Seeing that a few days have passed, I know it’s no longer news in the sense of timeliness, but since I read Congressman Peter King’s comments for the first time on Tuesday, I wanted to reproduce them here and note exactly how spot-on I believe him to be.
Obviously, it helps that King said essentially the same thing that I wrote in Just Whose Side Are We On, Anyway? just one day prior to making his statement to the folks at Politico.com. Still, as the debate has turned to matters of national security and intelligence over the past few months, King has continuously stood as a voice of reason, and his sentiments on Tuesday prove no different.
King’s statement on “disgraceful” Eric Holder’s decision to investigate and possibly prosecute CIA officials, as told to Politico:
“It’s bulls***. It’s disgraceful. You wonder which side they’re on,” he said of the attorney general’s move, which he described as a “declaration of war against the CIA, and against common sense.”
“It’s a total breach of faith, and either the president is intentionally caving to the left wing of his party or he’s lost control of his administration,” said King, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Homeland Security and a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence.
King, channeling both the sense of outrage and of political opportunity felt in parts of the GOP, defended in detail the interrogation practices — threats to kill a detainee’s family, and or to kill a detainee with a power drill — detailed in a CIA inspector general report released yesterday.
“You’re talking about threatening to kill a guy, threatening to attack his family, threatening to use an electric drill on him — but never doing it,” King said. “You have that on the one hand — and on the other you have the [interrogator's] attempt to prevent thousands of Americans from being killed.”
“When Holder was talking about being ‘shocked’ [before the report's release], I thought they were going to have cutting guys’ fingers off or something — or that they actually used the power drill,” he said.
Pressed on whether interrogators had actually broken the law, King said he didn’t think the Geneva Convention “applies to terrorists,” and that the line between permitted and outlawed interrogation policies in the Bush years was “a distinction without a difference.”
“Why is it OK to waterboard someone, which causes physical pain, but not threaten someone and not cause pain?” he asked, warning of a “chilling” effect on future CIA behavior.
“You will have thousands of lives that will be lost, and the blood will be on Eric Holder’s hands,” he said.
Ultimately, the Obama administration’s attitude toward the CIA, compiled with the wild accusations made against the agency by bottom-dwellers like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will serve to render the Democratic Party more out-of-touch, anti-American and obsolete in the eyes of the American people. Just as the backlash grows among concerned citizens from coast to coast as Congress expands the size, scope and reach of the federal government through measures like cap-and-trade and health care reform, outrage will only increase as the White House works tirelessly to destroy the morale of our intelligence community and undermine our national security.
Elected officials like Peter King, a guy unafraid to speak his mind if there ever was one, will serve as the catalyst for the real change in Washington, a change away from tyranny and bitterness toward America from within and toward liberty and pride in our freedom, values and way of life.