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07-10-09, 06:43 PM #1
About that CIA 'Lie' - House Democrats play politics with national security to protect Pelosi
As political spectacles go, one would be hard pressed to find anything as ridiculous as the Washington Romper Room now starring Congressional Democrats and the CIA. If only the consequences weren't potentially so damaging for national security.
The latest episode comes courtesy of Silvestre Reyes, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. In a letter leaked to the press on Wednesday, he claims the agency "misled" Congress about its activities after 9/11. Recall that this all started when Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted the CIA failed to brief her in 2002 about aggressive interrogations during her time on Intelligence earlier this decade. CIA Director Leon Panetta in May said the agency didn't, as policy or practice, "mislead Congress." Briefing notes from the time showed Mrs. Pelosi was told and didn't object to waterboarding. The CIA this week felt compelled to issue another denial in response to the Reyes letter.
Mr. Panetta must feel burned. After the Pelosi blow-up, he has tried to repair relations with his own party's Congressional leaders, and last month he reached out to the Intelligence Committee. On June 24, in a classified hearing, Mr. Panetta produced so-called new information about CIA counterterrorism efforts in the months after the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. We're told that he informed the Members that the agency had considered, then abandoned, a major covert antiterror program. (Our sources wouldn't say what it was.) Bush-era CIA officials didn't tell Congress because it never got off the ground. But this is the "at least one case" Mr. Reyes claims his committee was "lied to" about in the Bush years.
There's apparently no limit to how far Speaker Pelosi's friends on the Hill are willing to go to salvage her reputation. The intentions are transparent enough. The Reyes letter was addressed to Peter Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on Intelligence. Mr. Hoekstra yesterday said the media received the missive before he did. And two days after the Panetta testimony last month, six Democratic Members of the committee called on the CIA Director to "correct" his statement in May that the CIA doesn't lie to Congress. He didn't. The six are allies of Speaker Pelosi. Her public standing -- and poll numbers -- have been battered since her run-in with Mr. Panetta and the facts this spring.
To his credit, Mr. Panetta sees the obvious danger to morale at the agency and its ability to perform its essential job, and is standing up for his troops. But the Democratic attack isn't limited to bad-mouthing America's intelligence professionals. As dangerous is the intelligence authorization bill before Congress.
House Democrats have set out to hobble the CIA and further handcuff the executive branch. Republicans, naturally, were frozen out. At Speaker Pelosi's insistence, gone would be the right of the President to limit disclosure of sensitive information to the so-called Gang of Eight -- the House Speaker and Minority Leader, Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, and the Chairmen and ranking Members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. This authority would pass to Congress. The bill would also expand disclosure requirements for all sorts of intelligence activities.
This is a recipe for more leaks and more compromised CIA operations. Congress claims it needs to better monitor Presidential intelligence decisions. But the real lesson of the last few years is that Congress wants to know about, and often second-guess, intelligence decisions without being responsible for the result. Mrs. Pelosi could have objected to waterboarding but didn't at the time, becoming a critic only when it became a political uproar. Senator Jay Rockefeller could have resisted warrantless wiretaps of al Qaeda but instead wrote a letter and stuck it in a drawer.
The original sin was President Carter's for conceding so much intelligence supervision to Congress in the 1970s. The Obama White House is right to resist giving away any more, and on Wednesday it threatened to veto the Democratic bill. House Members who are willing to put the politics of protecting their Speaker above national security can't be trusted with adult decisions on intelligence and war-fighting.
07-10-09, 07:00 PM #2
Pelosi and her buddies will only be happy when the CIA is abolished. Hell why does the Obama Administration need the CIA. They have ACORN......SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM-Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"
"It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
-General Omar Bradley, United States Army
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