We have word today from The Washington Post that Holder is reopening already investigated cases regarding CIA interrogations. The Washington Post reports that Holder is prepared to appoint John Durham from Justice to investigate nearly a dozen cases of supposed violation of anti-torture laws. These cases were already reviewed during the Bush administration and only one was recommended to the grand jury. What else could this be now but political shenanigans?
In addition to this news we also learn that the Obama administration is releasing a 2004 report by the then-CIA-Inspector-General John Helgerson which looked at such things as waterboarding and other interrogation techniques. The story is that that a federal judge required the release of the report based on a lawsuit by the ACLU. Of course, we know that the administration could get around this in the name of national security should they so choose. They don't.
NRO's The Corner has highlighted some key passages from the 2004 report, among them
There's much more here, some of which, of course, puts the interrogators in a negative light and would serve as much as ammunition for those bound to attack us as release of the torture photographs would. Why choose to further arm our enemies?
The Agency’s detention and interrogation of terrorists has provided intelligence that has enabled the identification and apprehension of other terrorists and warned of terrorist plots planned for the United States and around the world. The CTC Program has resulted in the issuance of thousands of individual intelligence reports and analytic products supporting the counterterrorism efforts of U.S. policymakers and military commanders.
Kathryn Jean Lopez has a statement from Rep. Pete Hoesktra, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee:
"At the same time the situation in Afghanistan is getting decidedly worse and the Taliban is advancing, the Obama Justice Department is launching an investigation that risks disrupting CIA counterterrorism initiatives. This is the last thing that should happen when the president is sending more troops into harm’s way, and the nation’s top military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, said over the weekend that al-Qaeda still remains a threat to America and our interests abroad.
"Attorney General Holder should know that as he increases the focus on America’s past counterterrorism efforts, he is distracting from the CIA’s current counterterrorism efforts. Having recently been forced to drop cases due to prosecutorial misconduct at DOJ, the attorney general argued that these were rare instances and not part of a broader problem. The same can be said of the CIA, where the agency initiated the investigation, reported cases of misconduct and disciplined the officers involved.
"It is important to note that incidences of inappropriate, unauthorized conduct cited in the 2004 IG report were dealt with. The unauthorized conduct has been exhaustively reviewed in the past, including by the committee. That the Obama administration apparently is planning to reopen these cases after thorough review by nonpartisan prosecutors raises serious questions.
"President Obama has said repeatedly that he wants to move forward, but his Justice Department seems intractably stuck in reverse. The message from the administration is completely confused, and the men and women at the CIA who we ask to protect our nation have been left in the lurch.
"The attorney general needs to stop his zealous attempt to make this out to be a systemic problem, when unlike cases such as the 2001 Peru shoot down, the CIA IG did not find evidence that there was a systemic problem. Disgruntled lawyers at DOJ, having lost the debate that America’s counterterrorism efforts should be focused on prevention not prosecution, need to put an end to this bureaucratic turf battle.
"The American people have made it clear, they want the CIA to focus on exactly what its mission should be—disrupting and defeating our nation’s enemies and preventing the next attack."
So you have to wonder what this is all about? Is it a distraction meant to keep us from thinking about ObamaCare? If it is, it could prove very costly to our national security. Why does Team Obama seem so intent on waging war against the CIA?
Some on the left, not all, but some, get all wrapped up in this terrorists-have-rights-too attitude that they are willing to sacrifice our own national security and American lives so that terrorists are treated better than Americans. I just don't get it. It goes back to my position that terrorists have no rights under our Constitution even though the left seems bent on providing them.
Call me cold-hearted but I don't think Khalid Sheikh Mohammed deserves the same Constitutional protections as American citizens.
All Holder is doing here is putting Americans at risk and crippling the CIA. Or is that what they intend to do?
Update: The Weekly Standard has reaction from Lieberman and McConnell.