Patterico's Pontifications


Congressional Dems, the CIA and the CYA

Filed under: General — Karl @ 8:22 am

[Posted by Karl]

Where is my tiny violin?

Democrats charged Tuesday that the CIA has released documents about congressional briefings on harsh interrogation techniques in order to deflect attention and blame away from itself.

Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) are among those hailing the waaahmbulance.  How could they have not seen this coming?  After blowing 9/11 and Iraqi WMDs, the CIA made leaking to deflect blame from itself and attack the Bush administration a matter of routine:

On the eve of the 2004 presidential debates, for example, the CIA selectively leaked a report claiming that it had warned in early 2003 that a joint Baathist-jihadist insurgency would follow a U.S. invasion of Iraq. The report—which turned out not to have said much of anything about an insurgency, and to have been wrong in its core prognostications—was written by Paul Pillar, who has been happy to rip the Bush administration in the press, identifying himself as “a top national intelligence officer.”

In May 2005, CIA officials leaked to the Washington Post details of a covert operation in which airplanes owned by CIA front companies were being used for various activities, including the renditions of top al Qaeda operatives. Six months later the Post, again relying on agency insiders (among others), reported that the CIA was using secret prisons in Eastern Europe to detain and interrogate high-level al Qaeda prisoners. This leak gravely jeopardized the cooperation of allied governments, whose own security and intelligence gathering were imperiled by the disclosure.

On the eve of a critical congressional vote on Patriot Act renewal, the New York Times sensationally broke a story it had been sitting on for a year: According to intelligence-community sources (which almost certainly included CIA officials), the NSA had, since 9/11, been intercepting international communications between suspected al Qaeda terrorists and persons stationed inside the United States. Aside from delaying the Patriot Act’s extension for months, the NSA leak has taught the enemy about our methods and submerged a vital program—an effort to create an early-warning system to avoid another 9/11—in a sea of legal controversy.

After the CIA spent all those years undermining the Bush Administration, perhaps Obama and the Democrats thought it could not happen to them.  But the Leftist hysteria over the CIA interrogations badly demoralized the agency, which is now striking back.  So we are treated to an Obama campaign event at Langley and House intelligence committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) sending a letter this month to all CIA employees, suggesting that Congress shared some blame for the CIA interrogation controversy.  None of which stopped the release of the embarassing documents putting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and others in the loop for on enhanced interrogations.

Suddenly, the Obama administration is threatening to curtail Anglo-American intelligence sharing if the British High Court discloses new details of the treatment of a former Guantanamo detainee, and sounding squishy on releasing detainee photos.  Will that be enough to pacify the Company?  Pres. Obama and the Congressional Democrats undoubtedly hope so, but I would not bet on it.


44 Responses to “Congressional Dems, the CIA and the CYA”

  1. Never one to neglect an opportunity at shooting themselves in the foot regarding national defense, the Dems are forever being hoisted on their own petards. So by all means, the GOP should push for a full – blown “truth commission” on this entire subject matter (even though the Dems are backpedaling furiously on this now). Let’s hear it, all of it, and let the chips fall where they may – the Dems have done nothing but play politics on the “torture issue” for the past 8 years, and the Pandora’s Box they opened with the release of the memos is coming back to bite them on their backsides. So be it.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  2. The fundamental dishonesty of Democrats in their partisan attacks on the GOP with respect to the war on terror and the Iraq war is breathtaking.

    SPQR (72771e)

  3. Heh! Let the Democrats wonder what other information about them the CIA has that it will release. 😉

    nk (755c01)

  4. The Democrats apparently never realized the CIA war against Bush wasn’t against Bush because he was a Republican but rather was because they viewed him as a threat to the status quo and thus the CIA could and should be expected to strike back at anyone perceived to be a threat, regardless of party affiliation.

    The question is whether the gain the Democrats received from CIA attacks on Bush were worth the trouble they’re now having or whether it would have been better to support the Bush Administration’s efforts to bring the CIA into line with Administration policies. My guess is they’d pick the former.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  5. And I wonder when the Secret Service will get in the game, the Armed Forces, too. A Republic (or a Democracy, if you wish) which depends on the force of arms for its existence, is not a Republic.

    nk (755c01)

  6. […] Politics:  Report: Aide Told Pelosi of Waterboarding Use Patterico’s Pontifications:  Congressional Dems, the CIA and the CYA Gateway Pundit:  New Evidence: Pelosi Told Abu Zubaydah Was […]

    Paranoia: Dems Circle the Wagons, Begin Cover-Up to Let CIA Take the Fall « Quick Daily Hits (Politics and Such) (5381c6)

  7. […] Politics:  Report: Aide Told Pelosi of Waterboarding Use Patterico’s Pontifications:  Congressional Dems, the CIA and the CYA Gateway Pundit:  New Evidence: Pelosi Told Abu Zubaydah Was […]

    Paranoia: Democrats Circle the Wagons, Begin Cover-Up to Let CIA Take the Fall « Quick Daily Hits (Politics and Such) (186bd9)

  8. Why aren’t there mass arrests in the CIA offices? Even by the narrow standards of the constitution, “treason” is not too strong a word.

    tim maguire (369992)

  9. …mass arrests???
    Well, it would be very embarrassing when all of those being arrested were found to be registered Democrats.

    As to the photos…
    I repeat myself by saying that those pix of detainees being abused by their captors (with notations of what aritcles of the UCMJ they were charged and convicted of, and the details of their sentancing) at abu Ghraib should be accompanied by all of the pictoral evidence we seized at that facility and others of the Hussein regime’s treatment of its’ detainees.

    AD - RtR/OS! (e8f920)

  10. But AD, showing pictures of Saddam’s victims being fed into a giant shredder is something that has no relationship to this debate – but showing leashed german shepherds barking at prisoners is the much greater truth.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  11. Well, as the old barracks reposte goes:
    Fuck’em if they can’t take a joke!

    AD - RtR/OS! (e8f920)

  12. This is classic progressive behavior, outrage over people thrown under the bus who refust to remain under the bus. The asshats in Congress are furious that anyone would challenge their imaginary declarations as anything but the truth.

    The way we should hear it is a cry to be booted out of office for someone who has held an actual job that required actual results under threat of job loss. Mock the guy who asks you if you want “fries with that”, but if he sends out onion rings one to many times, he loses his job. Politicians merely offer a new ineffective bill to fix the last 3,039,852 ineffective bills. Awesome!

    The permanent political class must regularly meddle in their own memories ala Professor Horace Slughorn in order to sleep at night. R or D.

    Vivian Louise (eeeb3a)

  13. “…the last 3,039,852 ineffective bills…”

    You need a new hobby, and professional help …(snicker).

    AD - RtR/OS! (e8f920)

  14. You need a new hobby, and professional help …(snicker).

    Heh. I used my frontal lobes to guesstimate.

    Vivian Louise (eeeb3a)

  15. VL…
    It would have been much easier to count the effective bills…
    probably wouldn’t have to even take off the Jimmy Choo’s.

    AD - RtR/OS! (e8f920)

  16. Effective bills…..quick, name one! Nothing pre-1905 counts, either.

    Vivian Louise (eeeb3a)

  17. None of this hurts Democrats much. Democrat co-dependant Constituencies would vote for Democrats wearing KKK robes if they still got paid back. There are also way too many fools who get their facts from CNN BSNBC and their local libtard rag.

    gus (36e9a7)

  18. Obviously Obama doesn’t always aim well as he hit the CIA with a broadside while hunting for Republicans. Cheney, that wily hunter, can only smile. CIA has always had the means to hit below the belt in DC, just as J. Edgar Hoover did all those years ago. In truth this episode proves this is amateur hour in the Obama household.

    richardb (f7470d)

  19. Reflexively opposing or attacking everythig Bush said or did is easy.

    Governing is hard.

    The only thing Obama has ever run before taking this job is his mouth.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  20. As Karl noted in his link to a Bill Kristol article, Obama has now declared he will:

    “… try to block the court-ordered release of photos showing U.S. troops abusing prisoners, abruptly reversing his position out of concern the pictures would “further inflame anti-American opinion” and endanger U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    Obama’s management style is unique.

    DRJ (b0f193)

  21. Effective bills…..quick, name one!

    Hoot-Smalley! :)

    carlitos (aa025a)

  22. daleyrocks, you are being cynical. Obama ran that Annenberg Challenge thing with Bill Ayers, remember? That’s why my kid gets a great education at the crime-ridden Chicago Public School Catholic school near our home, paid for by my tax dollars and corporate donations my take-home pay. That $150 million or so went a long way to fixing things empowering Obama and his political cronies.

    carlitos (aa025a)

  23. Carlitos,

    Come to Riverside. 20 students per classroom, 160 total, only the principal and janitor are men, all the teachers and other staff are women, the school is in a park, most days there are just as many involved parents fussing around the school as there are teachers and staff, we have a hawk in a tree in the front and a pair of foxes denning in the back. There are even some Sox fans here.

    nk (755c01)

  24. Sox fans…
    they are registered with the local police, right?

    AD - RtR/OS! (e8f920)

  25. nk, that whole area is on my short list, but that economic crisis thingie has delayed my move. I once got pulled over for speeding in Westchester on my way to a Sox opener, and the guy let me go!

    carlitos (aa025a)

  26. carlitos @23 – I thought they scrubbed those files. Anyway, didn’t Baracky just decide which commie causes to hand our money to, like the African school curriculum, gun control and stuff like that?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  27. Comment by AD – RtR/OS! — 5/13/2009 @ 4:39 pm

    Things have gotten quieter ever since the Brewers went National League.

    nk (755c01)

  28. Well, yeah. Peace Schools, etc. I was pleased to see that my old neighborhood received a few hundred grand for the “South Shore African Village Collaborative” for instance. That way, they could learn “pan-African” (sic) rites of passage, rather than, say math or how to be a plumber.

    Isn’t that “leadership?”

    carlitos (aa025a)

  29. “… try to block the court-ordered release of photos showing U.S. troops abusing prisoners, abruptly reversing his position out of concern the pictures would “further inflame anti-American opinion” and endanger U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    What a shame this wasn’t President Obama’s first thought when the subject of releasing the photos came up. He would have gone up a notch in the eyes of the military, and he would have evidenced safety of our troops would be his first and foremost goal. Instead, he revealed his lack of spine and caved to politics and the influences of his handlers.

    Dana (4a6e8c)

  30. DRJ @ 21 – Surveying the reaction of the left to Obama’s flip flop is very interesting – sort of like dumb and dumberer. They all seemed focused on the domestic political side rather than what Obama actually said. Typical.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  31. Dana – Governing is hard. Baby steps.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  32. daley, I think baby steps aren’t even in the mix. He’s an excellent campaigner. Period.

    It’s puzzling he doesn’t consider that it’s probably unwise to say things and make decisions that might cause the very people charged with protecting us to lose respect for their CiC. A month or two ago was the obscene attempt to make wounded vets to use their own private insurance.

    One governs not by a moment by moment checking to see which way the wind blows.

    Dana (4a6e8c)

  33. With apologies for the Chicago-centric post, Cook County commissioner Todd Stroger, the man responsible for Chicago paying the highest sales tax in the country, who was endorsed by Barack Obama, has a $12,000 IRS lien on his property for unpaid income tax. As noted at the link, he may be in line for a Cabinet position.

    carlitos (aa025a)

  34. “One governs not by a moment by moment checking to see which way the wind blows.”

    Dana – When he acts like a grown up he should be applauded.

    I think the past few weeks has shown him the dangers off needlessly pissing off powerful government entities for pure political gain. Having both the CIA and the military and their families as enemies probably started registering as not a great idea with him about the same time as Axelrod’s polling on the subject and the public polling on torture was coming back showing him losing the battle.

    As you said, it would have been nicer if chose to do the right thing first.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  35. I’m not even going to blog on this. It’s too pathetic:

    “The Obama administration is weighing plans to detain some terror suspects on U.S. soil — indefinitely and without trial — as part of a plan to retool military commission trials that were conducted for prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    The proposal being floated with members of Congress is another indication of President Barack Obama’s struggles to establish his counter-terrorism policies, balancing security concerns against attempts to alter Bush-administration practices he has harshly criticized.”

    DRJ (f55947)

  36. daley,

    I appreciate any updates on the left’s responses. I don’t have the energy to read them right now.

    DRJ (f55947)

  37. It’s too pathetic.

    Short, concise, spot-on, and completely true.

    Well said, DRJ.

    JD (e738c0)

  38. daley@5:45 p.m.

    When he does, I will. But this isn’t it. Yes he changed his mind but I can’t help but think of oodles of people who would have used savvy discernment when the matter first came up. It has less to do with being nice and far more to do with seeing the bigger picture and anticipating consequences, particularly the unintended sort. I have the uneasy feeling this was more about Obama promoting himself and attempting to persuade us how different than Bush he really is and push something original and new… But then I think most of his motivation has that underlying drive to make us think, “wow, we’ve never had a president like this…”.

    Krauthammer is a smart guy,

    Look, when a war is over, you can release everything. When a war is ongoing, as this war is ongoing, it is utterly unconscionable to do anything that would increase the danger our soldiers are facing.

    There is no question that a release of inflammatory pictures like these will endanger our soldiers. And we know the power of the picture. I mean, we’re right now on a medium that is built on that premise.

    The reason that Obama, I think, originally decided that he would release, and the reason the administration had released the memos, is because Obama has this idea that there is a distinction between Obama and Obama’s America on the one hand, and on the other hand, everything that came before, the United States of America before 2009, anno domini, the year of his ascension.

    And that somehow it benefits him politically if he keeps Bush out there as the bogey man. He ascended to the presidency running against Bush, and this keeps the agitation against Bush alive.

    However, that fine distinction between Obama’s America and Bush’s America is not something you will expect from someone who captures an American soldier.

    And that’s why I think it’s finally dawning on the Obama administration that this would be an awfully dangerous and irresponsible act, and they are going to walk it back.

    Dana (4a6e8c)

  39. Comment by DRJ — 5/13/2009 @ 6:45 pm

    It would be an interesting roll-call to see which members of Congress would raise their hands to have GITMO or Bagram detainees held in their districts/states.
    They can’t bring them here because they can’t insure that some District Judge won’t order them turned out onto the streets of America, and the Congresskritters know that, and they know what the reaction would be back in their Districts if that happened. It would not be pretty.
    As many have noted, BHO’s previous executive experience was pretty much limited to “running his mouth”, and he is having a hard time on looking down-stream for those “un-intended consequences” that always bite politicians in the arse. If we can survive long enough, perhaps he’ll have time to grow-up.

    AD - RtR/OS! (e8f920)

  40. Dana – It’s a lack of maturity and experience. He’s hung out with immature lefty loons his whole life so you would ecpect that and he’s got no real world experience. He can’t just vote present and hide in a crowd in this job. It’s different for him. He actually has to make decisions and accept responsibility.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  41. “I appreciate any updates on the left’s responses.”

    DRJ – They blame Bush.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  42. I lean more toward a conspiracy theory on the Pics, myself. Obama got all the good press he needed from the left wingnuts by promising to release the photos, and then he gets good press he needs from the right side of the aisle (the good guys, of course). It’s a win-win situation for him, with the support of his MSM sycopants.

    TimothyJ (8fb937)

  43. […] renditions policy. Apparently, it has not occurred to Sullivan that Obama may simply be caving to the CIA to protect himself and his party from damaging releases of information about their complicity in […]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » Andrew Sullivan giving himself whiplash on Obama (e2f069)

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