The WaPo’s Dana Priest talks with CIA officials who are “relieved” that Bush told the nation about a covert prison system. The big reveal now leaves the U.S. with one less tool in our “war on terror” toolbox.
Sheesh. Where do I start with this?
Employees at CIA headquarters stood transfixed at television sets yesterday in a moment one senior official called “electric” as President Bush told the nation about the agency’s covert prison system — a program once considered so secret that even Bush did not know the details.
Electric? That would be a strange word to use to describe the mood of CIA officials who believe the U.S. is at war with the terrorists. But, when you’re talking about career CIA folks who have been at the agency a decade or more, you’re talking about Clinton era officials – namely left leaning folks who believe terrorism is a law enforcement matter. So, in this case, “electric” would mean happiness, glee, and satisfaction that a successful anti-terror program which saves lives has now been rendered completely useless. Dead. Kaput.
I bet they were clinking champagne glasses too.
“I know it’s going to make a lot of people sleep well at night,” one counterterrorism officer said of the disclosure. The feeling of relief by the very people carrying out the program was a striking indication of how deeply attitudes have changed within the government about the administration’s unorthodox counterterrorism tactics and the need to shroud them in secrecy.
“Sleep well at night…” Heh. Could it be more obvious? These prisons were used specifically to extract information from bad guys. Bad guys who want to kill Americans. Bad guys who know the time and place of the next round of mass murder. They certainly weren’t shoplifters. But NO! These appeasement pacifists in the CIA believe we’re safer now that so called “unorthodox counterterrorism tactics” can no longer be used against these poor, defenseless islamofacists. How screwed up is that?
“Finally the burden of this program will not rest only on the shoulders of the CIA,” said James Pavitt, who headed CIA covert operations when the program was put in place, with White House approval, after Sept. 11, 2001. “This was a tough world and we were asked to do some tough things,” he said, adding that such efforts were always within the law.
Ahem. “Was” a tough world? What? Now that we’re 5 years on from September 11th, and no new terrorist event has hit the U.S., the world has suddenly returned to those blissful years so loved by millions in the 1990’s? What a bunch of crap.
Although it was a recent Supreme Court ruling that forced the program into legal limbo and probably pushed the president into going public, the administration had begun debating whether to suspend the CIA’s so-called black sites at least a year ago. European allies as well as senior officials at the departments of State and Justice and the CIA, along with a handful of lawmakers, lobbied to abandon the program for something more transparent and with more legal protections of detainees.
If it wasn’t for the leakers in the CIA, this program would still be secret, but they had another agenda. They believed it was best to give away the most secret details surrounding these detention facilities. And who did they tell? European allies (like France?), Democratic lawmakers and RHINOS who were more than happy to race toward the cameras and tell the terrorist our secrets.
In the past year, the CIA has studied more closely the effectiveness of harsh interrogation techniques that it and other agencies have used and concluded that some of those were worth discarding. CIA officials have eliminated some of those techniques and, within the past two months, have begun to consult for the first time with the full Senate and House intelligence committees about creating a new list of techniques.
Why? What is the purpose of sharing secret details with those sieves who occupy seats on congressional intelligence committees? Especially when they’re filled with wimpy RHINOS and Bush hating Democrats?
“Although there is no one in CIA custody today, it’s our intent that the CIA detention program continue,” said a senior intelligence official. “It’s simply been too valuable in the war on terrorism to not allow it to move forward.”
The idea, said several administration officials, is to get Congress’s political buy-in to a program that is fraught with some of the most difficult questions facing the government: how a country steeped in the rule of law should treat suspected terrorists it believes have valuable information.
And therein lies the problem – we’re trying to fight terrorism with tools that must first gain political buy-in. In other words, we’re doomed.
That’s it…I can’t keep going with this. It’s driving me completely crazy. The article continues with a few more paragraphs, so if you feel suicidal, go read the rest.
God help us.