CIA, FBI, NSA, DIA, DOD, NGA, State Dept, DHS and many other agencies help keep us safe. Torture does not. #ReadTheReport
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) December 11, 2014
The dust is far from settled regarding the condemnatory Senate report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of so-called torture with terror detainees. CIA Director John Brennan is disputing the report’s claim that those enhanced terror techniques were worthless and netted no information, while Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein insists that her report is correct. Former DCIA Michael Hayden and, not surprisingly, Dick Cheney had weighed in on Brennan’s side the day before.
My first thought was that this was all much ado about nothing. We have been hearing the same arguments about waterboarding and the like for the last six — or is it ten — years with the same people lined up pro and con. None of it is very new, although Feinstein and the media are pretending it is. Moreover, the release of the report was clearly timed to distract from the embarrassing appearance of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber before Congress. It also was rushed out before the new Republican Congress can deep six it after they are sworn in next year. (They had a point. No Republicans or, more importantly, CIA operatives who actually participated in the actions in question were interviewed for the report.)
All this is SOP in heavily politicized Washington, as was Feinstein thinking about her and her Democratic cohorts’ “legacies,” although a fair number of them (Pelosi, etc.) were fully aware of the CIA’s techniques from the get go and never uttered a peep against it at the time. Again, the standard hypocrisy. Also at play here was a bit of vengeance on Feinstein’s part. Her committee’s computers were apparently hacked by the CIA, nervous about what was being said about them, possibly with some justification.
And, while we’re pointing out the obvious hypocrisy, nothing could be more obviously hypocritical than the Obama administration that putatively abhors torture employing drones that simply murder enemy combatants and often a host of innocent people who happen to be nearby into the bargain. Wouldn’t you rather be waterboarded? Nobody dies being waterboarded. In fact, it’s designed so you won’t.
But still I put this all down to the usual liberal roundelay with Dianne Feinstein competing against many of her ilk for “Moral Narcissist in Chief,” until I heard an outraged Dennis Miller on the radio Wednesday. He was treating this report as if it was the end of our country as we know it — and he had a point. His reason: who would join the CIA now knowing your own government doesn’t have your back? And we need the CIA more than ever in the covert struggle against the likes of ISIS, Iran, al Qaeda, North Korea, China and Russia.
Indeed we do and indeed just who would want to join our intelligence agencies, knowing they could be so easily sabotaged by people they thought were supporting, not to mention employing, them?
Feinstein herself seemed a little worried about what she had wrought, fighting a defensive battle with Brennan on Twitter even as the DCIA was speaking. One of her several tweets was unconsciously telling. She wrote: “CIA, FBI, NSA, DIA, DOD, NGA, State Dept, DHS and many other agencies help keep us safe. Torture does not. #ReadtheReport.”
Note that the CIA, those purveyors of supposed torture, are in first place in her tweet. No, Dianne, you can’t have it both ways. If you want the mantle of “Moral Narcissist in Chief,” you must urge the dismantling of the CIA. You’re doing a good job discouraging recruits. Just go whole hog.
ADDENDUM, LET’S REVIEW: Looking around the world today, Libya (under control somewhat while Khadafy was alive) is an unholy mess; with no real end in site to negotiations, Iran is continuing to develop nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles while expanding its influence into Yemen and maintaining strength in Syria and Lebanon and cementing its alliances with North Korea and Venezuela (among others); putative NATO member Turkey is becoming more Islamist by the day under the rule of Obama’s pal Erdogan; ISIS continues to control large portions Syria and Iraq and may secretly be in cahoots with Turkey; Russia has moved into Ukraine and has everyone from Moldova to Finland nervous; China controls more of the Pacific every day, our Japanese and South Korean friends worried if they can trust us anymore; Europe is a weak sister with an increasing Islamic population they don’t police and that runs rampant in their own ever-growing neighborhoods, the influence of Sharia law expanding over that continent and hardly anyone doing anything about it; and America, under Obama, has turned into the “pitiful, helpless giant” that it was accused of being during Vietnam, but really wasn’t (until now)…. And with all that, my senior senator Dianne Feinstein is worried the CIA has become a little brutal??? What an unbelievable, self-righteous idiot!