House Democrats work to provide cover for Pelosi but refuse such protection for intelligence community
For their next trick, House Democrats will attempt to simultaneously alienate the very intelligence community which toils each day on the front lines keeping America safe and protect the woman who, just a few months ago, accused them of systematically lying to Congress about detainee interrogation tactics. A bold move, for sure, but one that will accomplish two of the Democrats’ top legislative goals — knowingly endanger American lives in order to appease the far left, and cover their own behinds in the process.
During committee meetings on an intelligence bill set for a House vote this week, top Democrats refused two key amendments, one offered by Michigan Republican Pete Hoekstra which would require public disclosure of exactly what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was told by the CIA and when, and another offered by Texas Republican Mac Thornberry which would strike a provision inserted into the legislation by Democrats that would require the CIA to videotape all detainee interrogations.
In essence, House Democrats went out of their way to protect Nancy Pelosi, but refused to provide any such protection to those in the intelligence community on the front lines of the Global War on Terror. Disgusting, but hardly shocking — and that’s what’s so gosh-darned sad.
Here’s what The Wall Street Journal had to say about it this morning:
Democrats have spent years demanding a “truth commission” into interrogations, so you’d think such public disclosure would be welcome. Ah, that was when a different guy was in the White House and before Mrs. Pelosi had made her own veracity an issue. Suddenly, she’s all for secrecy. And sure enough, Intelligence Committee Democrats lined up to protect their leader and defeated the Hoekstra amendment on a party line vote. This follows Democratic rejection of a resolution by Utah Republican Rob Bishop to initiate a bipartisan investigation of Mrs. Pelosi’s accusation.
CIA employees weren’t so lucky. Chairman Silvestre Reyes’s Intelligence Democrats passed a new requirement that the CIA videotape all detainee interrogations. This is a sop to the anti-antiterror left, which wants heads to roll because the CIA destroyed tapes of the interrogations of the likes of terrorist Abu Zubaydah. CIA clandestine chief Jose Rodriguez ordered those tapes destroyed precisely because he worried they might leak and compromise U.S. methods. Republicans offered an amendment to strip the videotape provision but lost on another partisan vote.
This fits the Pelosi policy that the wartime decisions of CIA agents can and will be second-guessed years later, but Congressional acquiescence in those decisions is off-limits. Philip Mudd, a respected career intelligence officer, was recently blackballed by Congress for a Homeland Security job because he knew about harsh interrogations. The message to CIA operatives is don’t take any risks for national security, and better have a lawyer on speed dial. All of which belies President Obama’s promise that there would be no political recriminations for CIA actions taken after 9/11. Meanwhile, CIA Director Leon Panetta has so far said nothing publicly about the House’s videotape provision.
Friends and neighbors, it is becoming increasingly apparent that we have a party currently in power that is not only actively working against the American economy but against American national security as well. One of these mornings, we’re going to wake up to find innocent Americans laying dead at the hands of terrorists who could have been stopped with actionable intelligence, but instead were permitted to execute their deadly plans by American Democrats more concerned about power in perpetuity than the safety and security of the American people. We see a lesson to be learned already on the front lines in Afghanistan, where brave American soldiers are losing their lives in a battle fought against an enemy led by a former Guantanamo Bay detainee — this one released by former President George W. Bush, undoubtedly bowing to political pressure from the American left. The problem, however, is that such lessons not only seem to go unheeded by this administration, but that this administration and the Democrats currently pulling strings on Capitol Hill will bend over backward to prevent the American people from knowing and understanding the extent to which they are remaining ignorant to these lessons and what could be learned from the mistakes of the past.
We know that the recidivism rate among freed detainees is far higher than acceptable, and we know that American lives have likely been lost because of the decision made to free those detainees, yet this administration continues to work on closing the facility at Gitmo and freeing even more detainees. Likewise, we know that aggressive interrogation techniques performed on high-value captured terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed saved American lives in Los Angeles and God knows where else, yet congressional Democrats have been working overtime to not only handcuff our intelligence community, but alienate them and threaten them with prosecution at every opportunity.
It must stop. And the key here, friends, is transparency — ironically one of the core promises of Barack Obama’s campaign. Yet the Democrats are going out of their way to ensure opacity, to ensure that their own leadership is protected even if it means the country is not.
File this one away, I’m afraid. Because, at a time in the not so distant future when we’re staring at our television sets in gaping-mouthed disbelief, we need to know exactly who among our elected officials were responsible for directly facilitating further attacks on innocent American men, women and children here on American soil.