One of the B-I-G stories this week was the report released by Senate Democrats on how the CIA misled the public on torture. Led by California Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a scathing document, hundreds of pages long and costing some $50 Million dollars condemning the Central Intelligence Agency usage of water-boarding and other means of torture. However, as many critics, including CIA Director John Brennan point out, there was no ′torture′. The ′Enhanced Interrogation Techniques′, or EIT, were deemed as perfectly legal. Furthermore, the report′s investigators, mainly Democrat senatorial staffers, never interviewed any key members of the CIA, Bush administration or even CIA field agents. Instead, they ′cherry-picked′ emails and cable communications. So, who is misleading whom?
Well, the answer to that comes from Sen. Feinstein herself when she admitted that the real purpose is purely political. At the end of the year, Feinstein will no longer be chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, as Republicans take over control of the Senate. So this is her last hurrah before losing power. She has a bone to pick with the CIA after they may have hacked her staff′s computers during an investigation into leaks. Apparently, Feinstein has no problem with the NSA reading the emails and files of the ordinary citizen, as the Senate just passed a bill with a new amendment giving the government even broader powers on spy on citizens. But woe unto those who look in her closets!
The Obama administration is no better, siding with the decision by Senate Democrats, yet, they will neither dump Brennan as CIA Director nor provide more transparency into their drone strike program. One of the major criticisms by the Senate Democrat report is that no useful intelligence was gained by the EIT practices. Based on comments by field agents who have talked, usually those whom have retired, as well as other sources, there is no doubt that some information from the 39 enemy non-combatants who were subjected to EIT did prove useful. Including information which helped lead to the take-down of Usama Bin Laden. Not to mention the fact that there has been no major, mass-attack by terrorists in the United States since September 2001.
In a press conference yesterday, John Brennan acknowledged that after the 9/11 attacks, the CIA scrambled to develop an interrogation protocol. They had none in place prior to the attacks. Mistakes were made as the program was thrown together. But, we must consider, in context, what the situation was like at the time. I have said often that after 9/11, the Bush administration showed remarkable restraint in our reaction to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. There was also the anthrax attacks in the mail going on, too. Bush could have easily nuked Afghanistan and nobody, not even the Russians nor Chinese, would have said ′Boo′ about it! For a brief moment in history, the whole world was with us in outrage.
I would have to say that in a choice between the Senate Democrats and the CIA as to who misled the public on torture, the Senate Democrats take the prize. The report issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Dianne Feinstein, is little more than a political, partisan hack job. They may have caused more damage than Eric Snowden has! Add to that the amendment, Section 309 of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, passed by the Senate gives the government even more power to spy on the American citizens is nothing but sheer hypocrisy! And the Senate Democrats wonder why they lost power? Between this and Obamacare, Democrats may be out in the cold for a very long time indeed.