When you’re the party in near-total control of the country and things are going poorly, what’s the smart thing to do as Election Day draws near?
For U.S. Democrats, the standard appears to be diversion from the ugly reality of a sagging economy, record unemployment (especially among some solid Democrat voting blocs), and a bureaucracy so mismanaged the U.S. State Dept. appears to have lost track of $6 billion taxpayer dollars.
The latest political diversion for the left is the declassification of a report on interrogation and detention methods the administration of President George W. Bush employed after a war declared by Islamists and initiated under President Bill Clinton climaxed on Sept. 11, 2001.
Democrats control the Senate Intelligence Committee and November is coming. But diversion isn’t the only matter we should question about this release.
What about practices prior to the administration of Bush 43 and after? There’s a giant double standard in play here.
President Bill Clinton preferred rendition. If you caught a terrorist suspect, you just shipped him off to another country where local laws could permit just about any method for interrogation.
As for President Barack Obama, waterboarding apparently takes too much time, and perhaps it’s too personal. Obama simply drones the suspect, even if he or she is an American citizen.
By mid-2012, even websites like Slate, certainly not conservative by a long shot, were reporting Obama was droning at the rate of five times that of Bush 43.
What do these three presidents have in common?
They have for the most part kept the U.S. safe from ongoing significant attempts by Islamists to kill us.
Releasing the report does not serve the country; it is an attempt to serve desperate Democrats seeking reelection. The political target—the CIA—didn’t even get a full spectrum of interviews. Jose A. Rodriguez, Jr., who ran the CIA interrogation program while Americans were still shell-shocked from witnessing more than 3,000 people die, said:
“The committee’s staff members started with a conclusion in 2009 and have chased supportive evidence ever since. They never spoke to me or other top CIA leaders involved in the program, or let us see the report.”
Rodriguez wrote a book, Hard Measures, about the program. What’s more, he says Rep. Nancy Pelosi is not telling the truth about what she knew regarding interrogation. He has firsthand knowledge of Pelosi’s awareness. Rodriguez told Fox and Friends on Monday, “I briefed her.”
Obama allegedly revamped drone policies after Bush 43, but fact is, Obama also ramped up those policies. His statement on the White House website says the U.S. will only use lethal force “against a target that poses a continuing, imminent threat to U.S. persons.”
Obama, however, left himself an out:
“These new standards and procedures do not limit the President’s authority to take action in extraordinary circumstances…”
Circumstances? Like assassinating a U.S. citizen who is a known al-Qaeda propagandist. What might that propagandist have chosen if he’d been given a choice between water-boarding and getting droned?
America is still at war. The declassification of a highly sensitive report, undertaken purely for political purposes, will do our country little good other than to provide our enemies with more fuel for propaganda and recruitment.
Will Americans see declassed reports on Clinton’s renditions and Obama’s drones while we are fighting a war media no longer responsibly covers?
The U.S. still has more than 30,000 troops in Afghanistan. Releasing the report could not only endanger those troops, it could also endanger the fragile government in Iraq and elsewhere.
(Opinion by Kay B. Day/April 7, 2014)
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