When Cheneys Attack

The Cheney family has formed a father-daughter tag team to take turns body slamming the far left agenda and ineptitude of the Obama administration’s policies. Okay, so it’s like shooting big fish in a small barrel but, hey, someone’s got to bring it and these two can hit where it hurts and inflict the excruciating political pain.

Cheney: Stop the ‘dithering’ as troops face danger

Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday night accused the White House of dithering over the strategy for the war in Afghanistan and urged President Barack Obama to “do what it takes to win.”

“Make no mistake. Signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries,” Cheney said while accepting an award from a conservative national security group, the Center for Security Policy.

Cheney disputed remarks by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel that the Bush administration had been adrift concerning the war in Afghanistan and that the Obama administration had to start from the beginning to develop a strategy for the 8-year-old war.

To the contrary, Cheney said, the Bush administration undertook its own review of the war before leaving office and presented its findings to Obama’s transition team.

“They asked us not to announce our findings publicly, and we agreed, giving them the benefit of our work and the benefit of the doubt,” Cheney said. The strategy Obama announced in March bore a “striking resemblance” to what the Bush administration review had found, the vice president said.

. . .

Cheney said the Obama administration seems to be pulling back and blaming others for its own failure to implement the strategy it had embraced earlier in the year.

“The White House must stop dithering while America’s armed forces are in danger,” the former vice president said. “It’s time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity.”

Cheney criticized Obama’s decision to drop plans begun in the Bush administration for missile defense interceptors in Poland and a radar site in the Czech Republic, calling the move “a strategic blunder and a breach of good faith.” The administration said it will instead pursue a higher-tech system that is also more cost-effective.

“Our Polish and Czech friends are entitled to wonder how strategic plans and promises years in the making could be dissolved just like that with apparently little if any consultation,” he said. “President Obama’s cancellation of America’s agreements with the Polish and Czech governments is a serious blow to the hopes and aspirations of millions of Europeans.”

Cheney said those who try to placate Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and accede to his wishes will get nothing in return but trouble.

Cheney accuses Obama of ‘libel’ against CIA interrogators

Maintaining his stature as one of the most forceful defenders of the Bush Administration’s defense policies former Vice President Dick Cheney accused President Obama of committing “libel” against CIA interrorgators on Wednesday

Mr. Cheney’s criticized the Obama White House in a wide-ranging address on foreign policy matters for abandoning commitments to allies in Poland and the Czech Republic in favor of the Russians, sacrificing American intelligence officials to satisfy the political left and “dithering” on taking action in Afghanistan, among other things.

. . .

In the speech, Mr. Cheney charged that President Obama has “filled the air with vague and useless platitude” when talking about torture and by calling enhanced interrogation technigques “torture” he has committed “libel” against CIA interrogators whom Mr. Cheney described as “dedicated professionals who acted honorably and well, in our country’s name and in our country’s cause.”

“What’s more, to completely rule out enhanced interrogation in the future, in favor of half-measures, is unwise in the extreme. In the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half exposed,” he said.

Liz Cheney Launches Group to “Keep America Safe”

Like her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Elizabeth Cheney doesn’t think highly of President Obama’s policies. And now she has a new organization, Keep America Safe, dedicated to pressing her argument.

“Like a lot of Americans, we have watched with concern and dismay as the Obama administration has cut defense spending, wavered on the war in Afghanistan, and launched investigations into Americans serving on the front lines of the war on terror, while at the same time expanding legal protections for the terrorists that plot to attack this country,” Cheney writes in an opening statement, which is also signed by fellow board members Debra Burlingame and William Kristol. “These policies, along with President Obama’s abandonment of America’s allies and attempts to appease our adversaries are weakening the nation.”

The group vows to “make the case for an unapologetic approach to fighting terrorism around the world, for victory in the wars this country fights, for democracy, freedom and human rights, and for a strong American military that is needed in the dangerous world in which we live.”

See also:
Cheney’s Speech Tonight
Keep America Safe
Cheney: Stop the ‘dithering’ as troops face danger
Cheney Slams Obama For ‘Dithering’ War Policy
Cheney: Obama’s Afghan War Strategy ‘Bears Striking Resemblance’ to Bush’s
At Bush Administration Reunion, Cheney Attacks Obama … Again
Time for Obama to act on Afghanistan – Cheney
Liz Cheney forms group to take on Obama’s foreign policy
Cheney’s Daughter Launches Group Against Obama’s “Weak” Foreign Policy
Liz Cheney’s group ‘Keep America Safe’ takes on ‘radical’ White House
Liz Cheney Fighting ‘Radical’ White House
Liz Cheney Launches ‘Keep America Safe;’ Video Skewers Obama
Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol Start ‘Keep America Safe’
New Cheney Taking Stage for the G.O.P.
Liz Cheney, ‘Red State Rock Star’
The Media’s War Against Liz Cheney

The Cheneys, tag teaming truth to feckless Obama power.

/when Dick and Liz tag off to Lynne, standing on the top rope, you’ll know that Obama and liberals everywhere are going down for the ten count

Holder Declares War On The CIA

Losing the health care debate badly? Need to distract the public attention from the horrific deficit forecasts being released tomorrow? No problem, just demagogue a five year old report and threaten to persecute evil Bush era CIA interrogators!

Holder to Appoint Prosecutor to Investigate CIA Terror Interrogations

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has decided to appoint a prosecutor to examine nearly a dozen cases in which CIA interrogators and contractors may have violated anti-torture laws and other statutes when they allegedly threatened terrorism suspects, according to two sources familiar with the move.

Holder is poised to name John Durham, a career Justice Department prosecutor from Connecticut, to lead the inquiry, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process is not complete.

Durham’s mandate, the sources added, will be relatively narrow: to look at whether there is enough evidence to launch a full-scale criminal investigation of current and former CIA personnel who may have broken the law in their dealings with detainees. Many of the harshest CIA interrogation techniques have not been employed against terrorism suspects for four years or more.

The attorney general selected Durham in part because the longtime prosecutor is familiar with the CIA and its past interrogation regime. For nearly two years, Durham has been probing whether laws against obstruction or false statements were violated in connection with the 2005 destruction of CIA videotapes. The tapes allegedly depicted brutal scenes including waterboarding of some of the agency’s high value detainees. That inquiry is proceeding before a grand jury in Alexandria, although lawyers following the investigation have cast doubt on whether it will result in any criminal charges.

Word of Holder’s decision comes on the same day that the Obama administration will issue a 2004 report by the then-CIA Inspector General. Among other things, the IG questioned the effectiveness of harsh interrogation tactics that included simulated drowning and wall slamming. A federal judge in New York forced the administration to release the secret report after a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union.

A separate internal Justice Department ethics report on the professionalism of lawyers who blessed the questioning techniques continues to undergo declassification review and is not likely to be released imminently. The New York Times reported Monday that the ethics report recommended that Holder take another look at several episodes of alleged detainee abuse that previously had been declined for prosecution during the Bush years, bolstering his decision to appoint a prosecutor.

Leaders at the Justice Department and the intelligence community have clashed this year over the release of sensitive interrogation memos, military photographs of detainee abuse and how to handle the cases of more than 200 detainees at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Holder’s decision could complicate the Justice Department’s relationship with the White House, where President Obama has repeatedly expressed a desire to move forward from the national security controversies of the Bush administration. Deputy White House press secretary Bill Burton told reporters Monday that the president had complete faith in Holder and that the decision whether to launch an investigation was the attorney general’s sole prerogative.

“The White House supports the attorney general making the decisions on who gets prosecuted and investigated,” Burton said.

Holder acknowledges the possible fallout from his decision, but has concluded in recent days that he has no other choice than to probe whether laws were broken in connection with the Bush administration’s interrogation program, the two sources said. Fewer than a dozen cases will be examined, most from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Any criminal investigation into the CIA conduct faces serious hurdles, according to current and former government lawyers, including such challenges as missing evidence, nonexistent or unreliable witnesses, no access to some bodies of detainees who died, and the passage of up to seven years since the questionable activity occurred far from American soil.

During the Bush years, a team of more than a half-dozen career prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia, which is renown for its expertise in probing clandestine operations, reviewed about 20 cases of alleged prisoner abuse after receiving referrals from the military and then-CIA Inspector General John Helgerson. Among the assistant U.S. attorneys involved in the review was Robert Spencer, who successfully prosecuted al-Qaeda operative Zacharias Moussaoui and who later won one of the highest awards the Justice Department bestows.

In only one of the cases did the lawyers recommend seeking a grand jury indictment. A federal appeals court earlier this month affirmed the assault conviction of David A. Passaro, a CIA contractor who wielded a metal flashlight against a detainee at a military base in Afghanistan. Passaro was not charged with murder. Abdul Wali, the detainee he questioned, died shortly after the beating but investigators could not conclusively link his death to the flashlight attack.

A former government official involved in the previous review said that, given problems with evidence, there was “no conceivable way we could have come out different” and sought criminal indictments. The official said that analysis might change if new and reliable witnesses emerged.

Current and former CIA officials from both Democratic and Republican administrations have cited the prior review by prosecutors as one of several reasons why the Obama Justice Department need not act. They fear that any criminal investigation will chill intelligence activities and alienate operatives who are responsible for protecting national security.

See also:
Attorney General Holder opens ‘preliminary’ investigation of post-9/11 interrogations
Holder Orders Review Into Abuses of Terror Suspects (Update2)
Holder Releases Statement on Detainee Interrogations, Special Prosecutor
Holder’s Pick for CIA Investigation Known as Tough, Diligent
Sources: Report to detail alleged abuse inside CIA secret prisons
CIA staged mock execution, wielded power drill in interrogations, secret report says
CIA Faulted for Conduct at Prisons
DOJ probe opens divides with Hill, CIA
Liberals and the CIA
Civil Liberties Groups Prepare Delicate Message on CIA Probe
GOP senators warn Holder against CIA abuse inquiry
Republicans warn Holder on probe
U.S. Republican senators oppose investigation into CIA
Panetta Letter to CIA Staff on Release of Interrogation Report
Panetta Defends CIA in E-Mail to Agency
Obama White House v. CIA; Panetta Threatened to Quit
Is Panetta About to Quit?
The Justice Dept.’s War On Heroes

Okay, the memo is five years old and the alleged transgressions contained within, from even further back in ancient history, basically boil down to CIA interrogators threatening some of the world’s worst and deadliest terrorists with nasty and frightening, yet totally fictitious, never intended to be implemented, torture techniques and retribution against the terrorists’ family members. Sticks and stones didn’t hurt their bones, only words were used to break them. These allegations have already been thoroughly investigated, a long time ago, by career prosecutors experienced in CIA matters, and in the one case where abuse was found charges were brought.

Why is Holder digging up this well settled grave again after all these years, to placate the uber liberal CIA haters, the ACLU, to stroke his own ego? Doesn’t he care what damage it will do to the CIA and how much it will demoralize CIA operatives out in the field, risking their lives every day to defend America and keep us safe? What part of numerous past and present CIA Directors vociferously telling him, in no uncertain terms, that this new witch hunt is a really bad idea doesn’t he understand? Hell, even Obama doesn’t particularly want to travel down this long abandoned road.

/given Eric Holder’s undaunted determination to give aid and comfort to the enemy, at the expense of those standing between us and the enemy, it’s unclear as to where his loyalties lie and who’s side he’s really on

Want To Get Away?

2009-05-14

Hat tip: Lucianne.com

Hey, why back down off the ledge when you can double down on your untenable position and outright accuse the CIA of lying to Congress, a serious crime?

Pelosi: CIA lied to Congress about harsh tactics

“The CIA was misleading the Congress” as part of a broader Bush administration pattern of deception about its activities, said Pelosi, D-Calif. “The only mention of waterboarding at that briefing was that it was not being employed.”

Asked whether the agency lied, she said yes.

Her comments amount to an allegation that the CIA violated its legal obligation to keep congressional leaders informed. Republicans responded by ratcheting up their criticism of Pelosi.

“I think the problem is that the speaker has had way too many stories on this issue,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

See also:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: CIA Lied to Me
Pelosi: CIA misled her on waterboarding
Pelosi: The CIA Lied
Pelosi Accuses CIA of ‘Misleading’ Her on Interrogations
Pelosi and CIA Clash Over Contents of Key Briefing
Congress and Waterboarding
Someone’s Lying

But wait, there’s more . . .

Dems: CIA briefers may have broken law

Democrats on the House intelligence committee said Thursday that CIA officers broke the law in 2002 if they told Nancy Pelosi then that they had not yet engaged in waterboarding.

“If they make a false report, absolutely it’s illegal,” said Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “If they fail to make a report when they’re obligated to that is also illegal — a violation of the National Security Act.”

Said CIA Spokesman George Little: “It is not the policy of the CIA to mislead the United States Congress.”

Wow, so Adam Schiff, among others, decides to put on his California king lemming costume and follow Nancy over the cliff. I hope he realizes that Mistress Nancy just declared war on the CIA and the CIA, especially after the abuse they’ve taken over the last month, won’t just lay down and take this quietly. Hey Nancy . . .

Well, what about it Nancy, you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?

/I fear this won’t end well for Madame Speaker’s Speakership, if she continues to press on

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Taking time out from his relentless crusade to destroy capitalism, the U.S. economy, and America as we used to know it, Obama finally got one right today.

Obama Seeks to Block Release of Detainee Abuse Photos

President Barack Obama reversed course and is seeking to block release of photographs that show the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan by U.S. personnel.

“This is not a situation in which the Pentagon has concealed or sought to justify inappropriate action,” Obama said today at the White House. “Publication of these photos would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of individuals.”

Instead, it might “inflame anti-American opinion and put our troops in greater danger,” he said.

A federal appeals court ordered the release in connection with a Freedom of Information Act suit. Last month, the Justice Department told a federal judge that the administration would not resist a court order to turn over 44 photographs sought by the American Civil Liberties Union in the suit.

The president told his legal team last week that he “did not feel comfortable with release of the photos,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said earlier.

Gibbs said that Obama concluded that Justice lawyers, during former President George W. Bush’s administration, didn’t make the strongest case against release of the pictures.

“The argument that the president seeks to make is one that hasn’t been made before,” Gibbs said. “I’m not going to get into blame for this or that,” he said, adding that the case was working through the court system before Obama took office.

Evidence

During the Bush administration, release of photographs of prisoner abuse by U.S. troops at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq caused an international uproar. The pictures at issue are part of potential evidence in cases that have been wrapped up since 2004, Gibbs said.

Obama said releasing the pictures may have a “chilling effect” on future investigations.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he recommended to Obama that the photos be withheld and that both General Ray Odierno, who commands U.S. forces in Iraq, and General David McKiernan, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, objected to the release.

“Our commanders have expressed very serious reservations and their very great worry that release of these photographs would cost American lives,” Gates said when asked about the issue at a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

Durbin, Lieberman Comment

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, one of Obama’s closest allies in Congress, said the legal brief in the court cases initially “led him to believe” that releasing the photographs was “inevitable.”

“Now they seem to have some reservations about what the impact of those photos might have, particularly on the security of troops,” Durbin said.

Senators Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, and Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, supported Obama’s decision.

“It’s good for the troops to know that their commander-in- chief is going to bat for them and that is what he did today,” Graham said at the Capitol.

Lieberman said releasing the photos would have done more harm than good. When the Abu Ghraib photos were first released, “they were immediately put up on jihadist Web sites across the world and were used by al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups to recruit,” he said.

See also:
Obama seeks to block release of abuse photos
In reversal, Obama seeks to block abuse photos
Obama reverses course on alleged prison abuse photos
Obama sets up abuse-photos fight
Obama Moves to Block Release of Detainee Abuse Photos
Obama seeks to block release of abuse photos

Of course Obama had to be dragged kicking and screaming into changing his mind under intense pressure from his military commanders or else he he would have made this no-brainier decision in the first place. I mean, it’s obvious to any moron that doesn’t absolutely despise the U.S. military that releasing these photographs would do nothing besides incited and inflame our enemies, hand them a huge propaganda victory that they would exploit as a recruiting tool for years to come, and generally put U.S. troops worldwide in much greater danger.

/but hey, small victories, credit where credit is do, it was the correct decision, let’s just hope he follows through with opposing the release of the photographs in court

Someone’s Lying

Pelosi Stirs Questions With Denial She Was Briefed About Waterboarding

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she was never told during a congressional briefing in 2002 that waterboarding or other “enhanced” interrogation techniques were being used on terrorism suspects.

But in a story published in the Washington Post in December 2007, two officials were quoted saying that the California Democrat and three other lawmakers had received an hour-long secret briefing on the interrogation tactics, including waterboarding, and that they raised no objections at the time.

Really Nancy? Porter Goss begs to differ.

Security Before Politics

Since leaving my post as CIA director almost three years ago, I have remained largely silent on the public stage. I am speaking out now because I feel our government has crossed the red line between properly protecting our national security and trying to gain partisan political advantage. We can’t have a secret intelligence service if we keep giving away all the secrets. Americans have to decide now.

A disturbing epidemic of amnesia seems to be plaguing my former colleagues on Capitol Hill. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, members of the committees charged with overseeing our nation’s intelligence services had no higher priority than stopping al-Qaeda. In the fall of 2002, while I was chairman of the House intelligence committee, senior members of Congress were briefed on the CIA’s “High Value Terrorist Program,” including the development of “enhanced interrogation techniques” and what those techniques were. This was not a one-time briefing but an ongoing subject with lots of back and forth between those members and the briefers.

Today, I am slack-jawed to read that members claim to have not understood that the techniques on which they were briefed were to actually be employed; or that specific techniques such as “waterboarding” were never mentioned. It must be hard for most Americans of common sense to imagine how a member of Congress can forget being told about the interrogations of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In that case, though, perhaps it is not amnesia but political expedience.

Let me be clear. It is my recollection that:

— The chairs and the ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, known as the Gang of Four, were briefed that the CIA was holding and interrogating high-value terrorists.

— We understood what the CIA was doing.

— We gave the CIA our bipartisan support.

— We gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities.

— On a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.

I do not recall a single objection from my colleagues. They did not vote to stop authorizing CIA funding. And for those who now reveal filed “memorandums for the record” suggesting concern, real concern should have been expressed immediately — to the committee chairs, the briefers, the House speaker or minority leader, the CIA director or the president’s national security adviser — and not quietly filed away in case the day came when the political winds shifted. And shifted they have.

Circuses are not new in Washington, and I can see preparations being made for tents from the Capitol straight down Pennsylvania Avenue. The CIA has been pulled into the center ring before. The result this time will be the same: a hollowed-out service of diminished capabilities. After Sept. 11, the general outcry was, “Why don’t we have better overseas capabilities?” I fear that in the years to come this refrain will be heard again: once a threat — or God forbid, another successful attack — captures our attention and sends the pendulum swinging back. There is only one person who can shut down this dangerous show: President Obama.

Unfortunately, much of the damage to our capabilities has already been done. It is certainly not trust that is fostered when intelligence officers are told one day “I have your back” only to learn a day later that a knife is being held to it. After the events of this week, morale at the CIA has been shaken to its foundation.

We must not forget: Our intelligence allies overseas view our inability to maintain secrecy as a reason to question our worthiness as a partner. These allies have been vital in almost every capture of a terrorist.

The suggestion that we are safer now because information about interrogation techniques is in the public domain conjures up images of unicorns and fairy dust. We have given our enemy invaluable information about the rules by which we operate. The terrorists captured by the CIA perfected the act of beheading innocents using dull knives. Khalid Sheik Mohammed boasted of the tactic of placing explosives high enough in a building to ensure that innocents trapped above would die if they tried to escape through windows. There is simply no comparison between our professionalism and their brutality.

Our enemies do not subscribe to the rules of the Marquis of Queensbury. “Name, rank and serial number” does not apply to non-state actors but is, regrettably, the only question this administration wants us to ask. Instead of taking risks, our intelligence officers will soon resort to wordsmithing cables to headquarters while opportunities to neutralize brutal radicals are lost.

The days of fortress America are gone. We are the world’s superpower. We can sit on our hands or we can become engaged to improve global human conditions. The bottom line is that we cannot succeed unless we have good intelligence. Trading security for partisan political popularity will ensure that our secrets are not secret and that our intelligence is destined to fail us.

The writer, a Republican, was director of the CIA from September 2004 to May 2006 and was chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 1997 to 2004.

So, who are you going to believe?

/I say let’s put Nancy under oath