we know all of this information the first three days and why did David Petraeus say on Sept. 14 that all of this was possibly triggered by the video?
It’s impossible to say with intellectual integrity that a video that might or might not have triggered the Cairo riots might also have triggered the terrorist attack in Benghazi. After all, the distance between Cairo and Benghazi is 800+ miles.
Unfortunately, Juan Williams is letting party loyalty, not facts and logic, shape his opinions. An attack can’t both be a sophisticated, pre-planned attack and something that developed out of a spontaneous protest. The fact that the attack was pre-planned necessarily eliminates the terrorist-attack-grew-out-of-a-spontaneous-protest meme.
There’s another question that’s left hanging there, namely, why didn’t Susan Rice take into consideration the footage that was livestreaming from the overhead drone? It’s a scary thought to think that she totally relies on James Clappers’ briefings for her information.
Let’s remember who James Clapper is and what he’s ‘famous’ for, then explain why anyone would trust his briefings.
Finally, here’s the video of the SR Roundtable discussion:
During Wednesday’s presidential press conference, President Obama made a statement that hasn’t gotten the scrutiny it deserves. Here’s what President Obama said that’s got me curious:
QUESTION: Thank you Mr. President. Senator John McCain, and Senator Lindsey Graham both said today that they want to have Watergate-style hearings on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, and said that if you nominate Susan Rice to be secretary of State, they will do everything in their power to block her nomination. Senator Graham said, he simply doesn’t trust Ambassador Rice after what she said about Benghazi. I’d like your reaction to that? And would those threats deter you from making a nomination like that?
OBAMA: Well first of all I’m not going to comment on various nominations that I’ll put forward to fill out my cabinet for the second term. Those are things that are still being discussed. But let me say specifically about Susan Rice, she has done exemplary work. She has represented the United States and our interests in the United Nations with skill, and professionalism, and toughness, and grace. As I’ve said before, she made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her.
If Senator McCain and Senator Graham, and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador who had nothing to do with Benghazi? And was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received? And to besmirch her reputation is outrageous. And, you know, we’re after an election now.
It’s interesting that President Obama said that the purpose behind Susan Rice’s appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows on Sept. 16, 2012 was to “make a presentation” based on the intelligence briefing she’d received from the CIA. Making a presentation to the nation seems rather one-sided. Then again, President Obama has made it clear that he isn’t interested in getting all the facts out to the public, his statements about making everything available notwithstanding.
The last thing he wants is to face difficult questions like why the military, of which he’s the commander-in-chief, failed to respond to Christopher Stevens’ desparate pleas for help during the pre-planned and well-executed terrorist attack on Benghazi. It’s a safe bet that President Obama doesn’t want to talk about why he sent Ambassador Rice to the Sunday morning shows.
After all, by his admission, Ambassador Rice “had nothing to do with Benghazi.” If she didn’t know anything about the Benghazi terrorist attack prior to her CIA briefing, why didn’t President Obama send someone from the CIA to the Sept. 16 talk shows? If not someone from the CIA, why not send someone from the DoD? Those people wouldn’t have needed a CIA briefing because they were watching the terrorist attack live on their video screens.
The only explanation that fits President Obama’s purpose is to have a black woman go on the talk shows so she wouldn’t be questioned by the hosts and who could plausibly say ‘I’m only repeating what the CIA told me’.
This established without doubt that President Obama a) didn’t want an expert talking about what really happened that night in Benghazi and b) doesn’t want to answer any questions about Benghazi.
Let’s be straightforward about this: President Obama’s political priorities got 4 American patriots killed. He knows that. What’s worse is that he’s hiding behind the oldest dodge in the book, aka the I-can’t-talk-because-there’s-an-investigation-underway line.
The other difficult question that President Obama doesn’t want to answer is why there’s such a huge discrepancy between the DoD’s timeline of events and the CIA’s and State Department’s timeline. He would’ve gotten pressed on those if we’d had real White House reporters instead of off the books Democrat stenographers.
The bright side for those of us who genuinely care about the truth is that President Obama’s biggest admissions happen when he’s off prompter.
Tags: Susan Rice, Plausible Deniability, CIA Briefing, Talk Shows, Benghazi, Terrorist Attack, President Obama, Christopher Stevens, DOD, Special Forces, Leon Panetta, State Department, Hillary Clinton, National Security, Democrats
It’s time for President Obama, Secretary Clinton, CIA Director Petraeus and Defense Secretary Panetta to be grilled extensively on their decisions, or lack thereof, during the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2012. I don’t want this hearing to be about a ton of peripheral topics. Citizen journalists will sort through Susan Rice’s and Jay Carney’s spin.
This shouldn’t even be about President Obama attending a Vegas fundraiser the day after the terrorist attacks. Again, that’s something citizen journalists can sort through. Here are the things this hearing must be about:
- Who was the first senior administration official to get real time reports from the consulate the day of the terrorist attack? Did this senior administration official report this immediately to President Obama? If not, why not?
- When did President Obama’s national security team first tell him about the terrorist attack? Was this during his afternoon meeting with Defense Secretary Panetta the day of the terrorist attack?
- During his meeting with Secretary Panetta, did President Obama order Panetta to send troops to protect the diplomatic staff in Benghazi? If he didn’t order protection for these American patriots during his meeting with Secretary Panetta, did President Obama order military support later in the day? If not, why not?
- Secretary Panetta said that he didn’t send troops in because they didn’t know what they’d be jumping into. Mike Baker dispelled that myth by saying the CIA and military are receiving a “glut of information” in real time from the CIA, specifically the Global Response Staff. Did Secretary Panetta recommend to President Obama that the military jump into the firefight/terrorist attack? If he did, what was President Obama’s response? If he didn’t, why didn’t he make that recommendation?
- When did Charlene Lamb first tell Hillary Clinton about the terrorist attack? When she was told about the terrorist attack, did Ms. Clinton immediately contact President Obama? If not, why not? If she did, what time was it that she contacted him?
- President Obama was the only person with the constitutional authority to order troop deployments during an act of war. Terrorist attacks on American consulates are without question acts of war. Did he order spec-ops troops to be deployed to Benghazi to protect the diplomats from the terrorist attack? If he didn’t, why didn’t he?
These hearings need to start with focusing in on a single subject so the American people get a detailed understanding of President Obama’s national security team operations and his decisions to protect or not protect Christopher Stevens and his diplomatic staff.
Once that base of information is established and the American people understand President Obama’s failings, then the hearings can expand into other areas. Until then, they must stay focused.
Tags: Benghazi Terrorist Attacks, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, Democrat Politicians, David Petraeus, Delta Force, CIA, Charlene Lamb, State Department, Christopher Stevens, Ty Woods, Sean Smith, Glenn Doherty, Patriots, Jay Carney, Susan Rice, Spinmeisters
Fox News’s Jennifer Griffin is reporting that CIA officials ordered “CIA operators” to stand down during the firefight in Benghazi:
Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that three urgent requests from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and subsequent attack nearly seven hours later were denied by officials in the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.
Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were part of a small team who were at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When they heard the shots fired, they radioed to inform their higher-ups to tell them what they were hearing. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. An hour later, they called again to headquarters and were again told to “stand down.”
Woods, Doherty and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the Consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The quick reaction force from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the Consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.
If Jennifer Griffin’s reporting is accurate, and I’m certain it is, then it’s just further proof of the disfunction of President Obama’s national security team. It’s apparent that they put a higher priority on political considerations than they put on saving Americans’ lives.
The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights.
This is a stunning report from a reliable reporter. Jennifer Griffin is one of the best Pentagon correspondents in the business. If she’s reporting it, then she’s sourced and cross-sourced this report.
Far too often, President Obama’s national security decisions were done through the lens of domestic politics. His semi-surge of troops to Afghanistan was tepid compared with what the generals were requesting. He cut short the mission, too, to meet an artificial, self-imposed, deadline on the mission.
There’s always a political component to national security decisions. It’s important that those considerations are ignored when lives are on the line.
Conservatives have their long knives out hoping to score political points against a suddenly vulnerable Obama administration. Check out this column written by Obama critic Bill Kristol:
â€œI hope the terrorists donâ€™t think this is a good time to attack,â€ I said, looking protectively at the White House, which always looks smaller and more vulnerable and beautiful than you expect, no matter how often you see it up close.
I thought our guard might be down because of the holiday; now I realize our guard is down every day.
OUCH!!! That’s a shot at the Obama administration’s less-than-stellar performance in preventing terrorist attacks if ever I’ve heard one.
If we canâ€™t catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didnâ€™t check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch?
I’ll give Mr. Kristol credit for this much: when he unloads both barrels, there’s alot of damaged landscape.
The bad news for the Obama administration is that Bill Kristol didn’t write this stunning rebuke of the Obama administration’s homeland security apparatus. It wasn’t Charles Krauthammer, either.
This scathing review was written by Maureen Dowd.
Yes, that Maureen Dowd. The crazed liberal NYTimes columnist Maureen Dowd. Ms. Dowd’s attack should unsettle an already wobbly administration. Last night, Charles Krauthammer ridiculed President Obama during the Roundtable. Even A.B. Stoddard was disgusted when she learned from Chris Wallace that the CIA had been tracking Abdulmutallab.
This is one of those moments when a president’s fiercest defenders understand that they can’t defend or spin something, that it’s a time when he’ll just have to take his lumps.
Before he left for vacation, Obama tried to shed his Spock mien and juice up the empathy quotient on jobs. But in his usual inspiring/listless cycle, he once more appeared chilly in his response to the chilling episode on Flight 253, issuing bulletins through his press secretary and hitting the links. At least you have to seem concerned.
President Obama hasn’t stepped into the role of commander-in-chief. Instead, he’s stepped into shoes that more closely resemble those of the pontificator-in-chief or professor-in-chief. That isn’t what America needs right now. What we need is someone who is competent on national security issues. What we need is someone who will persistently engage our terrorist enemies in mortal battle.
President Obama hasn’t shown the grittiness and persistence that’s needed to destroy al-Qa’ida. His personna is almost detached. For all his faults on domestic policy, one thing that Americans knew about President Bush, it’s that they understood that he was taking the fight to the terrorists day-after-day-after-day. President Bush’s relentlessness was reassuring. Looking back, objective people understand that he protected us from another terrorist attack.
By contrast, we’ve seen three terrorist attacks this year under President Obama’s watch. Thoughtful people esentially agree that each was preventable.
It’s time for President Obama to review his administration’s policies and his administration’s personnel. Starting today would be a good start. Personnel-wise, a good start would be firing Janet Napolitano. Policywise, it’d be wise if he stopped his ‘open arms to tyrants’ policy. Tyrants should be punished, not coddled. Incompetents should be terminated, not kept on.
Thanks to Maureen Dowd’s criticism, that possibility seems a bit more likely.
Cross-posted at California Conservative
Last weekend, Obama administration propagandist Robert Gibbs tried blaming the failed terrorist attack on the Bush administration. That isn’t surprising considering this administration’s we’re-never-at-fault mantra. Mr. Gibbs’ attempt to spin this as a Bush administration failure just got infinitely more difficult now that it’s been reported that the CIA knew about the terrorist:
A CIA official prepared a report on Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab after a meeting with the suspect’s father in November, who shared information about his son’s extremist views, CNN reported Tuesday. The report was sent to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, but it sat there for five weeks and was not disseminated, a “reliable source” said. “Had that information been shared…[he] might have been denied passage on the Northwest Airlines flight,” the source reportedly said.
Mr. President, You can’t blame this on the Bush administration. They didn’t have anything to do with YOUR CIA not getting this important information into the right people’s hands. I’d further suggest that President Obama instruct Mr. Gibbs to apologize to the Bush administration after blaming them for this foiled terrorist attack.
President Obama can order all the reviews he wants but the problem won’t be solved by reshuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. Until this administration gets serious about hunting down terrorists and interrogating terrorists instead of reading them their Miranda rights, we’ll be stuck in this defensive posture.
There was never a doubt that the Bush administration was constantly on the offensive against the terrorists. There’s doubts aplenty that the Obama administration is on the offensive against the terrorists. I’m not suggesting that President Obama wants something bad to happen. I’m just saying that President Obama’s policies aren’t keeping us safe thus far.
Tonight on O’Reilly, a criminal defense attorney actually tried making the case that this was a crime, not an act of war. This defense attorney then said that President Obama had “eliminated the word enemy combatant.” It was at that point that Gary Bertnsen, a retired CIA operative working now as a FNC miltary analyst, interjected a coherent thought. Mr. Berntsen rightly pointed out that (a) the term enemy combatant is part of the Geneva Convention and that (b) the term is in the Geneva Convention because terrorists aren’t afforded the same protections as uniformed soldiers because “they fight outside the laws of war.”
This Detroit News op-ed highlights something important that the Obama administration has rejected:
The State Department shouldn’t be giving visas to any of the 550,000 people worldwide identified as terror risks. Some people on that list certainly may be wrongfully named. But it’s better to offend an innocent few than to risk allowing a bona-fide terrorist access to the country.
Bush administration policy was that it was better to err on the side of fighting too aggressively against the terrorist rather than fighting too timidly, which seems to be the Obama administration’s policy.
HINT TO THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: Al-Qa’ida hasn’t declared a cessation of hostilities with us, which means that we shouldn’t treat terrorists as criminals.
Terrorists don’t deserve Miranda rights protections. That gives them the right to be silent, which interferes with the CIA’s ability to gather important information from a captured terorrist. Think of how much information we might’ve gathered about Yemen’s terrorist infrastructure had we treated Abdulmutallub as an enemy combatant rather than letting him hide behind the Miranda Warning’s protections.
Liberals love asking why conservatives don’t trust the criminal justice system. That’s a stupid argument. It isn’t about trusting or not trusting the justice system. It’s about whether we do everything possible to gather intelligence and thwart other terrorist attacks.
This administration, despite everything they’ve said, has been a failure at protecting us from terrorist attacks. The last 2 terrorists have a common thread, too, in that they both were ‘activated’ by the same radical cleric, Anwar Awlaki, who’s living in Yemen now. Not coincidentally, Abdulmutallub just travelled to Yemen.
Considering all that we know now, these words ring extremely hollow:
Obama said there were several “deficiencies” in the intelligence-gathering process, and that information about the suspect “could have and should have been pieced together.”
“It’s becoming clear that the system that’s been in place for years now is not sufficiently up to date to take full advantage of the information we collect and the knowledge we have,” Obama said.
This isn’t a matter of putting new policies in place. It’s a matter of getting people notifying the right intelligence and law enforcement agencies when someone reports that his son is a terrorist.
The fact that the CIA was tracking this terrorist is proof that this administration failed in its most important responsibility to protect the American people. no amount of presidential bloviation will erase that fact.
Cross-posted at California Conservative
House Democrats are upset with Republicans after a House Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations meeting. Here’s what the Hill is reporting:
Republicans ignited a firestorm of controversy on Thursday by revealing some of what they had been told at a closed-door Intelligence Committee hearing on the interrogation of terrorism suspects.
Democrats immediately blasted the GOP lawmakers for publicly discussing classified information, while Republicans said Democrats are trying to hide the truth that enhanced interrogation of detainees is effective.
GOP members on the Intelligence Committee on Thursday told The Hill in on-the-record interviews that they were informed that the controversial methods have led to information that prevented terrorist attacks.
When told of the GOP claims, Democrats strongly criticized the members who revealed information that was provided at the closed House Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing. Democrats on the panel said they could not respond substantively, pointing out that the hearing was closed.
Cry me a river. The Democrats weren’t upset when President Obama declassified the so-called Torture Memos even though those documents included sources and methods. Now they’re freaking out over Republicans telling reporters about a briefing by the intelligence community that says the EITs prevented terrorist attacks.
I’d be upset with Republicans if they’d given these Hill reporters specific details on what information led to the thwarting of the attempted terrorist attacks. That didn’t happen:
Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), a member of the subcommittee who attended the hearing, concurred with Hoekstra.
â€œThe hearing did address the enhanced interrogation techniques that have been much in the news lately,â€ Kline said, noting that he was intentionally choosing his words carefully in observance of the committee rules and the nature of the information presented.
The Hill’s reporters note that Rep. Kline’s comments didn’t violate the subcommittee’s rules. If that weren’t the case, Democrats could file ethics charges against Republicans who talked. That that isn’t happening speaks volumes. If Republicans had violated the committee’s rules, ethics charges would’ve been filed within minutes of that violation.
If these Democrats had any integrity, they’d be investigating Speaker Pelosi for saying that the CIA routinely and frequently lied to Congress. Knowingly misleading Congress is a crime. Until the Democrats investigate Speaker Pelosi’s comments, I won’t take their whining seriously.
President Obama can clear this up by declassifying the memos that former VP Dick Cheney has requested be declassified. Then we could determine whether the EITs prevented terrorist attacks.
Democrats lambasted their Republican counterparts for discussing the information that was provided behind locked doors.
â€œI am absolutely shocked that members of the Intelligence committee who attended a closed-door hearingâ€¦then walked out that hearing, early, by the way, and characterized anything that happened in that hearing,â€ said Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). â€œMy understanding is thatâ€™s a violation of the rules. It may be more than that.â€
I wouldn’t trust Rep. Schakowsky as far as I could throw her if I had two broken arms and a bad back. She’s a political hack and a mindless one at that. If I’m forced to choose between trusting her or trusting Rep. Kline, that decision won’t take a split-second. I’ll trust Rep. Kline in a heartbeat because he’s a man of integrity.
This next quote is rich:
Both Schakowsky and Reyes accused GOP members of playing politics with national security.
â€œI think they are playing a very dangerous game when it comes to the discussion of matters that were sensitive enough to be part of a closed hearing,â€ Schakowsky said.
If Rep. Schakowsky weren’t such a hyperpartisan, I might give her statements serious consideration. If President Obama is going to tell the world that EITs are wrong by releasing documents that include sources and methods, then the American people have a right to know the entire picture so they can decide whether President Obama made the right national security decision.
Cross-posted at California Conservative