Six thousand pages at a cost of $40 million-a partisan report basically produced by Democratic Congressional staffers timed to be released before the Republicans take over Congress. Now comes the backlash both from defenders of the CIA and those who want to punish those who participated in water boarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and two others or subjected prisoners to sleep deprivation-which according to the US legal definition of torture don’t even qualify.
On Wednesday, Ben Emmerson, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, called for criminal prosecution of the Americans who were involved in what is being called “torture”. The most probable effect of this will be international arrest warrants issued that will prevent these people from leaving the US. In addition, these past and present employees will have to look over their own shoulders in their own country.
Ex CIA agents and past leaders of the agency have been quick to condemn this report. They insist that the enhanced interrogation techniques did, in fact, result in actionable intelligence including contributing to the finding of Usama bin Laden. They also insist that it thwarted attacks and saved lives. (The report had stated that no valuable information was received from the enhanced interrogation techniques.)
In addition, John Rizzo, who was the head of the CIA legal department after 9-11, told Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson on Wednesday that he and others had briefed members of George W Bush’s national security team (Dick Cheney, Andrew Card, Condi Rice among others) on the use of the enhanced interrogation techniques, point by point and as to the progress and results of such techniques. He also said that key members of Congress were briefed including Nancy Pelosi and Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). Nobody objected.
Now we have a CIA that feels betrayed and thrown under the bus by their own government. Keep in mind that these actions were carried out in the aftermath of 9-11 when we were all afraid of more attacks. The purpose of these enhanced interrogations was not to stamp out political dissent or keep some dictator in power. It was done to save American lives and keep the homeland safe. Two subsequent DOJ investigations concluded that there was no basis for indicting anybody. Even Eric Holder came to that conclusion.
And we have not even gotten to the violence and threats to American missions that will surely break out in the Islamic world once again.
What a mess has been created by the White House, Senator Dianne Feinstein and her Democratic colleagues in the Senate. They own this lock, stock, and barrel. I hope they are proud. As for Feinstein, this will be her lasting monument: The Feinstein Report.
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