Sunday, August 30, 2009

CIA, Interrogations, and The Lies Of the Obama Administration

Once again Obama has lied to us when in April he said he wanted to look forward and not backwards and wouldn't prosecute CIA interrogators involved in interrogations after 9-11. Attorney General Eric Holder also lied:

"Nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past," the president added. "For those who carried out some of these operations within the four corners of legal opinions or guidance that had been provided from the White House, I do not think it's appropriate for them to be prosecuted."

At the time, Holder added: "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."

I'm beginning to wonder how many times the American people, both right and left, are going to put up with such blatant lies from this administration. The left has had their share of lies from Pres. Obama as well, with him keeping warrantless wiretapping and rendition, and the fact that not a single member of his foreign-policy and national-security team opposed the war, which is probably why we are still in Iraq and are ramping things up in Afghanistan. This is a far cry from his rhetoric during the campaign where he said, “I will bring this war to an end in 2009. So don’t be confused.” Well, I think everyone's pretty confused actually.

Let's boil this down to a few key points:

From The WSJ:

Regardless of whether one believes CIA-inflicted waterboarding, sleep deprivation or severe psychological coercion (suggesting that harm could come to a family member of a taciturn al Qaeda detainee) constitute torture, such actions may have produced an intelligence bonanza and saved thousands of lives.

There are those who argue we could have gotten the information in a different way, and nothing justifies waterboarding. I happen to agree with them. I don't think we should have done it, but I also realize that one can't dispute the fact that it worked.

9-11 was such a horrible and tragic time in our history. We were confronted with an enemy that didn't mind, in fact relished, dying in order for Americans to die as well. There is no doubt in my mind that any administration, Republican or Democrat, would not have done anything differently in the CIA to get information to keep us safe. It's clear now that Nancy Pelosi was briefed on these techniques, including waterboarding, and didn't protest at the time. She can't admit it, but she obviously thought we should do ANYTHING to get information to keep us from being attacked again as well. That is why I am convinced that neither side of the aisle would have done anything differently, no matter how much they bray about it now.

It's fine for us to look back, farther away from the horror of 9-11, and decide that we need to do things differently next time, if there is a next time. And as much as I might disagree with what interrogators did, I think the idea of prosecuting them for participating in interrogation techniques that as Holder said was "was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department," is just flat out wrong.

This is political. Nothing else. It smells of an administration that wants attention focused on anything else, but themselves, and no "profanity-laced screaming" from CIA director Leon Panetta is going to change it.

I don't suppose the Obama administration thought that maybe the attention would be focused on the fact that they lied about not prosecuting AND the fact that the interrogations did work.

This is an administration that is still playing the campaign game and not understanding that it's time to govern. It shouldn't be about proving your opposition wrong. Leadership is about leading forward. We thought Obama realized that, but now it seems clear he does not.