Thursday, February 25, 2010

Behind The Scenes, Obama And The Democrats Destroy The CIA's Ability To Interrogate Jihadis

As Andrew McCarthy reveals, Obama and his allies in Congress have legislation up that would essentially destroy the CIA's ability to interrogate jihad terrorists:

...House Democrats last night stashed a new provision in the intelligence bill which is to be voted on today. It is an attack on the CIA: the enactment of a criminal statute that would ban “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” (See here, scoll to p. 32.)

The provision is impossibly vague — who knows what “degrading” means? Proponents will say that they have itemized conduct that would trigger the statute (I’ll get to that in a second), but it is not true. The proposal says the conduct reached by the statute “includes but is not limited to” the itemized conduct. (My italics.) That means any interrogation tactic that a prosecutor subjectively believes is “degrading” (e.g., subjecting a Muslim detainee to interrogation by a female CIA officer) could be the basis for indicting a CIA interrogator.

The act goes on to make it a crime to use tactics that have been shown to be effective in obtaining life saving information and that are far removed from torture.

“Waterboarding” is specified. In one sense, I’m glad they’ve done this because it proves a point I’ve been making all along. Waterboarding, as it was practiced by the CIA, is not torture and was never illegal under U.S. law. The reason the Democrats are reduced to doing this is: what they’ve been saying is not true — waterboarding was not a crime and it was fully supported by congressional leaders of both parties, who were told about it while it was being done. On that score, it is interesting to note that while Democrats secretly tucked this provision into an important bill, hoping no one would notice until it was too late, they failed to include in the bill a proposed Republican amendment that would have required full and complete disclosure of records describing the briefings members of Congress received about the Bush CIA’s enhanced interrogation program. Those briefings, of course, would establish that Speaker Pelosi and others knew all about the program and lodged no objections. Naturally, members of Congress are not targeted by this criminal statute — only the CIA. {...}

What’s more, the proposed bill is directed at “any officer or employee of the intelligence community” conducting a “covered interrogation.” The definition of “covered interrogation” is sweeping — including any interrogation done outside the U.S., in the course of a person’s official duties on behalf of the government. Thus, if the CIA used waterboarding in training its officers or military officers outside the U.S., this would theoretically be indictable conduct under the statute.

Waterboarding is not all. The Democrats’ bill would prohibit — with a penalty of 15 years’ imprisonment — the following tactics, among others:

- “Exploiting the phobias of the individual”

- Stress positions and the threatened use of force to maintain stress positions

- “Depriving the individual of necessary food, water, sleep, or medical care”

- Forced nudity

- Using military working dogs (i.e., any use of them — not having them attack or menace the individual; just the mere presence of the dog if it might unnerve the detainee and, of course, “exploit his phobias”)

- Coercing the individual to blaspheme or violate his religious beliefs (I wonder if Democrats understand the breadth of seemingly innocuous matters that jihadists take to be violations of their religious beliefs)

- Exposure to “excessive” cold, heat or “cramped confinement” (excessive and cramped are not defined)

- “Prolonged isolation”

- “Placing hoods or sacks over the head of the individual”

I suppose this leaves a potential interrogator with the threat of taking away the TV least for the half hour or so it will take the jihadi to be mirandized, lawyer up and take advantage of his right to remain silent while his friends plot the murder of more Americans.

I can't emphasize that enough. Do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself again with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's confession. If Obama had been president on 9/11 and these rules would have been in effect, thousands more Americans would have died. And apparently, that's what Obama and the Democrats find preferable to embarrassing or inconveniencing a jihad terrorist.

And what about the security officials charged with interrogating captured terrorists? Do you think any of them are going to risk 15 years in the slammer by doing anything more than going through the motions? Can you blame them?

This goes beyond politics. It is a profound lack of common sense and a foul violation of the oath Obama and members of Congress took when they assumed their offices. it puts American lives at risk.

Our enemies fully understand the sort of weak, feckless, appeasement minded administration now in the White House. And I fear we will pay in blood because of it.

Sanity is not entirely dead in DC. After widespread outcry, the Democrats pulled this suicidal nonsense from the legislation.

Here's what Rep. Pete Hoekstar(r-MI) had to say on the matter:

"That Democrats would try to bury this provision deep in the bill, late at night, when they thought everyone’s attention would be focused on the health care summit is a testament to the shameful nature of what they were attempting," Hoekstra said.

"Republicans brought this to the attention of the American people, who were rightly outraged that Democrats would try to target those we ask to serve in harm’s way and with a unified push we were successful in getting them to pull the bill."

please helps me write more gooder!

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