The Obama administration completely reversed itself within the span of a day over its decision to throw the Bush administration officials to the dogs over their decisions in trying to keep this country safe following 9/11.
He went from:
April 20: (AP) President Barack Obama does not intend to prosecute Bush administration officials who devised the policies that led to the harsh interrogation of suspected terrorists, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said Sunday.
April 21: President Obama left open the door Tuesday for charges to be brought against Bush administration lawyers who justified harsh interrogation techniques, though he continued to argue that CIA agents who used those tactics should not be prosecuted.
Which fully qualifies this as a political witch hunt. Obama had previously indicated he wanted to “look forward rather than backward.” His mind was changed for him by leftwing ideologues.
The left have always been cowards who said one thing when it was convenient or expedient, only to denounce the very positions they once held the moment it became convenient or expedient to do so. For instance, prominent Democrats fell all over themselves to appear tough on Iraq, on Saddam Hussein, and on their demand that the United States eliminate the WMD threat his regime posed. Fortunately, a number of these statements have been preserved and collected (see Snopes.com; Truthorfiction.com; and Freedomagenda.com for a few examples). And then THESE VERY SAME DEMOCRATS proceeded to attack President Bush for making the very same statements and pursuing the very same policies they themselves had made and demanded. They claimed that Bush was a liar when THEY themselves were the liars. And the mainstream media allowed them to get away with their cowardice, betrayal, and hypocrisy.
And now they are at it again.
Nancy Pelosi says she was never informed about the harsh interrogation techniques that she and her fellow Democrats are now demonizing:
Pelosi says she was briefed by Bush administration officials on the legal justification for using waterboarding — but that they never followed through on promises to inform her when they actually began using “enhanced” interrogation techniques
“In that or any other briefing…we were not, and I repeat, we’re not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used. What they did tell us is that they had some legislative counsel … opinions that they could be used,” she told reporters today.
The problem is that she is a flat-out liar. From a 2007 Washington post story entitled, “Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002: In Meetings, Spy Panels’ Chiefs Did Not Protest, Officials Say“:
In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.
Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.
“The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough,” said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.
Congressional leaders from both parties would later seize on waterboarding as a symbol of the worst excesses of the Bush administration’s counterterrorism effort. The CIA last week admitted that videotape of an interrogation of one of the waterboarded detainees was destroyed in 2005 against the advice of Justice Department and White House officials, provoking allegations that its actions were illegal and the destruction was a coverup.
Yet long before “waterboarding” entered the public discourse, the CIA gave key legislative overseers about 30 private briefings, some of which included descriptions of that technique and other harsh interrogation methods, according to interviews with multiple U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge.
With one known exception, no formal objections were raised by the lawmakers briefed about the harsh methods during the two years in which waterboarding was employed, from 2002 to 2003, said Democrats and Republicans with direct knowledge of the matter. The lawmakers who held oversight roles during the period included Pelosi and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), as well as Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan).
Individual lawmakers’ recollections of the early briefings varied dramatically, but officials present during the meetings described the reaction as mostly quiet acquiescence, if not outright support. “Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing,” said Goss, who chaired the House intelligence committee from 1997 to 2004 and then served as CIA director from 2004 to 2006. “And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement.”
And, just as before, Democrats changed their spots the moment it became convenient for them to do so:
Only after information about the practice began to leak in news accounts in 2005 — by which time the CIA had already abandoned waterboarding — did doubts about its legality among individual lawmakers evolve into more widespread dissent. The opposition reached a boiling point this past October, when Democratic lawmakers condemned the practice during Michael B. Mukasey’s confirmation hearings for attorney general.
And Nancy Pelosi is a leader in the field of supporting something until she opposed it. Following 9/11, there was a real fear that we would be hit again, and thousands – perhaps millions – more Americans could die. Democrats like Nancy Pelosi supported these necessary measures. And now she’s demagoguing the people who put the protective measures she supported in place.
Let me provide a few specific examples, using the examples of Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi – who have placed themselves at the forefront of the attempt to demonize the Bush administration’s war on terror.
Hillary Clinton: who mockingly said that she didn’t find Dick Cheney “a reliable source of information,” and who “came closer than any of her colleagues to calling the commander of the multinational forces in Iraq a liar” in saying that accepting General David Petraeus’ report required “a willing suspension of disbelief.”
We will also stand united behind our President as he and his advisers plan the necessary actions to demonstrate America’s resolve and commitment. Not only to seek out an exact punishment on the perpetrators, but to make very clear that not only those who harbor terrorists, but those who in any way aid or comfort them whatsoever will now face the wrath of our country. And I hope that that message has gotten through to everywhere it needs to be heard. You are either with America in our time of need or you are not. — Senator Hillary Clinton (Democrat, New York) Addressing the US Senate, September 12, 2001
“Every nation has to either be with us, or against us. Those who harbor terrorists, or who finance them, are going to pay a price.” — Senator Hillary Clinton (Democrat, New York During an interview on CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, September 13, 2001
“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members…
It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well, effects American security.” — Senator Hillary Clinton (Democrat, New York) Addressing the US Senate October 10, 2002
Hillary Clinton was for that war before she was against it.
“As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California)
Statement on US Led Military Strike Against Iraq
December 16, 1998
“Saddam Hussein certainly has chemical and biological weapons. There’s no question about that.”
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California)
During an interview on “Meet The Press”
November 17, 2002
“I come to this debate, Mr. Speaker, as one at the end of 10 years in office on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was one of my top priorities. I applaud the President on focusing on this issue and on taking the lead to disarm Saddam Hussein. … Others have talked about this threat that is posed by Saddam Hussein. Yes, he has chemical weapons, he has biological weapons, he is trying to get nuclear weapons.”
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California)
Addressing the US House of Representatives
October 10, 2002
Congressional Record, p. H7777
Allow me to introduce one more official, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, for the sake of displaying naked Democratic chutzpah:
“We stopped the fighting [in 1991] on an agreement that Iraq would take steps to assure the world that it would not engage in further aggression and that it would destroy its weapons of mass destruction. It has refused to take those steps. That refusal constitutes a breach of the armistice which renders it void and justifies resumption of the armed conflict.”
Senator Harry Reid (Democrat, Nevada)
Addressing the US Senate
October 9, 2002
Congressional Record, p. S10145
“Now I believe myself … that this war is lost, and that the surge is not accomplishing anything, as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday.” — Sen. Harry Reid, April 18, 2007
And, of course, the surge strategy was the VERY THING that brought us success in Iraq.
Harry Reid was in favor of winning that war before he was in favor of surrendering. And then he blamed Bush.
Incoming President Eisenhower didn’t prosecute FDR officials for war crimes. He didn’t prosecute FDR for interring Japanese-Americans in camps. He didn’t prosecute FDR for firebombing Dresden. Nor did he prosecute Truman for firebombing Tokyo or for dropping two atomic bombs on civilian-populated targets.
Nixon didn’t prosecute Kennedy for the Bay of Pigs or for his role in getting the United States into Vietnam. Nor did he prosecute Lyndon Baines Johnson for his own massive role in perpetuating the Vietnam War.
Right now Obama has released more photographs of events that occurred at Abu Ghraib to further incriminate and attack Bush. But Bush is no more responsible for Abu Ghraib than Lyndon Johnson was responsible for the Mai Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968.
President George W. Bush – whose administration is now being criminalized for being Republican – did not criminally prosecute Bill Clinton or Clinton officials for their massive expansion of the “extraordinary rendition” program. If Democrats want to prosecute people for writing memos, how about prosecuting the people who wrote this one? And let’s not forget that Bill Clinton should likewise be prosecuted for his decision to launch missiles at what turned out to be an aspirin factory while attempting to distract the country in “wag the dog” manner during the growing Monica Lewinsky scandal.
This is a naked political hit job. And prosecuting the opposition power after an election – besides having never before been done in American history – will guarantee that this country ends up as just another banana republic.
If anyone is going to prosecute any Bush Administration officials for crimes, just make sure that Bill Clinton and his officials along with Nancy Pelosi are standing in the dock with them.
The last thing that needs to be said is this: If Barack Obama goes ahead with this political attack, and prosecutes Bush officials while ignoring the CIA personnel who actually COMMITTED the acts of (so-called) “torture,” then let him also write a letter of apology to every SS Nazi who was prosecuted for HIS role in war crimes in spite of the fact that “they were just following orders.” Let him state that the Nuremburg defense is alive and well under his administration. And let him categorically state that he will allow millions of Americans to die in a terrorist attack rather than cause a single terrorist any physical discomfort.