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Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Democrats' Terrorism Debacle

So far, this debacle is only political. Hopefully, this debacle will only stay political and it won't become a policy debacle that eventually costs people their lives. Yet, on several terrorism related fronts, the Democrats are proving once again why no matter what they simply cannot be trusted on anything related to national security.

Nancy Pelosi has changed her story so many times regarding what she knew about EIT's (Enhanced Interrogation Techniques) that it's hard to keep track. Her latest story is that she was briefed but that she was assured that all these techniques were legal. Meanwhile, documents show that multiple high ranking Democrats including Jay Rockefeller, Bob Graham, and Jane Harman were each briefed as well. Only Harman made any written objection.

On top of this, Republicans are on the attack. Pete Hoekstra is demanding that several more classified memos be released.

Hoekstra, who requested the history of agency briefings of members of Congress, is also seeking notes made by the CIA during each briefing, documents that he said last week include “a very precise accounting of the substance of each briefing.” He said those memos would detail “not only the specific information provided, but also the degree of bipartisan consensus that existed with respect to the programs in question.”

In a letter to Hoekstra, CIA Director Leon Panetta said the classified memos describing what was said at each briefing would be available at CIA headquarters for review by congressional staff, according to an agency official.

From nearly the beginning of this fiasco, the Democrats have been on the defensive. Most polling shows that just about every part of this whole thing favors Republicans. That includes investigations into these matters and frankly the techniques themselves. At this point, the Democrats themselves aren't really even all that interested in an investigation and it's now being drive

n by some in the left wing media lead by the New York Times.

Then, there is the issue of GITMO. On this matter, what is developing is an inter Democratic party fight. This started when about $80 million out of the president's nearly 83 billion dollar war supplemental was stripped by Wisconsin Congressman David Obey. This money was supposed to go to moving the detainees at GITMO. Here is what Obey said about the matter.

So far as we can tell, there is yet no concrete program for that. And while I don't mind defending a concrete program, I'm not much interested in wasting my energy defending a theoretical program. So when they have a plan, they're welcome to come back and talk to us about it.

The president appears to have allowed his ego to write checks that policy simply couldn't cash. He was so gung ho to close that he made an announcement on his second day in office. The only problem is that he has no plan. So, now there are rumors that some, mainly the Uighers, maybe released into the United States and even given welfare.

As for the rest, no one anywhere wants to take them. Every Senator and Congressperson says not in my district. On top of this, the president decided to drop more bad news on Friday evening (the day you normally drop news that is embarrassing to you)

The Obama administration is preparing to revive the system of military commissions established at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, under new rules that would offer terrorism suspects greater legal protections, government officials said.

The rules would block the use of evidence obtained from coercive interrogations, tighten the admissibility of hearsay testimony and allow detainees greater freedom to choose their attorneys, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The military commissions have allowed the trial of terrorism suspects in a setting that favors the government and protects classified information, but they were sharply criticized during the administration of President George W. Bush. "By any measure, our system of trying detainees has been an enormous failure," then-candidate Barack Obama said in June 2008.

It was the estimation by then Senator Obama and even as president that these very commissions were largely responsible for the so called black eye that GITMO brought our nation. So, it appears the president has no place to put the folks currently at GITMO, no way to try them, and no money to do anything with them until he has something concrete on both these matters. I think a debacle is a proper description for this.


Anonymous said...

I'm going to borrow a play from the Fox News Playbook: spinning mistakes into victories. Intra-party fighting for the Democrats is a good thing, because it shows the Democrats are debating amongst themselves about policy, while the Republicans are simply sitting back and hoping the Democrats fail.

Besides, Democratic voters long ago abandoned the idea that "national security" meant anything other than massacring Third Worlders to the Republicans.

mike volpe said...

That of course is NOT the "Fox News playbook". I don't even know what that means.

If you want to spin the pres battling out with a high ranking member of his own party ona a policy matter that he forced down everyone's throat as a positve for the Democrats, that is your business. Of course, it isn't going to actually make it so though.

Republicans' position on GITMO is pretty simple. Keep it open and keep those policies in place. The Democrats have created a policy battle over nothing here.

VinceP1974 said...

" Democratic voters long ago abandoned the idea that "national security" meant anything"

Democrats don't know the meaning of National Security.. So it's no surprise to me that once again , they have no idea what they're talking about