Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

12/09/2007 (4:00 pm)

I'm Shocked. Shocked!

We discover today that Congressional leaders have been briefed all along about waterboarding and other aspect of the CIA’s interrogation techniques, and never objected. There were as many as 30 briefings over a 2 year period, with only one objection filed by Rep Jane Harmon (D, CA). Most of the reactions from Congressional leaders were positive, and included concerns that the interrogation tactics might not be aggressive enough. Democrats present at the briefings include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senators Bob Graham (D, FL) and Jay Rockefeller (D, WV).

Two reactions:

1) The report was probably released by the CIA to the Washington Post to divert attention from the scandal of torture tapes having been destroyed. They knew the Post would print it because the Post had been caught uninformed when the Times released its story about tapes being destroyed. It’s a good story, and an effective tactic, but let’s not forget — somebody in the CIA obstructed justice, and an investigation should, and will, take place.

2) The story indicates that Democrat leaders’ objections to the Bush administration’s “torture” policy is partisan opportunism, not genuine conviction. Democrat leaders knew that water-boarding was used exactly THREE times, and the CIA has not used it since 2003. Democrat leaders received 30 briefings on interrogation techniques with only the one objection.

There were Democrats who sincerely objected to specific practices after they heard about them, which was several years after the CIA had stopped waterboarding prisoners. They were not told by their leaders that the practice had been terminated. Nor were we. This is a manufactured objection to the Bush administration. We don’t even know if the leading Democrats object to the practices at all; we have reason to believe they do not.

Nancy Pelosi should step down as Speaker of the House, but probably will not. Jay Rockefeller, who has been implicated in numerous leaks of classified information to the press, should also step down, but certainly will not.

Good commentary on the matter at Captain’s Quarters.

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December 10, 2007 @ 2:09 am #


Not sure if you will be able to read this blog on The New Republic, but it does point very clearly to how the hands of the Democrats were fairly tied on this issue. Since the reports were classified, so also had to be the commentary.


December 10, 2007 @ 10:03 am #

I’m sorry, but this is incorrect, and a pretty cheap evasion. The Democrats viewing the procedures had a clear path to commenting on the procedures directly with the CIA, that did not violate their confidentiality. In 30 briefings, this avenue was used only once, by Rep. Harmon.

December 19, 2008 @ 6:54 am #

[…] order to discover what they knew about al Qaeda’s plans and operations. The discussions were carried out according to the law of the land, with oversight by the appropriate Congressmen, and the program of interrogation was approved, […]

December 29, 2008 @ 8:06 pm #

[…] nor principled opposition (though such opposition is possible and does exist). The fact is that the Democrats in Congress were briefed more than 30 times on the interrogation regimen, and most of them approved it heartily; their moral preening on the subject today is rank hypocrisy, […]

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