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Democrats are feigning "amnesia", says Porter Goss

Porter J. Goss, former CIA operative, US congressman, and director of the CIA from 2004 to 2006 published a Washington Post op-ed this weekend that ripped Congressional Democrats and Obama Administration officials determined to conduct a show trial of Bush-era CIA officials over their use of enhanced interrogation techniques on Al Qaeda prisoners:

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.

That "Gang Of Four" included Senators Pat Roberts (R), chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Jay Rockefeller (D), vice-chair, and Representatives Porter J Goss (R), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and Jane Harmon (D), ranking minority member of the committee. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D) and Senator Bob Graham (D) were also present during the briefings.

Here's my prediction -- the Sgt. Schultz act by Congressional Democrats will be over very quickly, once the transcripts and meeting notes of those briefings become public. The torture witch-hunt will then quietly go away, just like the once-ballyhooed Enron investigation. Remember that Congressional fishing expedition? It also quietly folded once the extent of Democratic/Clinton Administration involvement in Enron's late 1990's sweetheart deals became widely known.

So until that happens, just sit back and enjoy the show. Keep pushing your Senators and Representatives to demand the release of all the memos related to the CIA interrogation proceedings and Congressional briefings, and have faith that even though the interrogation techniques we used seven years ago have been discontinued and are now a matter of public record, our interrogators still have plenty of successful tricks up their sleeves for extracting information from high-value prisoners.

Lorie adds: What Porter Goss said reminded me of one of my favorite post 9/11 quotes, from humorist Dave Barry:

"The people who did this to us are monsters; the people who cheered them have hate-sickened minds. One reason they can cheer is that they know we would never do to them what their heroes did to us, even though we could, a thousand times worse. They know that when we hunt down the monsters, we will try hard not to harm the innocent. Those are the handcuffs we willingly wear, because for all our flaws, we are a decent people." -- Dave Barry
All those today who are trying so hard to muster outrage (and support for prosecution) at the Americans tasked with keeping the country safe frankly make me sick. They direct their outrage at the Bush administration while ignoring Democrats in Congress and elsewhere who wholeheartedly supported and funded the use of enhanced interrogation techniques to acquire information to prevent future attacks. Dave Barry was right. We do not condone beheading innocent women and children (or anyone for that matter), or raping people while forcing their loved ones to watch, or strapping bombs to children and brainwashing them to join jihad. Evidently it is necessary to remind Americans of the evil we are battling and that evil it is not CIA waterboarding.


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Comments (23)

As I said a few days ago, a... (Below threshold)
sam:

As I said a few days ago, all this "memos" talk is nothing but another bone thrown to the Loony Left, to keep the campaign funds flowing to the Dem party.

Neither Obama nor the Congressional Democrats have any stomach for finding what Nancy Pelosi knew, and when she knew it.

This is just another moonbat exercise, a la the John Conyers' Bush Impeachment Hearings. Anyone remember how that is coming along?

To repeat what I said on an... (Below threshold)
RicardoVerde:

To repeat what I said on another thread. All of these things are simply diversions to keep the media from reporting about cap and trade, socialized health care, etc. We are being played.

Jamie Gorelic sighs in reli... (Below threshold)
914:

Jamie Gorelic sighs in relief

Their feigning intelligence... (Below threshold)
914:

Their feigning intelligence as well.

"...Senator Bob Graham (D) ... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"...Senator Bob Graham (D) were also present during the briefings."

Former Senator Bob Graham has (I believe) recently indicated that in no way was he informed that conservatives were gleefully torturing prisoners in the name of Jesus Christ, and that he certainly did not give his approval to all this. He's seeking an investigation.

Democrats have several line... (Below threshold)

Democrats have several lines of "defense" here:

- we didn't understand what we were told ("We're stupid!")
- we didn't realize WE had full power over this starting in 2006...and didn't stop it ("We're incompetent")
- we tried to tell the public, but the press is just so HOSTILE to us! ("We're unbelieveable")

so many excuses, so little time!

but they need to hurry and get the Kangaroo Kourts going to distract America, before people notice Sen. Feinstein's MASSIVE ethics violation, Sen. Dodd's fingerprints all over the real estate mess, and the massive fraud going on regarding the "stimulus bill"

I will say this again when ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I will say this again when this all cropped up a couple of weeks ago, Bring It On. I am confident every high ranking elected official, every one, knew what was going on. Barry is shooting blanks. He does not have the balls. ww

All this "can't recall," "d... (Below threshold)
JJ:

All this "can't recall," "didn't understand," etc bull crap....they're admitting outright that they're either totally incompetent, liars, or both. Why should we believe a word out of their mouths?

Whoa! Everybody! Follow ML'... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Whoa! Everybody! Follow ML's second hyperlink (to the WP article), and then follow the WP's link to the DNI briefing of "senior congressional" pantloads (pdf).

___The term "waterboarding" cannot be found therein, but there is mention of the "children"(!?).

___Interrogators are at least "43 years old"...?

___"procedures" are *guaranteed* to not "violate" the "US Constitution, any US statute, or US treaty obligations", but certain detainees may be held in a "foreign state".

OBVIOUS conclusion: DNI knows waterboarding is torture and thus lards on buzzwords to absolve DNI of culpability via the appraisal of senior congressional pantloads. Senior Congressional Pantloads assume a quick and successful war will render History moot (for 50 years or so) on any possible misjudgment on their part.

My friendliest appraisal: dereliction of duty requiring impeachment of all parties.

P.S. And I only SCANNED the report.

epilogue re: above: It's a ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

epilogue re: above: It's a SHORT report. Must read. It WILL impinge!

____good post, M.L.

bryanD...if you mean impeac... (Below threshold)

bryanD...if you mean impeachment of the Congress Critters now doing the Sgt Schultz tango then I am with you. Else...

bryanD...if you mean impeac... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

bryanD...if you mean impeachment of the Congress Critters now doing the Sgt Schultz tango then I am with you. Else...
11. Posted by Justrand

What part of "all parties" don't you understand?

READ the report I (and M.L...kinda, on accident(?)) recommended. It's a fricken PRIMARY SOURCE. (And may it be copied forever, Selah!)

**Jeeez! Effing Bushbots!**

Another way to do this woul... (Below threshold)

Another way to do this would be to have security squads dropped aboard after the ship clears national waters. Security crews seem to me to be a better solution than arming the ship's crew.

bryanD, I read thru it...yo... (Below threshold)

bryanD, I read thru it...your BDS hangover appears to be showing

"bryanD, I read thru it...y... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"bryanD, I read thru it...your BDS hangover appears to be showing"_justrand

Question:

How can I have "BDS" if you drank the "B"?

Off-topic: just watched the... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Off-topic: just watched the final "The Sopranos" episode on A&E. It sucks worse than I could have imagined!

Apart from having to reconcile the "plot" to Common Sense On Earth, the dialogue consisting of "mwuh-mwuh-mwuh!" was a real chore as usual.

David Chase is a fag.

Sincerely, bryanD

It is reprehensible that th... (Below threshold)
Amber:

It is reprehensible that the Obama administration seeks vengeance on the prior Bush administration. First, he wasn't going to go after them and then he changed his mind. You have to think that the initial idea was his own and that he just wanted to move forward. But, then someone got in his ear and now we have the show trial headed our way. I agree that it is a distraction. This administration is chucked full of distractions. The absolutely stupid thing about this so-called torture is that we, the US, trained our military using the same techniques so that they would know how it felt and they could somehow escape or survive based on their experience. So, under the Democrat thought processes, we must surely have tortured our own troops. Waterboarding of THREE individuals and scaring enemy combatants with bugs, sleep deprivation, and confined spaces pales in comparision with slitting throats and dismembering bodies. These tactics are not torture in the sense that most Americans perceive torture. They think we are stupid. They want us stupid. The Democrats have forgotten 9/11. Bush kept us safe for the rest of his presidency and Obama hates that. He wants America crippled and dependent on government so he can justify his expansion. If this goes forward we will have the Obama administration to fully blame for: disclosing the tactics used that made America safe, criminalizing the very lawyers who put the directives together, tying the hands of CIA operatives for fear of being brought up on charges, demonizing the people who came up and ordered the tactics be carried out based on completely legal advice and circumstances at the time (reeling from 9/11 and the potential for further attacks, the tactics couldn't be wimpy...even though most people (not DEMS, though) would think they were, and finally, Pelosi and other key DEMS lying about not being briefed or cognizant of the fact that these tactics were actually going to be used. Obama the puppet, is crossing the line here in going after a former administration. Hopefully, he will piss enough people off so that he rightfully misses a 2nd term. America is going to hell in a hand bucket with an arrogant captain slinging tax payer money in all the wrong directions and embracing the wrong initiatives. It is truly disgraceful, embarrassing and so very frustrating to watch.

Democrats can't function wi... (Below threshold)
Sam:

Democrats can't function without a "great Satan" to be angry at and blame everything on. now that Bush is out of the picture, they are trying to keep the hate focused on him and anyone--anything so that the public won't notice the corruption of the TARP, their greedy earmarks, etc.

Based on the memos, I class... (Below threshold)
James H:

Based on the memos, I classify a lot of what was done to detainees as "torture." I would like to see investigations, assignment of responsibility, and safeguards against this sort of thing happening again.

If that inquiry leads to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's disgrace, that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

The main problem I see with... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

The main problem I see with this whole issue is what is torture and what is not. I watched someone waterboarded on video. That was not torture. Being forced to kneel on rice kernels might be torture as it hurts, but the discomfort of waterboarding is not pain. Torture must inflict pain. Not briefly such as slapping. Beating someone is not torture. However tying hands behind the back and then hanging a person up by their hands, overhead would be very painful for most and I would consider that torture. As long as the term torture is abstract, it allows those who oppose any but the most gentle treatment of others to call whatever act they wish torture. Electric shock is torture, skinning alive is torture. Waterboarding is not torture.

There will be no investigat... (Below threshold)
Quark:

There will be no investigation now that Pelosi and crew have been acknowledged as knowing about it. The political advantage of an "independent" investigation is gone, so they won't be perusing that I suspect. (No one honestly believed this was about "morality" and not politics, did they?)

Sure, there will be some posturing and posing to make it seem it is still an issue for a little while, but there is no way the Demos will have an independent investigation. That would expose their role and involvement - Not going to happen. They condoned the techniques, whether through action or inaction, there is no way they want that widely known.

So, the troops who are incarcerated will stay incarcerated and the people who put them in that situation will eventually sweep it under the carpet and carry on pretending that they are "outraged" by the "torture" and continue pretending their hands are clean.

And the American public will happily accept it and move on to the next "outrage" that catches their fleeting attention. And through their inaction will also be complicit in keeping these troops in jail for actions that were "legal" - at least at the time.

Watching illegals being bus... (Below threshold)
914:

Watching illegals being bused in to vote for Obama in Iowa.. Now thats torture.

James H., this is not only ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

James H., this is not only about political leaders, this can effect long serving public servants. This "kangaroo court" will hurt this country immensely probably to the point of making our government impotent in areas of national security. No one wants to do their job knowing that in the future, they may be prosecuted because they changed the rules in the middle of the game. Grow up.

I still say Barry does not have the balls. ww




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