Remember a few days ago, when White House Chief Technology Officer, Andrew McLaughlin challenged Republicans and tea party activists to push the administration to make its policies more open?:
White House Chief Technology Officer Andrew McLaughlin said Republicans and conservative Tea Party activists should strive to push the administration to make its policies more open.
He also suggested Tea Party activists, who have called for broad changes to the government, could push the GOP to be more aggressive on the issue.
“I would be thrilled to make this a type of political competition … to see who can be more radical in their openness, in their data distribution models … trying to prove to the citizens they can run a better government,” said McLaughlin, a former executive at Google.
Well, we had a little situation, earlier today, that involved a profoundly wrong headed provision that was sneaked into the annual intelligence bill – a provision that would have weakened national security. It was added to the bill, in the dead of night, without the Republicans’ knowledge.
Hows that for transparency?
Andrew McCarthy reports tonight:
The Obama Democrats have outdone themselves.
While the country and the Congress have their eyes on today’s dog-and-pony show on socialized medicine, House Democrats last night stashed a new provision in the intelligence bill which is to be voted on today. It is an attack on the CIA: the enactment of a criminal statute that would ban “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.”
The provision is impossibly vague — who knows what “degrading” means? Proponents will say that they have itemized conduct that would trigger the statute (I’ll get to that in a second), but it is not true. The proposal says the conduct reached by the statute “includes but is not limited to” the itemized conduct. (My italics.) That means any interrogation tactic that a prosecutor subjectively believes is “degrading” (e.g., subjecting a Muslim detainee to interrogation by a female CIA officer) could be the basis for indicting a CIA interrogator.
Democrats can not be trusted with national security. It’s that simple.
The act goes on to make it a crime to use tactics that have been shown to be effective in obtaining life saving information and that are far removed from torture.
Democrats also offer “findings” that the tactics they aim to prohibit cause terrorism by fueling recruitment (we are never supposed to discuss the Islamist ideology that actually causes terrorist recruitment, only the terrible things America does to provide pretexts for those spurred by that ideology). These “findings” repeat the canards that these tactics don’t work; that they place our captured forces in greater danger (the truth is our forces captured by terrorists will be abused and probably killed no matter what we do, while our enemies captured in a conventional war will be bound to adhere to their Geneva Convention commitments — and will have the incentive to do so because they will want us to do the same); and that “their use runs counter to our identity and values as a nation.”Unmentioned by the Obama Democrats is that officers of the executive branch have a solemn moral duty to honor their commitment to protect the American people from attack by America’s enemies. If there are non-torture tactics that can get a Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to give us information that saves American lives, how is the use of them inconsistent with our values?
Here is the fact: Democrats are saying they would prefer to see tens of thousands of Americans die than to see a KSM subjected to sleep-deprivation or to have his “phobias exploited.” I doubt that this reflects the values of most Americans.
Thank God the Republicans were able to catch the provision, and stopped the bill cold:
A controversial bill that would have levied criminal punishments on intelligence officers for harsh interrogations was pulled Thursday evening.
House Republicans charged Democrats with trying to sneak a provision into the intelligence authorization bill that would establish criminal punishment for CIA agents and other intelligence officials who engage in “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” during interrogations.
Democrats inserted an 11-page addition into the bill late Wednesday night as the House Rules Committee considered the legislation.
Republicans criticized the language and the way it was introduced.
“This will fundamentally change the nature of the intelligence community by creating a criminal statute governing interrogations,” said Rep. Pete Hoesktra (R-Mich.).
Rep Peter Hoesktra issued this statement:
Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R., Mich.) issued a statement following the successful defeat of a Democratic provision in the annual intelligence bill that would have criminalized an ill-defined range of “degrading” behavior by CIA interrogators:
“That Democrats would try to bury this provision deep in the bill, late at night, when they thought everyone’s attention would be focused on the health care summit is a testament to the shameful nature of what they were attempting,” Hoekstra said.
“Republicans brought this to the attention of the American people, who were rightly outraged that Democrats would try to target those we ask to serve in harm’s way and with a unified push we were successful in getting them to pull the bill.”
So….I would like to take Andrew McLaughlin up on his idea for tea partiers to push Dems to be more open. Hey, I’m a tea partier.
I hereby challenge the Obama Democrats to be more transparent in their deliberations and policies.
Hat tip: Michelle Malkin