Agenda Setting from the White House

On matters of terrorism, interrogation and intelligence, the White House refuses to tell the entire story

Given the nature of what we’re about to hear from former Vice President Dick Cheney, I cannot help but wonder whether the White House learned its agenda-setting tactics from The New York Times, or vice versa.

Just as the Times refused, during the months leading up to last year’s presidential election, an Iraq-related opinion piece authored by Arizona Sen. John McCain even though it had just run a commentary by Barack Obama, the White House appears to be picking and choosing what it releases to the public with regard to the Overseas Contingency Operation, known outside of fantasyland as the Global War on Terror.

From a Drudge Report flash:

Cheney Calls for Legal Memos to be Declassified
Mon Apr 20 2009 16:20:53 ET

In a two part interview airing tonight and tomorrow night on FOX News Channel’s Hannity (9-10PM ET), former Vice President Dick Cheney shared his thoughts on the CIA memos that were recently declassified and also revealed his request to the CIA to declassify additional memos that confirm the success of the Bush administration’s interrogation tactics:

CHENEY:

“One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure is they put out the legal memos, the memos that the CIA got from the Office of Legal Counsel, but they didn’t put out the memos that showed the success of the effort. And there are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity. They have not been declassified.”

“I formally asked that they be declassified now. I haven’t announced this up until now, I haven’t talked about it, but I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country.”

“And I’ve now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was, as well as to see this debate over the legal opinions.”

Developing…

Just as the Democrats want to do with the Fairness Doctrine, just as the Democrats want to do by labeling as “rightwing extremists” rational, concerned Americans like you and me, when it comes to matters of enhanced interrogation, terrorism and national security, they are afraid of what might happen if everyday Americans by and large hear both sides of the story.

It’s easy to dismiss enhanced interrogation techniques as being over-the-top if you believe the argument that such actions never produce good intelligence. By declassifying some memos but not others, the Obama administration are playing with the American public, trying to shape public opinion by purposefully concealing material facts. In other words, Barack Obama is governing through fraud.

These agenda-setting efforts undertaken by the White House haven’t been done to simply push through a tax increase, or undercut the effectiveness of certain immigration laws. This is a national security issue. These are American lives at stake. Bowing down to the King of Saud is one thing, handcuffing our own intelligence services are another.

I just hope somebody out there is taking notes; that way, when the TV movie is made ten years down the road in the wake of the next terrorist attack on America, we’ll remember exactly what was done to allow it to happen.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    kudos to Chenney for standing up against this disgrace of an administration!

  2. Bodenzee says:

    Take a carefull look at Barry’s chief of staff. Would you buy a used car from this man?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I hope Cheney continues to speak and speak often. I am convinced that the left speak to Americans who do not pay attention to the political climate.

  4. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    Of course they do.

    Now, I have friends who are far more intelligent than I who still maintain liberal values. They just believe as Hamilton did, in the value of a strong centralized government. Of course, they’re wrong.

    Still, I wonder just how much of the left is represented by those people, and how much is represented by the people we heard so much about in November, the ones who thought Palin was Obama’s running mate and so on and so forth.

  5. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    NOTE: I don’t censor comments very often, but I did here. There will be no talk of any physical harm and the president, understand?

    Geez, folks, we’re already on the “list.” Why make ourselves look worse than we really are?

  6. SPECIAL OPS GUYS GO THRU IT says:

    Is waterboarding physical harm???

  7. MURPHYS "LAW" says:

    Can I put you on retainer Jeff? Can you practice in Tenn.? LOL

  8. Anonymous says:

    Jeff,
    No one can be more disappointed and digusted than I am with the current occupant of the white house and what is happening to our country. With that said, thank you for your decency and class. I am retired military after 33 years of service and and am on the “watch list” now since I have tradional values and beliefs. With that said, I would NEVER condone violence to the current president. I can only hope that as a nation that governs by rule of law, we will take care of this problem with the good citizens of this country and the through the courts (before it is too late).
    Please keep up the good work!.

  9. tm says:

    Cheney is spot on – If you are going to release the documents – release all of them not the adminstration’s heavily edited version for their side.
    On a side note here is what people should expect out of Obambi and his administration these are their goals and it is our job to counter these arguments, I think there is a constructive way to beat these radicals at their own game without being the violent nutjobs that they are accusing us of

    out of saul alinsky’s handbook:

    Rule 1: Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have. If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people than you do.

    Rule 2: Never go outside the experience of your people.
    The result is confusion, fear, and retreat.

    Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the experience of an opponent. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.

    Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. “You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

    Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.

    Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy. “If your people aren’t having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.”

    Rule 7: A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues.

    Rule 8: Keep the pressure on. Use different tactics and actions and use all events of the period for your purpose. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this that will cause the opposition to react to your advantage.”

    Rule 9: The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself. When Alinsky leaked word that large numbers of poor people were going to tie up the washrooms of O’Hare Airport, Chicago city authorities quickly agreed to act on a longstanding commitment to a ghetto organization. They imagined the mayhem as thousands of passengers poured off airplanes to discover every washroom occupied. Then they imagined the international embarrassment and the damage to the city’s reputation.

    Rule 10: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, “Okay, what would you do?”

    Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame.

    According to Alinsky, the main job of the organizer is to bait an opponent into reacting.
    This is what we are up against, I feel we could beat them at their own game, by knowledge of what the opponent will do. Do all of these points sound exactly like what is going on here. Guaranteed, the msm will polarize Cheney in the same light as us – extremists, nutjobs.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Glad Cheney is speaking. Someone has to stand up for what O. is doing to our intelligence services and the people of this country.

    Unbecoming conduct is an understatement.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I don’t get what the big deal with water boarding is…it does no physical harm to someone who would gladly do physical harm to others! It might freak them out, but hey, they deserve it! I mean, these guys weren’t picked up at some little falafel shop! They are ENEMY COMBATENTS!!! How should we interrogate them: “Okay, Abdul…I am going to tickle the bottom of your foot with a feather until you spill the beans!” Come on, people!

  12. Gail B says:

    Up until last year, I could not stand a Republican, did not like Bush (because of his lies), absolutely despised Dick Cheney, and felt that Karl Rove needed to be in some sort of institution–I didn’t care what kind.

    I voted the Democratic ticket since I was 21 (the voting age during the Stone Age) and was involved with the Democratic Party.

    I don’t know exactly what woke me up unless it was the way the DNC treated Hillary. All I know is, my retired engineering friend from high school can now discuss politics each day when he calls.

    Bush is looking better and better to me, and hooray for Cheney and Rove! At least they didn’t shake us down financially until the first TARP bill at the end of W’s administration.

    At least I slept at night back then. Last night I couldn’t fall asleep until about 3:45 a.m. from worrying about what Obama is pulling from his sleeves. It was sorta nice, having them on break!

  13. Jeffrey Shallit says:

    It figures you would try to justify torture. Scratch a conservative, find a fascist. How low can you go?

  14. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know that much about water boarding but I think the numerous times it was utilized on the same person was part of the objection. I heard John McCain say that he felt you could get all the information possible from a prisoner after one episode of waterboarding…the excessive use was not productive. I have a problem with some implying that our ‘tactics’ of getting info from terrorists was used as a recruiting tool for the terrorists…well, do we really think they needed any incentive…their whole philosophy is to kill and destroy anyone who is not Muslim so whether we used waterboarding or we forced them to watch Pelosi or Barney Frank speeches, it was irrelevant (they probably would have chosen waterboarding)! Their hatred is based on what they are taught from birth so if we gave them breakfast in bed while captive, it wouldn’t change their philosophy.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Jeffrey,
    Why don’t you tell us what methods you feel are justified in extracting info from Islamic terrorists…information that could save your wife, your children, your parents or your friends. Most Americans are more sensitive to human suffering than almost any nation…that’s why we contribute enormous amounts of aid to those in need around the world, that’s why we help orphans and give them homes in our country, that’s why we send drs and nurses and medical assistance when there is a catastrophe…tell me one nation that does as much for humanity as we do. Most of us would never condone the needless infliction of pain on prisoners but I think we all agree that we are dealing with the most violent, treacherous enemy that we have ever faced. They will not hesitate to decapitate you and never worry about the Geneva Convention. I wish we never had to take a prisoner, I wish they would stay in their country and leave everyone alone…but they WON’T! So how would you suggest we handle this problem?

  16. Anonymous says:

    The fact that America is losing her reason is becoming more apparent when what Obama’s latest moves display is blatant aid and comfort to the enemy … and not many will recognize it. You wonder if the lemmings aren’t also as suicidal as the terrorists when they sit there (unknowingly be boiled) and cheer on the release of secrets that both endanger our troops and endanger our citizenry.

    It is so obvious that “the man” really wants the enemy to take control of all of us. That rapidly will become quite personal too. Hopefully those still with some control and authority (and hopefully common sense based on experience and history) – like law enforcement, FBI, CIA et al – will be led by their true instincts and follow Nancy Reagan’s advice … and “just say no”!

  17. Anonymous says:

    “Jeffrey Shallit said”

    Why is it that folks such as you always have to resort to such juvenile, broad-brush, derrogatory statements such as “scratch a conservative, find a fascist”?

    What wars have you fought in, and how many innocent citizens have you been responsible for protecting from the real fascists of the world? My guess is that the answer is “none” on both counts.

    What galls me most about your comment is the blatant self-righteous ignorance of the realities of what it cost this country – and all of us who have served in the military – to preserve this democracy. As flawed as it is, it is still the best that mankind has ever brought into being, but, thanks to the attitude that you, and others like you express, I am convinced that the sun is setting on the dream of the Founders.

    Too bad.

    Old Bob

  18. Anonymous says:

    In his first 100 days in office, Barack Hussein has gone way past our wildest loony toon dreams. The man’s judgment calls so far, have been insane.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Jeff,

    I would like to inform you about a FEMA NATIONAL LEVEL EXERCISE scheduled for July 27th through July 31st, 2009. You can find the document on their website.

    http://www.fema.gov/media/fact_sheets/nle09.shtm

    This comes on the heels of the Napolitano document and the fact the FBI was watching the Tea Parties. If you follow the sequence of events, as they have occurred, one can surmise this exercise is disturbing.

    They will have foreign troops participating in this exercise, including troops from Mexico.

    FEMA’s document indicates this “scenario” will begin in the aftermath of a national terrorist event outside of the United States….

    I would encourage everyone to prepare.

    Steve Quayle’s site has more info on what to expect. http://www.stevequayle.com

  20. Gail B says:

    SPECIAL OPS GUYS GO THRU IT said…
    “Is waterboarding physical harm???”

    Answer: Only when they have to give him oxygen or perform a tracheotomy to save his life, that’s all. They have had to do both, by the way. They also used more water than the CIA rules permitted, and did it more times than permitted.

    Did that help?

  21. Anonymous says:

    This is really strange, I found this article just before I came to your site before heading for bed. Dick Cheney figures prominently in this one too.

    http://lamecherry.blogspot.com/2009/04/ill-raise-your- transparency-with-pair.html

    As things get scarier by the day, it will take people with knowledge and power to take on this bunch of thugs.

  22. goddessdivine says:

    Our POTUS is weakening this country every minute he’s in office. Why isn’t there an outcry with the release of all our interrogation methods? Obama is making our national security an open book and our enemies are reading. Are we supposed to have tea with these thugs? Good grief.

  23. Daniel Pearl says:

    Gail and Buckshot have gone soft on us. Just bake em some cookies then Gail.

  24. Gail B says:

    No, I haven’t gone soft, Daniel Pearl. I just don’t believe that interrogation methods beyond limits set forth by our own government is healthy for our troops or citizens down the line. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Or, do unto your prisoners of war as you would have them do unto us.

    But, then, I have never fought a war, and those who have may trump my opinion.

  25. suek says:

    >>do unto your prisoners of war as you would have them do unto us.>>

    Great thought. To bad it's irrelevant. What we do or don't do to our muslim prisoners has nothing to do with what they do or have done to prisoners _they_ have taken.

    They torture and behead. We _know_ that. And while it wouldn't justify our doing the same, trying to equate what we do with what we _wish_ they'd do, is exactly that – wishful thinking.

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