Senate Democrats Purge the Record | National Review Online

“Its report on enhanced-interrogation techniques amounts to intelligence birtherism.”

By Tom Rogan via Senate Democrats Purge the Record | National Review Online.

“Senator Dianne Feinstein and the Democrats of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence have released their summary report into the Bush-era CIA detention/interrogation program. While senior Democrats have little credibility on this issue — consider Nancy Pelosi, who has consistently misrepresented her CIA briefings — today they proudly claimed the mantle of honest objectivity.

The summary makes four key claims:

The CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” were not effective.

The CIA provided extensive inaccurate information about the operation of the program and its effectiveness to policymakers and the public.

The CIA’s management of the program was inadequate and deeply flawed.

The CIA program was far more brutal than it represented to policymakers and the American public.

The product of selective half-truths and deliberate deception, these claims are ludicrous, because the CIA’s enhanced-interrogation techniques (EITs) were manifestly successful.

Breaking key figures in al-Qaeda’s international network, the EITs afforded America a unique window into al-Qaeda’s network structure, operational methodology, and strategic intent, as any honest examination of the record will show.

While the report claims that the CIA acted far more aggressively than represented by its officials, the simple fact is that the EITs were not designed to be pleasant. Moreover, as former CIA deputy director Jose Rodriguez outlined last Friday, Democrats knew about and supported the EITs.

They were right to do so, for the program was designed to defeat al-Qaeda training manuals. Those manuals inculcated AQ officers with the belief that U.S. interrogators would attempt to trick and manipulate them but would not apply measured physical or psychological force. And by applying the EITs, CIA interrogators were able to wrest control over their subjects and gain crucial intelligence.

The Senate Intelligence Committee report also argues that CIA management failed to supervise the program and brief government officials. But this requires the suspension of reality. First, just last week, former president George W. Bush again insisted that he was kept fully informed by the CIA.

The committee’s claim is also weakened by its assumption that the CIA’s inherently bureaucratic nature was impossibly suspended. After all, were the report to reflect reality, it would mean that successive CIA leaders, mid-level management officials, and operations officers engaged in a collective multi-year conspiracy of lies, for absolutely no reason. Aware that Beltway politics are radioactive, CIA officials are obsessed with limiting their institution’s vulnerability to political blowback. And so, when it came to the EITs, officials would have known that the program’s inherently controversial nature induced major political liabilities. But that they nevertheless decided to continue the program even with those risks speaks to a basic, undeniable truth.

A large number of officials were convinced that the program was necessary and was generating irreplaceable results. And it was. Responding to the committee report, the CIA notes that EITs led to critical intelligence. Cross-referenced with other sources, the following CIA assertions, I am confident, are true. Read more via Senate Democrats Purge the Record | National Review Online.

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Link – Around – Pelosi

Ashes, ashes…the truth will out Pelosi!

The Torture Debate-Continued – Charles Krauthammer

“So what happened? The reason Pelosi raised no objection to waterboarding at the time, the reason the American people (who by 2004 knew what was going on) strongly reelected the man who ordered these interrogations, is not because she and the rest of the American people suffered a years-long moral psychosis from which they have just now awoken. It is because at that time they were aware of the existing conditions — our blindness to al-Qaeda’s plans, the urgency of the threat, the magnitude of the suffering that might be caused by a second 9/11, the likelihood that the interrogation would extract intelligence that President Obama’s own director of national intelligence now tells us was indeed “high-value information” — and concluded that on balance it was a reasonable response to a terrible threat.

And they were right.”

The Wall St Journal Time-line-intelligence trail:

What Pelosi said she knew

  • August 2002: Justice Department authorizes waterboarding and other ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques (EITs). The CIA uses the technique.
  • September 2002: Nancy Pelosi, ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, is briefed on the techniques.
  • February 2003: A Pelosi aide attends a briefing with the new ranking member on the committee, Jane Harman. Pelosi later says that she learns after this meeting that the techniques have already been used, and that she ‘concurred’ with Harman’s letter to the CIA protesting the decision to use them.
  • December 2007: A news report quotes two officials who say Pelosi was briefed on waterboarding and raised no objections. Pelosi issues a statement confirming she was briefed on one occasion in the fall of 2002 ‘on interrogation techniques the administration was considering using in the future.’
  • April 23, 2009: After the Obama administration releases four memos approving the use of waterboarding, Pelosi says that in September 2002, ‘We were not …told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used.’
  • May 5, 2009: Intelligence officials send lawmakers a list of 40 congressional briefings on EITs, saying lawmakers ‘will have to determine whether this information is an accurate summary of what actually happened.’ The list says Pelosi was told that some EITs had been employed, but doesn’t specify waterboarding.
  • May 8, 2009: Pelosi repeats that she was briefed on techniques that would be used in the future
  • May 14, 2009: Pelosi says she wasn’t told in September 2002 that waterboarding was being used, and says ‘the CIA was misleading Congress.’

In case you missed it and hadn’t already guessed: “Pelosi: Utterly Contemptible” – here’s Charles Krauthammer, impeccable on the subject, if reason still matters?

Nancy Pelosi Explains What She Knew About Waterboarding

In her own words, you decide!

HotAir on Ed’s Post and More : Pelosi goes nuclear on CIA over torture as Cheney’s memo request is denied:

Meanwhile, as this soap opera’s playing out, Dick Cheney’s request to declassify the two CIA memos which he claims prove that torture works has been denied. Surprise. Exit quotation: “President Obama has the legal authority to declassify the documents ‘with the wave of his hand,’ according to one expert.”

Update: I want to highlight this bit from Ed’s post because it really is the million-dollar question:

And if the CIA really had lied to her in the briefings, why didn’t Pelosi start out with that explanation? In fact, why didn’t she mention that in 2005 when both the EITs and the briefings were made public? Coming four years later, this explanation lacks any kind of credibility.

The killer quote from today’s presser is “they mislead us all the time,” a reference to the CIA’s bad intel on Iraq’s WMD. If there really is a pattern of deception going on, why would she wait until there’s a Democrat in the White House to complain when she could have pinned the whole thing on Bush by screaming about it earlier?

New Majority: Former CIA Sources Respond to Pelosi: Congress Knew Everything