Obama’s DNI reminds Obama that “enhanced interrogation” worked
Barack Obama’s top man in the intelligence community sent the President a memo defending the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, which the White House edited before releasing to the press de-emphasizing that defense. Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, pointed out that most of what we know about al-Qaeda came from using those techniques on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah, countering leaks last week from the Obama administration that claimed the methods produced no data:
President Obama’s national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.
“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,” Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.
Admiral Blair sent his memo on the same day the administration publicly released secret Bush administration legal memos authorizing the use of interrogation methods that the Obama White House has deemed to be illegal torture. Among other things, the Bush administration memos revealed that two captured Qaeda operatives were subjected to a form of near-drowning known as waterboarding a total of 266 times.
The New York Times, which got a copy of the memo, also notices some odd redactions from the version released by the White House:
Admiral Blair’s assessment that the interrogation methods did produce important information was deleted from a condensed version of his memo released to the media last Thursday. Also deleted was a line in which he empathized with his predecessors who originally approved some of the harsh tactics after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“I like to think I would not have approved those methods in the past,” he wrote, “but I do not fault those who made the decisions at that time, and I will absolutely defend those who carried out the interrogations within the orders they were given.”
In other words, the Obama administration covered up the fact that even their own DNI acknowledges that the interrogations produced actionable and critical information. When Dick Cheney demanded the release of the rest of the memos relating that information, he wasn’t just going on a fishing expedition. Cheney filed a request to declassify those memos in March, and the CIA has yet to decide on his request, but we can no longer doubt that records exist showing the success of those interrogations.
Obama has occasionally suggested a truth-and-reconciliation approach to probing the use of torture by the Bush administration, but this establishes that Obama isn’t terribly interested in “truth”. Withholding the truth that waterboarding produced information that saved hundreds of American lives, perhaps thousands, shows that Obama values public relations more than he does the truth. He wants to argue that none of this was necessary to secure the nation against terrorist attacks. In order to make that argument, he redacted Blair’s memo, including his defense of his predecessors, whom Blair acknowledges had to face some tough decisions to uncover plots against America.
WASHINGTON – Four former CIA directors opposed releasing classified Bush-era interrogation memos, officials say, describing objections that went all the way to the White House and slowed release of the records.
Former CIA chiefs Michael Hayden, Porter Goss, George Tenet and John Deutch all called the White House in March warning that release of the so-called “torture memos” would compromise intelligence operations, current and former officials say. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in order to detail internal government discussions.
Even Obama’s OWN CURRENT CIA director pulled back from releasing the memos, said administration needed to consider the possibility that the memos’ release might expose CIA officers to lawsuits on allegations of torture and abuse, and urged more censorship.
Obama now has a proven track record of releasing – in the name of “openness and accountability” – only that information which harms his opposition, while refusing to release and even censoring any mitigating information.
Wow. The most radically liberal Senator in Congress is breaking his promise to be bipartisan and above the political divide as a “new politician,” which was at the heart of his campaign. He is turning out to be the most divisive president in modern history. What can I say? I’m speechless with shock – that there were enough fools in the country who thought he’d turn out any differently to get this leftwing ideologue elected.
And let’s be clear: the buck stops at Obama. He’s the one responsible for this partisan witch hunt, this criminalizing of political differences. If the radical left is driving the agenda, Barack Obama is still the man serving as their tool.
Update, April 27: Porter Goss – CIA director from September 2004 to May 2006, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 1997 to 2004 – described himself as being “slack-jawed” over the Democrats blatantly obvious lies and demagoguery over this issue.
An article from Atlas Shrugs entitled “Obama Crossed the Line” raises the legitimate anger that should result from Obama’s actions:
If Obama commits treason, is it legal? Obama was not brought up in the USA and lacks American DNA. The fact that he was raised in the largest Muslim country in the world and that his mother was a communist and his Kenyan father was no lover of America tells us a lot about where Obama’s sympathies lie. It tells me that for Obama, it’s payback time, and payback is a bitch.
The problem with starting a process of partisan witch hunting is that it won’t stop. You can hunt conservatives down now, Obama; but just realize that you’ll be the witch next.