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Obama Reverses Stance On Enhanced Interrogation "Truth" Commission

President Obama's Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today that the President is reconsidering comments he made Tuesday that a Truth Commission would be a proper venue to investigate alleged abuses by Bush administration officials on the matter of aggressive interrogation.

On Tuesday, Obama raised the prospect of legal consequences for Bush administration officials who authorized harsh interrogation techniques applied to "high value" terrorism suspects, and said if Congress is intent on investigating the tactics, an independent commission might provide a less partisan forum than a congressional panel.

Today the President was having second thoughts....

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs sought to clarify the president's views this afternoon, telling reporters at the daily White House briefing that "the president determined the concept didn't seem altogether workable in this case." Gibbs added, "The last few days might be evidence of why something like this might just become a political back and forth."

Let me decode that comment for readers: the President has been taking a whipping on this issue since Tuesday unlike anything he has experienced since taking office. The New York Times summed this up nicely yesterday:

Mr. Obama and his allies need to discredit the techniques he has banned. Otherwise, in the event of a future terrorist attack, critics may blame his decision to rein in C.I.A. interrogators.

Congratulations to the Times for getting it right. They succinctly described what most Americans intuitively believe about this issue in spite of the non stop screeching on the Left about torture. It's a political calculation for the President wherein he determined that he will be a net loser by allowing the prosecution of his predecessor's staff. Dick Cheney has won this debate.

H/T Hugh Hewitt


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Comments (50)

Neither Obama nor Congressi... (Below threshold)
sam:

Neither Obama nor Congressional Democrats can handle the truth.

They have no stomach for finding out what Nancy Pelosi knew, and when she knew it.

All the clamor about "torture" has always been a ploy by the Democrats to raise money from the lefty kooks.

Enhanced Interrogation.... (Below threshold)
epador:

Enhanced Interrogation.

What could be more PC?

All that brings to mind is some of the not so nice things that happened in 'nam involving helicopters and bound prisoners.

Obama was going great guns ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Obama was going great guns until someone brought up how much the Democrats knew and when they knew it. Can't be parading that around the country. Would spoil the theme that "it was all Bush's fault, like Nancy says, 'we knew nothing'". Just like Sgt Shultz.

Fucking lying hypocrites!

I'm actually rather glad to... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I'm actually rather glad to see Obama do this. It makes me think that he realizes in real life (outside the Beltway and the political and semantic games politicians love to play) there's people who don't play by the Washington political rules.

Convict and imprison everyo... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Convict and imprison everyone involved. It will be sad to see Dick leave his beautiful wife and Condi her girlfriend but crime is crime.

jp2 - FOAD.""t... (Below threshold)
marc:

jp2 - FOAD.

""the president determined the concept didn't seem altogether workable in this case."

Little late determining that concept.

Let me see if I understand this obama when asked about the CIA memos after their release said he was looking forward not backward. (cue the George Soros call)

24 hours later when asked he flipped, but in doing so put on full display what a spineless twit he is by effectively pushing the matter off to Holder at Justice. (cue the nattering naybobs, not to mention CIA careerists, with pitchforks)

Another 24 hours passes by and the tink, tink, tink of the pitchfork tines can be heard at the WH windows and he's right back where he started less than 72 hours ago. (and pelosi's phony-baloney job is safe. For now.)

And some claim Bush was an idiot.

I knew Barry didn't have th... (Below threshold)

I knew Barry didn't have the stones to follow through on this.

Perhaps someone reminded him that one day he will be out of office and he will then be on the receiving end of whatever precedent he sets.

Turnabout's fair play.

It's also a bitch.

Frankly I am disappointed. ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Frankly I am disappointed. Barry will eventually ruin his career, but this truth commission would have hurt his presidency irreparably. If he wants to succeed, he needs to cut off communication with the extreme left. Just watching Nancy Pelosi was more painful then when I usually watch her. She is firmly behind the enhanced interrogation decision at the timme. ww

This "torture controversy" ... (Below threshold)
SER Author Profile Page:

This "torture controversy" is now going to "go away." It has proved more of an embarrassment to President Obama and Speaker Pelosi than to the previous administration. The lefties may still whine about it, but the MSM is going to forget all about it.

How about that.Oba... (Below threshold)
Hank:

How about that.

Obama pwned by Cheney.

Oh, poor leftists. They wa... (Below threshold)

Oh, poor leftists. They wanted the whole CIA "Plamegate" to bring President Bush and VP Cheney down. They were calling it "Fitzmas" and getting all excited dreaming about White House officials doing the "perp walk." No go. Fitzmas was a fizzle.

Then as soon as Obama was elected, the leftists began clamoring for a war crimes trial. They were so sure that Obama would haul the now-private citizen Bush up before a howling mob and, well, lynch him or something. Awwwww. Not going to happen.

Leftists invested so much hatred and so much dark desire toward Bush, Cheney, Rove and Rice that they are left with nothing but a gaping hole inside them. I guess we all know what they are going to do to fill that hole: Hate Sarah Palin! Yeah!

Government interrogators <a... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Government interrogators dispute the usefulness of torture, which adds to the fact that it's morally reprehensible and is only practiced by bad people with no principles.

Dick Cheney hasn't won anything. He's only solidifying his place in history's pantheon of cold-blooded monsters.

I apologize if anyone took ... (Below threshold)
Hyperapologist:

I apologize if anyone took my mention of the pantheon of cold-blooded monsters as disparaging. Why, my heroes, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, are members!

However, belonging to the pantheon of hyperventilating, lying, Canadian losers is much more prestigious.

hyperbolist: "Dick Chene... (Below threshold)

hyperbolist: "Dick Cheney hasn't won anything. He's only solidifying his place in history's pantheon of cold-blooded monsters."

"Cold blooded monsters"?

I'll take Dick Cheney over Neville Chamberlain on this. Cheney and Bush did what was RIGHT to disrupt terrorists operations after 9/11. (my piece at BeJohnGalt today is about this). Cheney and Bush made some terrorists uncomfortable!!

Neville Chamberlain is responsible for TENS OF MILLIONS OF DEATHS.

Chamberlain sought to postpone a war...and he did so. Instead of the world going to war in 1936, or 1937 or even 1938, the world went to war in 1939. In 1939 Hitler was ready...and the world paid a massive price!

Make terrorists "uncomfortable"...or wait until they kill thousnads of Americans and THEN go to war...and put even MORE Americans at risk??? I'll take "Terrorists Uncomfortable for $1000"

Yeah, I guess I'd take Chen... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Yeah, I guess I'd take Cheney over Joseph Stalin, while we're making meaningless comparisons of 20th century politicians.

I wonder, though, about your contention that Neville Chamberlain was responsible for "tens of millions of deaths"--I could have sworn that was Hitler! That bit of confusion aside, do you think that the British could have prevented the Germans from taking France, Czechoslovakia, and Poland? My hawkish military history professor--a defender of the bombing of Dresden, no less--disagrees with you. Germany was strong enough to do whatever it wanted on the continent prior to Russia and the United States joining the conflict, and had Britain left its ground forces in France, they would have been destroyed and unavailable for the invasion in 1944.

Your last paragraph makes no sense, unless you're speaking hypothetically. And torture isn't about discomfort. Waterboarding isn't about making someone "uncomfortable"--it's about convincing them that they are being drowned. It's barbaric and it's embarrassing that people here defend the practice.

Justrand, for the reasonabl... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Justrand, for the reasonable side, I know the point you made. Hitlers Germany was not ready to take on a war in 1937 so with immediate intervension from Chamberlain at that time would have stopped a lot of mass murder. Hyper only like the sound of his own point. I know he realized what you met but he is, as usual, obstinate. ww

He was against it before he... (Below threshold)
wright:

He was against it before he was for it before he was against it.

What are the odd of Gibbs l... (Below threshold)
macofromoc:

What are the odd of Gibbs lasting 2 years as Press Secretary??? Seems like there should be a Wizbang Offce Pool. I'd choose 2/13/10.

Two years? No way. One year... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Two years? No way. One year. Janet Napolitano first. Within three months and announced on a Friday evening.

I eagerly await the next Barry Press Show. Maybe he will call on Tapper or Garret, but he will probably stick with the favorites. ABCNBCCBSPBSCNBCCNN. ww

"Government interrogators d... (Below threshold)
Garandfan:

"Government interrogators dispute the usefulness of torture..."

Odd, the head spy says otherwise. Perhaps those other "interrogators" weren't involved and don't know what they are talking about. Wouldn't be the first time in Washington.

Of course Barry could release ALL the info, but that might be damage he doesn't want to deal with.

embarrassing?...barbaric?..... (Below threshold)
Ran56:

embarrassing?...barbaric?.. Ok Hypo.. I'll accept those labels, and gladly waterboard to save american lives. All the time remembering what they did to our american soldiers, ever see pictures of their remains? Take your "Canadian" Highroad and stick it where you sit. I, for one, have no interest what so ever about how YOU feel about what WE do here. Sit back and "Observe" boy.. we'll call you if we need a laugh.

This is what you can expect... (Below threshold)
Constitution First:

This is what you can expect, when you are owned by George Soros.

"I own the Democrat Party" - Uncle George 2004.

Yes, you sure do George.

Ran, it's not like this has... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Ran, it's not like this has no effect on Canada or its policies. Stephen Harper dry humped Bush's leg for a couple of years and now that Obama has softened your country's stance on illegitimate detention, Harper is being forced to do the same by the media and the public.

If you would waterboard a suspect to save lives, then you're not one of the good guys. Perhaps you would feel more at home in Saudi Arabia or Iran?

"If you would waterboard a ... (Below threshold)
Ran56:

"If you would waterboard a suspect to save lives, then you're not one of the good guys"... Thank You for that. Coming from you that's a compliment. Meanwhile, sleep well knowing WE are here to protect your elitist ass!
Again.. HAVE you seen the results of what they did to US TROOPS?

Barry the flip floppin chic... (Below threshold)
914:

Barry the flip floppin chicken crap and his contemptible non taxpayer league of appointees just had their asses handed to them.

I wonder why Barry stopped ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I wonder why Barry stopped the Supreme Court approved Military Tribunals? I should say very legitimate trials.

Ran56, you are wasting your breath engaging Hyper(bole). You are correct though. He is an elitist. ww

Yup. And some of my friends... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Yup. And some of my friends' comrades were murdered in Afghanistan by roadside bombs. And yet none of them are so bloodthirsty and morally compromised as to suggest that we should torture people who might be able to provide valuable information as to the bombers' whereabouts.

Becoming more like the terrorists--even incrementally so--diminishes the light of America's 'shining beacon on a hill'. Stop defending the use of 'enhanced interrogation techniques'. It's unbecoming of civilized, principled people.

" Stop defending the use of... (Below threshold)
914:

" Stop defending the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. Its unbecoming of civilized principled people."

Partial birth abortion is way beyond these techniques, yet I suppose to the left there is nothing uncivilized unbecoming or babaric about it at all.

Touche' 914. The liberal po... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Touche' 914. The liberal policies kill more innocents then any other. ww

I apologize - I mistyped. ... (Below threshold)
Hyperapologist:

I apologize - I mistyped. What I meant to say was: "And some of my friends' comrades committed murder in Afghanistan by planting roadside bombs."

#32: nice. Piss on Canadian... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

#32: nice. Piss on Canadian soldiers' graves, who died trying to bring those who aided and abetted the 9/11 hijackers to justice. Fucking ghoul.

"Yup. And some of my friend... (Below threshold)
Ran56:

"Yup. And some of my friends' comrades were murdered in Afghanistan by roadside bombs. And yet none of them are so bloodthirsty and morally compromised as to suggest that we should torture people who might be able to provide valuable information as to the bombers' whereabouts."

My GOD Hypo! Have you always been so naive? "I have a friend of a friend"? Geeze!
All Ive ever heard you do is attack "America's 'shining beacon on a hill" again, tend to your own country! leave ours alone!

Your friends feelings are their own, I promise you, they have not shared with you what's deep inside, if you believe they did, put the cool aid down.

Two rules of war: 1- Stay alive! and 2- There ARE no rules. Only what your beliefs dictate.

And YOU STILL have not answered my question!. why are you avoiding it?.. Have you EVER seen what they do to our troops?

"#32: nice. Piss on Canadia... (Below threshold)
Ran56:

"#32: nice. Piss on Canadian soldiers' graves, who died trying to bring those who aided and abetted the 9/11 hijackers to justice. Fucking ghoul."

did you serve Hypo?

Did I say that I did? What ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Did I say that I did? What did I make reference to in comment #29?

When four Canadian soldiers were murdered by a doped-up American fighter pilot, our country continued to support the mission in Afghanistan, which we were executing basically on behalf of our American allies. So, a) fuck you, and b) you're welcome.

LMAO!.. That's what I thoug... (Below threshold)
Ran56:

LMAO!.. That's what I thought. Another "Armchair moralist". Hasn't a CLUE about combat.

"So, a) fuck you, and b) you're welcome." I hit a nerve?..*think I've just been Tortured!*.. LOL

(you left out "Barbarian")

I know plenty about combat.... (Below threshold)
Hyperapologist:

I know plenty about combat. My Jihadi friends, none of whom are black, thankfully, tell me all sorts of things about it.

Yeah, we know son, carry on... (Below threshold)
Ran56:

Yeah, we know son, carry on. *S*.. Oh!.. did THEY ever show you what they did to our troops?

STILL HAVEN'T ANSWERED THAT QUESTION!...LOL

Oh, cool: it's petty and ch... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Oh, cool: it's petty and childish for liberals to call Iraq War proponents 'chickenhawks', but I'm somehow an armchair moralist for taking pride in my country's armed forces; empathizing with our soldiers; and taking offence on their behalf when chuckleheaded non-wits--at no risk of being punched in the face unlike if they were to say these things in a bar in Montreal or Toronto--slag our soldiers and their efforts.

The actions of bad people towards your soldiers do not in any way justify inhumane treatment towards them. "They did bad things, so we can do bad things, just not quite as bad." You're a moral relativist, which means your opinions aren't worth the stains on your underwear.

hyper - "Government int... (Below threshold)
marc:

hyper - "Government interrogators dispute the usefulness of torture, which adds to the fact that it's morally reprehensible and is only practiced by bad people with no principles."

pssst, hyper, at best ALI SOUFAN is disingenuous. At worst he's a certified liar.

hyper, cast aside your "OMG it's a right wing blog, got to ignore it" shtick and take in the info including all the Inspector General PDF files. You might actually learn something that hasn't been thru the NYT, morOn.org BS filter.

Secondly you and the others that have bombarded this place on this issue seem to be on the outside looking in.

If you don't think that had everything to do with obama's flip, flop and a second flip over this issue you're just not paying attention.

hyper - "If you would w... (Below threshold)
marc:

hyper - "If you would waterboard a suspect to save lives, then you're not one of the good guys. Perhaps you would feel more at home in Saudi Arabia or Iran?"

"Suspect" my aching ass. All three, read that again all THREE, weren't "suspects." They were three known jihadist-cut-throats at the very top echelon of a terrorist organization that killed over 3,000 innocents.

Easy to use that term for you isn't it? Perhaps you would feel more at home in the Gaza Strip.

*sifting through Hypo's BS.... (Below threshold)
Ran56:

*sifting through Hypo's BS.. nope.. STILL NO ANSWER!*... Canada's answer to doing the "Moonwalk" on a Slip&Slide water toy... """""""HYPO!"""""""

"They did bad things, so we can do bad things, just not quite as bad."

What's this "WE" stuff?.. I said "I" would, and I'd enjoy it... cuz son, I HAVE SEEN the results of their torture. Not nice.

Hyper 1. No one wh... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Hyper

1. No one who we did the enhanced integration techniques were maimed , physically harmed or killed.
2. It was done to get information
3. We did not do it for Fun or to the victims.

Now the lets look at the jihadist, the y HACK of PEOPLE HEADS, They KILLL women for not going out covered. They do horrible things to people's children. They do it for FUN.
So the ARAB street cans FOAD if they do not hold their own people to higher standard.

Oh yeah why isn't BHO sending everyone these terrorist back to their nice counties?
Because those countries will really torture them.

If we need the information to protect American and other western Democracies from these murders so be it.

P.S. hyper - "When four... (Below threshold)
marc:

P.S. hyper - "When four Canadian soldiers were murdered by a doped-up American fighter pilot, our country continued to support the mission in Afghanistan, which we were executing basically on behalf of our American allies."

Canada may be supporting the mission, you on the other hand find it very easy to denigrate the service of an U.S. Air National Guard pilot by calling him "doped up."

If you have proof of that charge I'd be more than happy to read it however, considering your past history I have serious doubts you can provide it.

And BTW, two pilots were involved, U.S. air force Maj. Harry Schmidt and wingman, Maj. William Umbach, you can't even get that part of the story right.

914, I suspect hyper... (Below threshold)
maggie:

914,
I suspect hyperbolist posts tongue in cheek.
He's all over the map with his im/morality
preachifying. It all depends on what the
subject is as to it being moral or not in
his/her book.

I do believe Dick Cheney is... (Below threshold)
Justice58:

I do believe Dick Cheney is gonna be perp walked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

j58 - "I do believe Dic... (Below threshold)
marc:

j58 - "I do believe Dick Cheney is gonna be perp walked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Yeah, and you believe Nifong is the greatest prosecutor since Clyde Barrow although he's a political hack who's been disbarred.

Keep dreaming j58, chickenhawk obama hasn't the balls to get Cheney or anyone else.

BTW j58 - Where are all tho... (Below threshold)
marc:

BTW j58 - Where are all those Secret Service agents you were sending my way?

Dipshit.

Keep dreaming j58, chick... (Below threshold)
Justice58:

Keep dreaming j58, chickenhawk obama hasn't the balls to get Cheney or anyone else.

No Marc. Cheney will do some time. He's going down with his arrogant ugly a**! He'll have plenty of time to think about the innocent soldiers that died in a War that is based on a freaking lie!

The pilot who murdered four... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

The pilot who murdered four Canadian soldiers is suspected of having been on amphetamines.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarnak_Farm_incident

I wasn't making that up. As for "denigrating his service", I think he did that on his own. Read the letter of reprimand: he is a disgraceful human being.

Torture fans have made their point: the ends justify the means. Fucked up way of looking at the world, but there it is.

hyper - "The pilot who ... (Below threshold)
marc:

hyper - "The pilot who murdered four Canadian soldiers is suspected of having been on amphetamines."

Interesting word "suspected," suspected is not proof, and you have none. And neither did the Courts Marshal.

Here's the dirty little secret you don't know or won't acknowledge, those pilots and every member of the U.S. Military routinely undergo piss tests.

They also undergo piss tests immediately following incidents such as this. Do you see any charges related to amphetamine usage in the disposition of the case? If so, get your eyes checked.

So your "suspected" is just a wet dream your grasping at.

And please, don't give me any crap about how the defense used the use of amphetamines as part of the case. Any lawyer worth his weight in gold would do the same whether true or not.

Nice try, but overall you get a grade of D-.




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