PatriotPost.USFriday Digest Vol. 09 No. 16 24 April 2009
THE FOUNDATION "If a nation expects to be ignorant -- and free ... it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson
PATRIOT PERSPECTIVE The CIA's Aquatic Sports Program and Obama's Real Agenda By Mark Alexander
Leon Panetta was certainly not appointed Director of Central Intelligence because of any related professional qualifications for the post. However, as the former White House Chief of Staff for Bill Clinton, Panetta has the political gravitas to run interference for the Obama regime, to best ensure that nobody will depart the Agency reservation with anything that poses a problem for Obama's agenda.
Of course, what could possibly pose a problem for a pathological socialist who launched his political career a few years back in the home of his terrorist neighbors, William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn -- and is now president?
Though Panetta lacks an intelligence background, at least he passed muster for the requisite DCI clearances. His boss, however, wouldn't qualify for the clearance level required of a desk clerk at the Social Security Administration. (Is this a great country, or what?)
This week, Panetta greeted Obama in the lobby of the CIA's Original Headquarters Building in advance of Obama's teleprompted regurgitation of the most overtly partisan pile of political horse pucky in CIA history. Feigning impartiality, Panetta said, "We must be careful not to spend so much time and energy in laying blame for the past that it interferes with our ability to focus on the fundamental mission we have for today and for tomorrow."
Notice Panetta did not say that we shouldn't lay political blame. He just qualified how much time should be spent doing so.
Blame for what?
Last week, Obama released some carefully chosen top-secret memos regarding "enhanced interrogation" techniques used to interview a few al-Qa'ida guests at the fashionable "Chez Gitmo" resort located on the southeast shore of a nearby Caribbean island getaway. (OK, that may not be a fair representation of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp -- and certainly not Castro's island concentration camp -- but the food, sanitation and amenities at Gitmo are much better than that of the detainees' former dwellings in the dark, dank caves of mountainous Afghanistan.)
The memos pertained to the treatment of three particularly evil Gitmo detainees, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. These three were subjected to waterboarding -- the forcible introduction of water to the mouth and nasal passages in order to coerce a captive's submission and cooperation. (It's worth noting that thousands of our Special Forces and clandestine operators have been subjected to waterboarding as part of their "Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape" training, and, like the Gitmo detainees, they survived.)
However distasteful you might find this practice, I would argue it is a bit more humane than al-Qa'ida's terminal interrogation practice, decapitation.
While Obama released the information about the interrogation techniques, the information obtained by those techniques was redacted. Why, you ask?
Both the CIA and the Justice Department have confirmed that intelligence gathered from these detainees, particularly that from KSM (architect of the 9/11 attacks), saved American lives and property, especially information that thwarted planned attacks on Los Angeles and New York, as well as actionable intelligence that led to the arrest of an al-Qa'ida cell in the U.S. and the capture or death of a succession of al-Qa'ida principals in the Middle East and Africa.
Call it selective transparency. Despite the fact that the Bush administration succeeded with the interrogation policy in question, when it comes to Left-partisan politics, no good deed goes unpunished.
Speaking to CIA employees, Obama said, "I have put an end to the interrogation techniques described in those OLC memos, and I want to be very clear and very blunt. I've done so for a simple reason: because I believe that our nation is stronger and more secure when we deploy the full measure of both our power and the power of our values -- including the rule of law." "Values"? Like the values which form Obama's "vision for America."
"Rule of law"? Everything the Obama administration has done and plans to do is an affront to constitutional Rule of Law.
In fact, the timing of the memos' release has nothing to do with "values" or "rule of law." Let me offer a different rationale for their release from any you've heard or read thus far.
While this memo folly seems to be another candidate for the Obama regime's "ready, fire, aim" botched policy bin, it has a clever, if not obvious, purpose.
First, it serves to both appease and re-energize Obama's ultra-Leftist cadres, those who made "waterboarding" a rallying point for their anti-Operation Iraqi Freedom protests. Indeed, withdrawal from Iraq was the most prominent theme of both Obama's 2004 Senate campaign and his 2008 presidential campaign platform.
Second, and more than re-energizing his anti-war base, however, Obama timed and staged this political shenanigan to reignite the anti-Bush sentiment among a much broader cross section of his constituents. To accomplish this, he has left the door open for prosecution of Bush officials, including Condoleezza Rice, who approved of the policy.
In doing so, he hopes to regain the allegiance of his largest and most loyal constituency, Bush-haters, with the objective of deflecting a growing chorus of "buyer's remorse" among those who elected him but are now increasingly disillusioned.
A charade it may be, but based on the media play it is receiving, Obama is accomplishing his shrewd political objective, which again, has nothing to do with waterboarding.
Obama's Veep, Joe Biden, primed the pump for this farce in February, when he met with Panetta and CIA employees, and told them that Obama was going to "reverse the [waterboarding] policies that in my view and the view of many in this agency caused America to fall short of its founding principles and which gave al-Qa'ida a powerful recruiting tool." (Note to Joe: No detainee had been subjected to waterboarding since 2003.)
On Monday, Obama stood in the same location at which Biden delivered his remarks, and completed the act.
To be more specific, both Obama and Biden staged their remarks in front of the north wall in the CIA's Original Headquarters Building lobby. On the marble wall behind them is an inscription: "In honor of those members of the Central Intelligence Agency who gave their lives in the service of their country." Under those words are 89 stars representing some of the CIA officers who have been killed in covert actions.
Watching that photo op, I was struck by Obama's unmitigated "audacity," that he would defile this solemn memorial by using it as a backdrop for delivering remarks to a handpicked audience -- comments which served no other purpose than to amplify his anti-American political agenda.
At the entrance to the CIA's OHB, not far from Obama and his teleprompters, there is another marble wall with the inscription "And Ye Shall Know the Truth and the Truth Shall Make You Free" (John 8:32). The fifth and longest serving DCI, Allen Dulles, had those words from Scripture inscribed there, and they would become the CIA's motto.
One would hope that our nation would "know the truth," and moreover, recognize that Obama and Biden are al-Qa'ida's "powerful recruiting tool," before our nation suffers another catastrophic attack.
Quote of the Week
"What the president has given to our enemies is a treasure chest of defensive weapons. Within the caves of the mountainous Pakistan/Afghanistan border, Islamofascist plotters must wonder how self-destructively corrupt their American adversaries have to be to allow such materials to land in their hands. The piece of information that may be of most value to terrorists is the government's assessment that waterboarding was 'the most traumatic of the enhanced interrogation techniquesÃ¢?? and implicitly the most effective. ...Presumably the issue is academic since the Obama administration has officially prohibited waterboarding.
There is no more valuable tool for subjects of interrogation than to know what they will be subjected to. How in good conscience could our president have given this gift to those trying to destroy us?" --Investor's Business Daily
On Cross-Examination "It is axiomatic that ideas have consequences, a theme being played out by the Obama administration's turning a blind eye to the magnitude of terrorist evil and seeing a rough moral equivalence between beheadings by terrorists and aggressive American interrogation techniques to extract lifesaving information from terrorists. Commentators who believe Obama only released the 'torture memos' to appease his bloodthirsty, Bush-hating, leftist base, which would be bad enough, are missing the point that Obama shares his base's beliefs. Obama is commander in chief, and his guiding foreign policy doctrine is 'peace through weakness.'" --columnist David Limbaugh
GOVERNMENT & POLITICS News From the Swamp: Phantom Budget Cuts "One of the messages that I delivered today to all the members of the cabinet was, uh, 'As well as you've already done, we're going to have to do that.' I'm asking for all of them to identify, uh, at least a hundred million dollars in additional cuts to, uh, pare administrative budgets, separate and apart from, uh, the work that Peter Orszag and the rest of our team are going to go line by line in the budget and identify programmatic cuts that need to be made." So declared Barack Obama on Monday. He promised during the campaign to slice money from the federal budget "line by line" with a scalpel, but no one believed he was serious when his big cost-cutting measure this week would amount to 0.003 percent of the $3.5 trillion budget. That's a set of tweezers, not a scalpel.
As Dr. Greg Mankiw, a Harvard economics professor, noted, "To put those numbers in perspective, imagine that the head of a household with annual spending of $100,000 called everyone in the family together to deal with a $34,000 budget shortfall. How much would he or she announce that spending had to be cut? By $3 over the course of the year -- approximately the cost of one latte at Starbucks. The other $33,997? We can put that on the family credit card and worry about it next year." Obama's cost-cutting measures defy reality when compared to the $3.5 trillion budget for fiscal 2010. It is such a small cut that it will be completely invisible beside the projected $9.3 trillion deficit the federal government will rack up between 2010 and 2019.
Furthermore, most of the belt tightening won't happen in a single fiscal year. Some of it has already been under way, and the rest will continue through 2012. Which means the cuts are even more meaningless than they seem, if that's possible.
The president defended the measure by noting that the small cuts will amount to something if they are taken together. "[T]hey send a signal that we are serious about changing how government operates," Obama said. Indeed, that signal is loud and clear, judging by the way spending is completely out of control