National Security

Democrats Trash America With 'Torture' Report

Senate Intelligence Committee report could damage America.

Dec. 9, 2014
This is why interrogation is necessary

The Senate Intelligence Committee will release a report today detailing the CIA’s use of what those on the Left call torture – otherwise known as enhanced interrogation techniques used against several members of al-Qaida during the Bush administration. The 6,000-page report (with a 500-page executive summary) took more than five years and $40 million to produce, and it’s sure to spark much debate for weeks to come.

Update: The executive summary of the report is here.

Did we mention the release is conveniently timed to obscure today’s congressional testimony from ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber? As Democrats might say, “Gee, was that today?”

In 2009, Barack Obama deliberately undermined the CIA and ordered a stop to the techniques used to gather intelligence from three key members of al-Qaida. As Mark Alexander noted at the time, “Intelligence gathered from these detainees, particularly KSM Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, saved American lives and property – especially information that thwarted planned attacks on Los Angeles and New York, as well as actionable intelligence that led to the arrest of an al-Qa'ida cell in the U.S. and the capture or death of a succession of al-Qa'ida principals in the Middle East and Africa.”

By the way, Osama bin Laden is dead thanks to information obtained through enhanced interrogation. Obama likes to spike the football on that one, while repudiating the techniques that made it possible.

The president and his fellow NeoComs say that even though waterboarding and other enhanced techniques worked, they are just too inhumane, too evil. The president said in August, “We tortured some folks.” He further lectured, “When we engaged in some of these enhanced interrogation techniques, techniques that I believe and I think any fair-minded person would believe were torture, we crossed a line. And that needs to be understood and accepted.”

So let’s get this straight: Obama simply kills terrorists with drones rather than try to gather intelligence by interrogating them. His Iraq policy failure was driven by 2012 electoral politics and gave rise to the Islamic State. And yet he now wants us to believe he has credibility regarding what intelligence operations are good or bad for America.

CIA operatives did what was asked of them and what was necessary to gather actionable intelligence. Rather than give praise to these and other Patriots who have helped keep America safe, however, this president, with his rhetoric and policies, is choosing once again to knock America down a few pegs.

Secretary of State John Kerry anticipated outrage from terrorist organizations that could lead to an increase in atrocities overseas, and he personally phoned the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Diane Feinstein, asking that she “delay the imminent release of her committee’s report.” To be sure, Kerry “still supports releasing the report, just not right now.”

Intelligence officials and Republicans in Congress are concerned for the safety of U.S. personnel and facilities overseas. Former CIA Director Michael Hayden warned of the report’s questionable content and its betrayal of our overseas intelligence partners: “This report will lead to a … CIA that is timid and friendless, and that is a very dangerous situation.”

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said releasing the report “is a terrible idea.” He added, “Foreign leaders have approached the government and said, ‘You do this, this will cause violence and deaths.’ Our own intelligence community has assessed that this will cause violence and deaths.”

Feinstein is undeterred. She praised the “societal and constitutional values that we are very proud of,” while contesting, “Anybody who reads this is going to never let this happen again.”

Far from such high-minded concerns, she knows it wouldn’t see the light of day once she’s demoted from being chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. And, not uncommon with leftists, she would rather see her years of political work in the headlines than be concerned about the lives of U.S. personnel overseas.

Although many of the specifics of the soon-to-be released report are unknown, they are controversial enough to bring former President George W. Bush out of his deliberately chosen quiet retirement. During an interview on Sunday, he made it clear he was fully behind the actions of the CIA: “These are patriots. Whatever the report says, if it diminishes their contributions to our country, it is way off-base.”

Retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, had some choice words regarding the release of the report as well. He stated, “I’m not sure how much in the way of so-called new material might be forthcoming, but what the report does say … is that there was no actionable intelligence gathered through the process of interrogation of these terrorists. That’s wrong. It’s simply just not true.”

According to Jose Rodriguez, former CIA national clandestine service director, “We got a lot of information from the detainees that eventually led us to bin Laden. And that is a fact. … There was someone we captured in 2004, who told us about bin Laden’s courier, and gave us his pseudonym.”

Recall if you will that it was Rodriguez who destroyed interrogation tapes in order to protect CIA case officers, methods and sources – and that’s what got Feinstein on a roll.

To cap off the idiocy that comes out of this administration, Press Secretary Josh Earnest declared during a press briefing Monday, “Even if enhanced interrogations did help find bin Laden, it wasn’t worth the damage that it did to the U.S.” Excuse us Mr. Earnest, but what would the damage to the U.S. had been if we had not used enhanced interrogations to help find bin Laden and other terrorists?

This report was written by Democrats for the sole purpose of damaging the Bush administration and America. The release will embolden our enemies. And it’s shameful.

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