Archive for the ‘intelligence’ Category

PelosiTruthGate: Did CIA Lie About Torture To Congress? Time To Find Out Or Fire Pelosi

May 15, 2009

If the Central Intelligence Agency, the nations top intelligence collection agency, is or has been lying the Congress, that is one of the most serious dangers in our democracy.

If the Congress is not fulfilling its role in “oversight” and “checks and balances” that is an equally serious allegation.

And if the Speaker of the House, any Speaker of the House, is lying about such a serious national security matter, that Speaker needs to step down.

This is now a new Watergate. PelosiTruthGate.

If the CIA lied about torture, did it lie about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?  Did we go to war based upon a lie?

This is serious stuff.  Nothing could be more serious.

We need to get to the bottom of this.

It’s now that simple.

The New York Times buried this story on page A18 today: which removes this organization from the realm of honest journalism.

Related:
The nation’s largest left-wing newspaper is counting its last days

Meanwhile, the Washington Post, to its credit, has prepared a special editorial on the CIA-Pelosi-Truth affair, which is on the Internet now and will appear in print on Saturday.

This is a big issue and a big story, and even the White House is hoping it will (and trying to make it) go away.

Which means we have even more reason to get to the bottom of this serious issue…..

Related:
White House Works To Bury Pelosi-CIA Story, New York Times Complies
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NYT: Pelosi Accusations of CIA Lying on Page A18; Wash Post Makes Special Editorial; White House Dodges Questions
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Panetta: CIA “briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, describing ‘the enhanced techniques’” to Congress
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Gingrich On Pelosi: ‘Lied,’ ‘Despicable,’ ‘Dishonest,’ ‘Vicious,’ “Incompetent”

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/05/
15/rush-to-pelosi-its-time-to-go/

Senator Questions Pelosi’s Motivation to Attack American Intelligence System

May 15, 2009

The top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee is calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s accusation that the CIA misled her and others about waterboarding a massive attack on the nation’s intelligence community.

Associated Press

Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri on Friday contradicted Pelosi’s claim and called her criticism a tragedy. Bond said in a “Today” show interview that he reviewed the CIA’s material and it was clear that she had been informed about the enhanced interrogation method.

Read the rest:
http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/
story.aspx?storyid=175414

**************************

From ABC News

“It’s outrageous that a member of Congress should call a terror-fighter a liar,” said Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., the vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee. “It seems the playbook is, blame terror-fighters. We ought to be supporting them.”

Bond questioned Pelosi’s claim that the speaker could do little to influence the Bush administration, saying that when lawmakers are briefed, they can ask for more information and also voice their displeasure or disagreement to the speaker or other leaders in the House.

“It’s no excuse to say, ‘I was powerless.’ That’s what oversight is all about,” he said. “There are a whole range of actions, and she did not take them.”

Read the entire article:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=
7586530&page=1

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/05/15
/wapo-you-know-pelosi-may-have-a-
credibility-problem/

Pelosi Squashes Obama’s Message

May 14, 2009

Thanks to Nancy Pelsoi, this may be the first day since Barack Obama’s inauguration last January that the president didn’t get any attention.

The lead story from the U.S. on the BBC today?  “Pelosi Says the CIA Lied.”

Go around the globe and check all the media stories.  We just dare you to find President Barack Obama’s assault on the evils of credit card companies.

The president has been pushed out of the public eye by Nancy Pelsoi.

This must be torture for Obama.  It’s like getting waterboarded by your own team.

The global media is drowning in stories about Pelosi.

Related:
Pelosi Vehemently Challenges CIA’s Account of Briefings To Her on Waterboarding; Agency “Lied to Congress”
.
Pelosi Derails Obama Agenda; Obama Needs To Ask Her To Resign
.
Here’s Why We Doubt the Integrity of NYT, MSM: Pelosi Accusations of CIA Lying on Page A18

Obama can get the media spotlight back on Sunday:
Shame On Notre Dame: Obama’s Honorary Degree Sounds Like Candidacy for Sainthood

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/0
5/14/videos-the-obamacard-and-th
e-airport-for-no-one/

CIA Enhanced Interrogation Technique Memos Requested By Cheney Will Not Be Made Public

May 14, 2009

The CIA is now saying the interrogation technique memos that former Vice President Dick Cheney has requested be released will be kept away from the public.

After President Obama released some of the so called “torture memos,” Cheney said all the memos should be made public.  He said he specifically recalled two memos which showed how valuable those interrogations had been to U.S. national security.
.

The agency’s statement:

The process for Mandatory Declassification Review is governed by Executive Order 12958, as amended. That Order excludes from review information that is the subject of pending litigation. The two documents that former Vice President Cheney sought contain information that falls into that category.”

“For that reason—and that reason only—CIA did not accept Mr. Cheney’s request for a Mandatory Declassification Review. The Agency simply followed the Executive Order. This request was handled in accordance with normal practice by CIA professionals with long experience in information management and release. It was for them a straightforward issue.”

Related:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/05
/14/pelosi-the-cia-and-the-dems-dan
gerous-blame-game/

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Pelosi Vehemently Challenges CIA’s Account of Briefings To Her on Waterboarding; Agency “Lied to Congress”

Former vice president Dick Cheney, pictured in 2008, stepped ...

Banning Torture Won’t Make Us Safer

April 28, 2009

On April 16, President Obama released the now-infamous torture memos along with a covering statement that said the CIA’s old interrogation methods not only failed to “make us safer” but undermined “our moral authority.” A week later, a woman holding the hand of a child walked into a throng in Baghdad and blew herself up. Apparently she had not heard of our new moral authority.

By Richard Cohen
The Washington Post

That term — “moral authority” — gets used a lot. There is such a thing, I suppose, although a suicide bomber probably thinks he or she has it in abundance. Whatever it may be, however, it is an awfully thin reed upon which to construct a foreign policy. I, for one, am glad we’re no longer torturing anyone, but ceasing this foul practice will not in any way make Americans safer. We prohibit torture for other reasons.

Yet the debate over torture has been infected with silly arguments about utility: whether it works or not. Of course it works — sometimes or rarely, but if a proverbial bomb is ticking, that may just be the one time it works. I refer you to the 1995 interrogation by Philippine authorities of Abdul Hakim Murad, an al-Qaeda terrorist who served up extremely useful information about a plot to blow up airliners when he was told that he was about to be turned over to Israel’s Mossad. As George Orwell suggested in “1984,” everyone has his own idea of torture.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn
/content/article/2009/04/27/AR200
9042702692.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Pelosi’s Tortured Explantions

April 27, 2009

We won’t have prosecution in the interrogation flap because a lot of Democrats will get caught up in it. They were in hearings meant to cover their own butts but now cant recall or recall very badly….” said my friend, a well known House staffer….

*********************

Policico

Nancy Pelosi didn’t cry foul when the Bush administration briefed her on “enhanced interrogation” of terror suspects in 2002, but her team was locked and loaded to counter hypocrisy charges when the “torture” memos were released last week.

Many Republicans obliged, led by former CIA chief Porter Goss, who is accusing Democrats like Pelosi of “amnesia” for demanding investigations in 2009 after failing to raise objections seven years ago when she first learned of the legal basis for the program.

“As soon as the president made the decision to release [the memos], I was telling people that the Republicans were going to come after us, saying she knew about it and did nothing,” said an adviser to Pelosi (D-Calif.), speaking on condition of anonymity. “And I’m sure we’re going to get hammered again when they release all those new torture photos,” the person said.

 But Pelosi’s allies were less prepared to confront the fallout from her convoluted answers during three sessions with reporters last week — answers that raised new questions and handed Republicans a fresh line of attack on a speaker at the height of her power.

“I’m puzzled, I don’t understand what she’s trying to say,” said Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), former chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and currently the committee’s ranking minority member.

Read the rest from Politico:
http://www.politico.com/new
s/stories/0409/21724.html

“Torture” Memo Release: The CIA Will Pay the Price; And Thus Our Security?

April 26, 2009

“We knew that, like almost everything else in Washington, the program would eventually be leaked and our Agency and its people would be inaccurately portrayed in the worst possible light.”

Those words were written by former CIA director George Tenet. Two years ago, in his book “At the Center of the Storm,” Tenet predicted the controversy that has now engulfed Washington. The new revelations regarding the agency’s enhanced interrogation techniques has captured the nation’s attention with the Obama administration’s release of the Bush Justice Department’s secret memos on interrogation.

Near the end of the Korean War, I was an interrogator in the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps, trained to extract information from the targets of our investigations by developing relationships with them. I was taught that using force resulted in questionable intelligence.

But decades later, I was in Washington on Sept. 11, 2001, and I saw the anxiety that overtook the city after the loss of 3,000 lives in the destruction of the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon. Friends and colleagues spoke openly of their fears of another attack and purchased gas masks and duct tape to secure their homes. Imagine the atmosphere in the White House, where, one month earlier, the president had received a CIA briefing entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” FBI Director Robert Mueller, new on the job, told Post reporters and editors at a luncheon several weeks after the attacks that there may be as many as 100 al-Qaeda cells inside this country.

Read the rest by Waler Pincus
The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn
/content/article/2009/04/24/AR200
9042402441.html

One Hundred Days of Obama: 100 Mistakes

April 26, 2009

1. “Obama criticized pork barrel spending in the form of ‘earmarks,’ urging changes in the way that Congress adopts the spending proposals. Then he signed a spending bill that contains nearly 9,000 of them, some that members of his own staff shoved in last year when they were still members of Congress. ‘Let there be no doubt, this piece of legislation must mark an end to the old way of doing business, and the beginning of a new era of responsibility and accountability,’ Obama said.” — McClatchy, 3/11

2. “There is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means and we’re going to have to make some adjustments.” — Obama during the campaign.

3. This year’s budget deficit: $1.5 trillion.

4. Asks his Cabinet to cut costs in their departments by $100 million — a whopping .0027%!

5. “The White House says the president is unaware of the tea parties.” — ABC News, 4/15

6. “Mr. Obama is an accomplished orator but is becoming known in America as the ‘teleprompt president’ over his reliance on the machine when he gives a speech.” — Sky News, 3/18

7. In early February, the 2010 census was moved out of the Department of Commerce and into the White House, politicizing how federal aid is distributed and electoral districts are drawn.

8. Obama taps Nancy Killefer for a new administration job, First Chief Performance Officer — to police government spending. But it surfaces that Killefer had performance issues of her own — a tax lien was slapped on her DC home in 2005 for failure to pay unemployment compensation tax on household help. She withdrew.

9. Turkey tried to block the appointment of Anders Fogh Rasmussen as new NATO secretary general because he didn’t properly punish the Danish cartoonist who caricatured Mohammed. France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany’s Angela Merkel were outraged; Obama said he supported Turkey’s induction into the European Union.

10. . . . and he never mentioned the Armenian genocide.

11. The picture of Obama and Hugo Chavez shaking hands.

12. Hugo Chavez gave him the anti-American screed “The Open Veins of Latin America.” Obama didn’t remark upon it. At least it wasn’t DVDs.

13. Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega went on a 50-minute anti-American rant, calling Obama “president of an empire.” Obama didn’t leave the room. “I thought it was 50 minutes long. That’s what I thought,” he said.

14. Executives at AIG get $165 million in bonuses, despite receiving an $173 billion taxpayer bailout.

15. “For months, the Obama administration and members of Congress have known that insurance giant AIG was getting ready to pay huge bonuses while living off government bailouts. It wasn’t until the money was flowing and news was trickling out to the public that official Washington rose up in anger and vowed to yank the money back.” — Associated Press, 3/18

16. “After pushing Congress for weeks to hurry up and pass the massive $787 billion stimulus bill, President Obama promptly took off for a three-day holiday getaway.” — New York Post, 2/15

17. SARAH PALIN ON: “I WON” AND THE DEATH OF BIPARTISANSHIP

“Obama soared to victory on the hopeful promise of a new era of bipartisanship. During his inaugural address he even promised an ‘end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.’

“Too bad it took all of three days for the promise to ring hollow.

“Start with Obama’s big meeting with top congressional leaders on his signature legislation — the stimulus — on the Friday after his inauguration. Listening to Republican concerns about overspending was a nice gesture — until he shut down any hopes of real dialogue by crassly telling Republican leaders: ‘I won.’ Even the White House’s leaking of the comment was a slap at the Republican leadership, who’d expected Obama to adhere to the custom of keeping private meetings with congressional leadership, well, private.

“It’s only gone downhill from there. The stimulus included zero Republican recommendations, and failed to get a single House Republican vote.

“It’s not just the tactic of using Republicans for bipartisan photo-ops, and then cutting them loose before partisan decisions, that irks Obama’s opponents. The new president wasted no time rushing forward with policies and legislation guaranteed to drive Republicans nuts. The first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — a partisan hot-button that drew all of eight Republican supporters in the entire Congress. Then there was the swift reversal of Bush policies on abortion and embryonic-stem-cell research — issues dear to the Republican base.

“And when Obama and the Democrats in Congress took up SCHIP — the children’s health-insurance bill that Republicans say vastly expands government’s role in health care — they had an easy chance for real bipartisanship. After all, the bill had been hashed out in the previous Congress, and a bipartisan accord was reached before President Bush responded with a veto. Did the Obama team push for the compromise version in the 111th Congress? Nope. They went back to the drawing board, ramming through the Democrats’ dream version.

“Of course, the lack of bipartisanship isn’t limited to Capitol Hill. Obama has taken gratuitous swipes at the Republicans who recently decamped Washington, blaming President Bush for everything from the economy and the war to the lack of sufficient puppies and rainbows. And who could forget the Rush Limbaugh flap — in which Obama’s top advisers, including chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, orchestrated a public relations campaign meant to undermine the Republican National Committee chairman, Michael Steele, by framing talk-radio personality Limbaugh as the real head of the Republican Party.

“For now, Obama’s back-pedal on the bipartisanship promise just makes him look insincere. But the real consequences of the mistake will be felt soon enough. As Presidents Bush and Clinton could tell him, congressional majorities do change — and at some point, Obama will need Republicans on his side. He’d be smart to spend his second 100 days making up for the serious snubs of his first.”

— Sarah Palin is the governor of Alaska

18. “The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.” — Department of Homeland Security intelligence report

19. Nixes a “buy American” provision in the stimulus bill.

20. “Yes, Canada is not Mexico, it doesn’t have a drug war going on. Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it’s been across the Canadian border. There are real issues there.” — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The 9/11 hijackers did not come across the Canada border

21. “The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system. The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as ‘the largest middle-class tax increase in history.’ ” — New York Times, 3/14

22. JOE SCARBOROUGH ON: PROMOTING FEAR

“During his historic inaugural speech, Barack Obama promised to usher in a transformational age where hope would replace fear, unity would overtake partisanship, and change would sweep aside the status quo. But early in President Obama’s first 100 days it is obvious that the only thing that is changing is the Candidate of Change, himself.

“The same politician who proclaimed during his inauguration that ‘on this day we have chosen hope over fear’ soon warned Americans that the US economy would be forever destroyed if the stimulus bill was voted down.

“Why was it that same man who promised to put Americans’ interests ahead of his own political ambitions chose instead to use the suffering of citizens to advance his agenda?

“Maybe he was following the guidance of Rahm Emanuel, who famously said, ‘You never want to waste a good crisis.’

“They didn’t.

“The White House’s warnings were so over-the-top that Bill Clinton felt compelled to warn the new president against making such grim pronouncements. Americans would quickly warn that the White House would not channel FDR’s eternal optimism but rather embrace the gloomy worldview of Edgar Allen Poe.

“The Candidate of Hope also quickly adopted the Nixonian worldview that Americans voted their fears rather than their hopes. Over Mr. Obama’s first 100 days, that cynical calculation paid off politically for a White House that seemed most interested in appeasing the most liberal members of his Democratic Party.

“I expected more from Barack Obama. For the sake of my country, I hope I get it from the new president over the next 100 days.”

— Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and author of “The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America’s Promise” (Crown Forum), due out June 9.

23. Sanjay Gupta was in discussions to become Surgeon General, but the TV personality withdrew after he was criticized for his flimsy political record.

24. Rasmussen finds 58% of Americans believe the Obama administration’s release of CIA memos endangers the national security of the United States.

25. Only 28% think the Obama administration should do any further investigating of how the Bush administration treated terrorism suspects.

26. “Obama thanked CIA employees for their work and said they’re invaluable to national security. He explained his decision to release the memos, then told everyone not to feel bad because he was now acknowledging potential mistakes. Theirs, not his. ‘That’s how we learn,’ Obama said, as though soothing a room full of fourth-graders.” — The Oklahoman, 4/23

27. By releasing the torture memos, Obama opened American citizens up to international tribunals. A UN lawyer said the US is obliged to prosecute lawyers who drafted the memos or else violate the Geneva Conventions.

28. In their first meeting, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave Obama a carved ornamental penholder from the timbers of the anti-slavery ship HMS Gannet. Obama gave him 25 DVDs that don’t work in Europe.

29. TIM CARNEY ON: PICKING BILL RICHARDSON AS SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

“Richardson’s value in Obama’s Cabinet had everything to do with appearances. First, he was the Hispanic pick. Second, because Richardson had run against Obama for President, tapping him for the Cabinet helped the media write the Obama-Lincoln comparisons by burnishing the ‘Team of Rivals’ image.

“But Richardson withdrew before Obama was even inaugurated when news came out about a criminal investigation involving David Rubin, president of a firm named Chambers, Dunhill, Rubin & Co. (although there was no Chambers or Dunhill), who had donated at least $110,000 to Richardson’s campaign committees and had also profited from $1.5 million in contracts from the state government.

“This was an early warning sign about Obama’s vetting process (various tax problems and the Daschle problem would reveal this as a theme), but picking Richardson to run Commerce also highlighted that Obama and Richardson’s promise of ‘public-private partnerships’ — such as Detroit bailouts, Wall Street bailouts, and green energy–was an open door for corruption and was at odds with Obama’s promise to diminish the influence of lobbyists.

“The Richardson mistake was one of Obama’s first, and it was emblematic. Richardson embodied Obama’s attention to self-image and the problems inherent in his vision of an intimate business-government connection.”

— Tim Carney is a Washington Examiner columnist

30. Timothy Geithner nomination as Secretary of Treasury was almost torpedoed when it was discovered he had failed to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes. He also employed an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper. He was confirmed anyway.

31. . . . Not so lucky, Annette Nazareth, who was nominated for Deputy Treasury Secretary. She withdrew her name for undisclosed “personal reasons” after a monthlong probe into her taxes . . .

32. . . . or Caroline Atkinson, who withdrew as nominee for Undersecretary of International Affairs in Treasury Department, with a source blaming the long vetting process. Geithner still has a skeleton crew at Treasury, with no one qualified — or willing — to take jobs there.

33. “Barack Obama has been embroiled in a cronyism row after reports that he intends to make Louis Susman, one of his biggest fundraisers, the new US ambassador in London. The selection of Mr. Susman, a lawyer and banker from the president’s hometown of Chicago, rather than an experienced diplomat, raises new questions about Mr Obama’s commitment to the special relationship with Britain.” — Telegraph, 2/22

34. Obama’s doom-and-gloom comments and budget bill push the Dow below 7,000, from which it’s only recently recovered.

35. “You’re sitting here. And you’re — you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, ‘I mean, he’s sitting there just making jokes about money–‘ How do you deal with — I mean: Explain. Are you punch-drunk?” — Steve Kroft, “60 Minutes,” 3/22

Read the entire article from the New York Post:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/0425200
9/postopinion/opedcolumnists/100_day
s__100_mistakes_166177.htm?&page=0

Obama’s ‘torture’ problem: no easy way out

April 25, 2009

One of the biggest problems facing the Obama White House in handling the ‘torture’ mess is that it is not susceptible to conventional damage control techniques.

The one that Rahm Emanuel must be wishing he could use right now is to simply dump all of the existing government information on enhanced interrogations onto the public record (preferably on a warm Friday evening) and hope that, after everyone is briefly blinded by the white-hot flash of press coverage, advocacy group outrage, and cable pundit bloviation, the controversy would die down and President Obama could move on with his ambitious domestic agenda.

Former Clinton administration lawyer and P.R. strategist Lanny Davis wrote a book back in 2002 advocating this technique. “Tell it all, tell it early, tell it yourself” was the subtitle–overwhelm the press and the Washington political apparatus with information and hope for the best. The problem for Obama is, in this situation, he simply can’t do that, at least not in one fell swoop. While he technically has the power to declassify anything (see, e.g., Bush/Cheney/Libby’s handoff of Iraq intelligence to Judith Miller), in this instance, there are too many documents implicating too many national security interests, including informants, foreign government help to the U.S, the identities of interrogators and the like. Plus, Obama’s relations with the CIA are now sufficiently strained that he simply cannot take any hasty steps regarding future disclosures.

Telling the full story of what happened during this period is simply going to take time. And given Obama’s claim that the interrogation program made the U.S. less safe, the administration’s objectivity on the issue of what information must be left out of the public record is going to be constantly questioned. In this regard, an independent commission is probably a better vehicle for seeking maximum transparency than other more politically-charged fora. However, such a commission seems to be a non-starter for now. Perhaps the intelligence committees can get to the bottom of this, though I’m doubtful they can give a thorough look at whether members of Congress spoke up as forcefully as they could have.

If immediate and full disclosure is off the table, the next best thing for the White House is probably delay….

By Josh Gerstein
Politico
http://www.politico.com/blogs/joshg
erstein/0409/Obamas_torture_prob
lem_no_Lanny_Davis_way_out.html

Read the rest:

Obama Crippling CIA, Former Director Says

April 25, 2009

Since leaving my post as CIA director almost three years ago, I have remained largely silent on the public stage. I am speaking out now because I feel our government has crossed the red line between properly protecting our national security and trying to gain partisan political advantage. We can’t have a secret intelligence service if we keep giving away all the secrets. Americans have to decide now.

By Porter Goss
Former Director, CIA
Washington Post

A disturbing epidemic of amnesia seems to be plaguing my former colleagues on Capitol Hill. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, members of the committees charged with overseeing our nation’s intelligence services had no higher priority than stopping al-Qaeda. In the fall of 2002, while I was chairman of the House intelligence committee, senior members of Congress were briefed on the CIA’s “High Value Terrorist Program,” including the development of “enhanced interrogation techniques” and what those techniques were. This was not a one-time briefing but an ongoing subject with lots of back and forth between those members and the briefers.

Today, I am slack-jawed to read that members claim to have not understood that the techniques on which they were briefed were to actually be employed; or that specific techniques such as “waterboarding” were never mentioned. It must be hard for most Americans of common sense to imagine how a member of Congress can forget being told about the interrogations of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In that case, though, perhaps it is not amnesia but political expedience.

Let me be clear. It is my recollection that:

— The chairs and the ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, known as the Gang of Four, were briefed that the CIA was holding and interrogating high-value terrorists.

— We understood what the CIA was doing.

— We gave the CIA our bipartisan support.

— We gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities.

— On a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.

I do not recall a single objection from my colleagues. They did not vote to stop authorizing CIA funding. And for those who now reveal filed “memorandums for the record” suggesting concern, real concern should have been expressed immediately — to the committee chairs, the briefers, the House speaker or minority leader, the CIA director or the president’s national security adviser — and not quietly filed away in case the day came when the political winds shifted. And shifted they have.

Circuses are not new in Washington, and I can see preparations being made for tents from the Capitol straight down Pennsylvania Avenue. The CIA has been pulled into the center ring before. The result this time will be the same: a hollowed-out service of diminished capabilities. After Sept. 11, the general outcry was, “Why don’t we have better overseas capabilities?” I fear that in the years to come this refrain will be heard again: once a threat — or God forbid, another successful attack — captures our attention and sends the pendulum swinging back. There is only one person who can shut down this dangerous show: President Obama.

Unfortunately, much of the damage to our capabilities has already been done. It is certainly not trust that is fostered when intelligence officers are told one day “I have your back” only to learn a day later that a knife is being held to it. After the events of this week, morale at the CIA has been shaken to its foundation.

We must not forget: Our intelligence allies overseas view our inability to maintain secrecy as a reason to question our worthiness as a partner. These allies have been vital in almost every capture of a terrorist.

The suggestion that we are safer now because information about interrogation techniques is in the public domain conjures up images of unicorns and fairy dust. We have given our enemy invaluable information about the rules by which we operate. The terrorists captured by the CIA perfected the act of beheading innocents using dull knives. Khalid Sheik Mohammed boasted of the tactic of placing explosives high enough in a building to ensure that innocents trapped above would die if they tried to escape through windows. There is simply no comparison between our professionalism and their brutality.

Our enemies do not subscribe to the rules of the Marquis of Queensbury. “Name, rank and serial number” does not apply to non-state actors but is, regrettably, the only question this administration wants us to ask. Instead of taking risks, our intelligence officers will soon resort to wordsmithing cables to headquarters while opportunities to neutralize brutal radicals are lost.

The days of fortress America are gone. We are the world’s superpower. We can sit on our hands or we can become engaged to improve global human conditions. The bottom line is that we cannot succeed unless we have good intelligence. Trading security for partisan political popularity will ensure that our secrets are not secret and that our intelligence is destined to fail us.

The writer, a Republican, was director of the CIA from September 2004 to May 2006 and was chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 1997 to 2004.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn
/content/article/2009/04/24/AR2009
042403339.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/
04/24/public-to-white-house-move-on/