Dogs on the hill 0

Newsmax.TV’s Ashley Martella cited the announcement that the Defense Department is going to release many pictures showing alleged abuse by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and asked [Former Senator, TV star and presidential candidate] Fred Thompson what purpose that might serve.

“None, other than to serve as propaganda tools for our worst enemies,” Thompson said. “This was set in motion when the president first decided to release CIA memos on interrogation techniques used on terrorist suspects … There was no purpose in doing that except to make him look good internationally and to the left wing here at home … It did a lot of damage. In one stroke of a pen he declassified top-secret documents that people would otherwise go to jail for releasing. It gave al-Qaida and the Taliban a blueprint as to the outer limits of our interrogation techniques. We have to remember that [the techniques were used] in the aftermath of 9/11. Congress was briefed on these techniques. Some of them asked if they were really going far enough to get what they needed to get, and it was approved at high levels in the administration. They carefully crafted them as best they could to not go too far, and to provide safeguards when they were carrying out these admittedly rough techniques on these people who had this vital information.

“So now we’re really talking about a war crimes tribunal, which this country has never done. We’ve never brought to criminal court prior administrations in this country. Harry Truman could have been accused of war crimes, I suppose, for dropping the bombs. President Obama authorized the killing of those three [pirates] in the Indian Ocean not too long ago. Prosecuting these people under these circumstances is something you hear about in banana republics and third-world countries, not the United States of America. The president’s opened up a terrible Pandora’s Box and there’s going to be a price to pay before this thing is ended.”

Martella asked if the Obama administration was acquiescing to its far-left base when it released the CIA memos on interrogation techniques.

“I think in this case, in all probability, they thought that they could cater to their left wing, appease their demands, by releasing these memos and then it might not go any further,” Thompson said. “Because surely they were able to see that this was bad for them the way it’s going to be bad for the country. This is going to have ramifications that are far-reaching. They thought they could put the genie back in the bottle after they opened it, and of course appeasement never works that way.

“There was a firestorm. The attorney general’s received 250 names in a petition to urge the appointment of a special prosecutor for this. The left-wing blogs went nuts. They started running television ads and so forth. And then after promising that there would be no prosecutions, [Obama] acquiesced and now opened the door for that. So I think it’s a case of naivete, ineptitude and unbelievable arrogance and lack of experience.

“We elected someone who didn’t have two minutes’ worth of experience with regard to matters concerning national security. Now he’s cast in this position and he’s making decisions that are going to have far-reaching ramifications not only abroad, and not only with our enemies, but in dividing our country even further here at home in ways I don’t think we’ve ever been divided before. We’re going to have members of Congress testifying against each other if they go down this road.”

Martella noted that Rep. Peter King of New York has said that if Democrats do go ahead and attempt to prosecute Bush administration CIA interrogation lawyers, the Republicans should “go to war” with them.

“That just gives you an example of the atmosphere on Capitol Hill today,” Thompson observed. People are angry. People are upset. You’ve got people on the left, you’ve got the Democrats talking about truth commissions, talking about investigations and Congressional hearings and urging prosecution. They’re fighting among each other on the Democratic side as to just how they should go and how far they should go.

"Some of these Democrats are the same people who were briefed on these techniques back in 2002,” Thompson said, “including Nancy Pelosi, who’s not telling the truth now, who’s trying to parse words and trying to get around the fact that she knew what was going on, as others did back when this happened. That creates a new level of animosity like I’ve never seen before, and I served in the Senate for eight years. The dogs of war have been loosed in this country and I don’t know what is going to happen before we see the end of it. But none of it’s going to be good.” 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, April 27, 2009

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Pre-emptive cringing 2

 David Limbaugh writes:

It’s ludicrous to entertain seriously the notion that if we’d just start being nicer, we could improve our international image and make ourselves safer, especially when you consider that being nicer entails lowering our guard and playing into the enemy’s hands on a number of fronts.

But this is precisely the kind of silliness that is driving Obama’s foreign policy. From the get-go, Obama has been apologizing to the world for the "arrogance" and brutality of the United States; bowing before, kissing and warmly accepting America-bashing books from foreign kings and dictators; flirting with nuclear disarmament while rogue nations rush, undeterred, to join the nuclear club; contemplating serious defense budget cuts across the board, which could jeopardize essential weapons systems; insisting that we cashier war terminology by substituting "overseas contingency operations" for "war on terror" and "man-caused disasters" for "terrorist attacks"; and now releasing internal CIA memos detailing enhanced interrogation techniques, which have demonstrably prevented attacks and saved lives.

Obama pretended to agonize over his decision to release the memos over the objections of his own intelligence officials, but there is no excuse for the damage it will do to our national security by neutralizing the future use of these procedures and inviting "the kind of institutional timidity and fear of recrimination that weakened our intelligence gathering in the past," in the words of former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden. Making it worse, we got nothing in return except for Obama’s selective nod to "transparency," as if it’s prudent to be transparent with classified intelligence involving our national security.

It is axiomatic that ideas have consequences, a theme being played out by the Obama administration’s turning a blind eye to the magnitude of terrorist evil and seeing a rough moral equivalence between beheadings by terrorists and aggressive American interrogation techniques to extract lifesaving information from terrorists.

Commentators who believe Obama only released the "torture memos" to appease his bloodthirsty, Bush-hating, leftist base, which would be bad enough, are missing the point that  Obama shares his base’s beliefs. Obama is commander in chief, and his guiding foreign policy doctrine is "peace through weakness."

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

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