I’ve been mulling over the Obama Justice Dept’s decision to reopen an investigation into possible CIA abuses of terrorists. The question was already investigated by the Bush administration in 2004 by the C.I.A.’s inspector general:
When the C.I.A first referred its inspector general’s findings to prosecutors, they decided that none of the cases merited prosecution.
I was wondering what Obama hopes to gain from antagonizing CIA Director, Leon Panetta, and demoralizing the very people who have helped keep us safe for eight years; finally proven:
with the release of CIA documents on enhanced-interrogation techniques long sought by former Vice President Dick Cheney.
With the exception of the far left, Americans are not terribly wee-wee’d up about the fact that Bush/CIA interrogators threatened 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed’s family.
On Fox, a little bit ago, John Bolton quipped that the constant declassification of CIA documents is gutting our capability to do things in secret: “If you don’t want an intelligence agency, say so”.
Why would Obama want to reopen his administration’s debate with Dick Cheney, who so clearly won the last round? Today, Cheney, released this devastating statement about what The Obama Justice Dept. is doing:
The documents released Monday clearly demonstrate that the individuals subjected to Enhanced Interrogation Techniques provided the bulk of intelligence we gained about al Qaeda. This intelligence saved lives and prevented terrorist attacks. These detainees also, according to the documents, played a role in nearly every capture of al Qaeda members and associates since 2002. The activities of the CIA in carrying out the policies of the Bush Administration were directly responsible for defeating all efforts by al Qaeda to launch further mass casualty attacks against the United States. The people involved deserve our gratitude. They do not deserve to be the targets of political investigations or prosecutions. President Obama’s decision to allow the Justice Department to investigate and possibly prosecute CIA personnel, and his decision to remove authority for interrogation from the CIA to the White House, serves as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many Americans have doubts about this Administration’s ability to be responsible for our nation’s security.
Pundits are saying that whenever Obama runs into trouble domestically, he starts running against the Bush administration.
I just don’t see how this is going to help his sagging poll numbers.
The Fox News “question of the day”:
Did Attorney General Eric Holder make the right call by opening a probe into allegations of prisoner abuse?
Results thus far:
You can vote here.
Ace makes a good point:
Eric Holder, pardon-facilitator of Marc Rich and non-prosecutor of the Black Panther vote intimidation thugs, says he’s duty-bound to press this inquiry because he was so horrified at reading about these “abuses.”
Again, what do they think they have to gain from this? This is not a principled fight, The left doesn’t operate that way. What’s the ulterior motive?
A “furious” Rep. Peter King, the hawkish, maverick Long Island Republican, blasted a “disgraceful” Eric Holder for opening an investigation of CIA interrogators and chided his own party for what he described as a weak response to the move in an interview just now with POLITICO.
“It’s bulls***. It’s disgraceful. You wonder which side they’re on,” he said of the attorney general’s move, which he described as a “declaration of war against the CIA, and against common sense.”
“It’s a total breach of faith, and either the president is intentionally caving to the left wing of his party or he’s lost control of his administration,” said King, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Homeland Security and a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence.
He later said:
“When Holder was talking about being ‘shocked’ [before the report's release], I thought they were going to have cutting guys’ fingers off or something — or that they actually used the power drill.”
Btw, what’s with the sneer quotes around “furious”, Ben Smith? You don’t think that the willful undermining of our national security merits a little outrage?
CIA EIT Investigation/squirrel photoshop, here.