If you think water-boarding is "torture" just wait until you hear the tortured explanation from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week about how she didn't, but maybe she did â€“ oh I don't know â€“ if she was told about the use of EITs against valuable sources of information like Abu Zubaydah. It will be painful.
It has been nine years since President Clinton has left office, and the mark of parsing words he left on America is still with us today. It's very much alive and well in the Democratic Party. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman," and "it depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is." Ever since then Democrats have warped, twisted and mutilated words whenever they are caught in a lie. Why not just tell the truth?
Ms. Pelosi is on the record expressing she had never been briefed by the "Bush administration" on the use of EITs (enhanced interrogation techniques) such as water-boarding. If you put her words under a microscope she may have gotten away with one for the moment, but I can't wait for the details from the speaker.
In a 2003 CIA briefing attended by Pelosi aide Michael Sheehy and Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., the use of water-boarding was one of the key topics. After the meeting Harman sent a letter to the CIA objecting to water-boarding. She apparently had full knowledge the technique was being employed. Was Mr. Sheehy sleeping? Did the hearing aid go dead?
One would have to really stretch to accept that Pelosi did not know about the disclosures made in this meeting given that on Dec. 9, 2007, Pelosi said, "It was my understanding at that time that Congresswoman Harman filed a letter in early 2003 to the CIA to protest the use of such techniques, a protest with which I concurred." Clearly Mr. Sheehy had reported to the speaker what the discussion circled around.
Pelosi was well aware of the techniques being used by the CIA and the Bush administration to gain valuable information in preventing future attacks and did nothing about it. She never once offered legislation to cut off funding. She didn't sound an alarm by proposing a law to limit the CIA in its pursuit of the information. Nothing.
So while she will offer all forms of parsed and warped words to explain why she did nothing, she has no excuse. And I would only hope she spares us from the torture we will all endure for the next 48-hour news cycle as she tries to explain why she lied â€“ because we all know the answer: politics. It is plain and simple Democratic politics taught to her by her dad and perfected by Bill Clinton. And that is what scares me and lends a great amount of credibility to why we are less safe now under Mr. Obama and Ms. Pelosi.
They are both willing to play gotcha politics with our national security. Releasing memos that expose tactics and techniques to our enemies cannot make us safer. And anyone who thinks so has lost their mind â€“ which may soon be followed by losing their heads. Literally. Given the enemy we battle gets kicks by decapitating the "infidels."
Who benefits from the release of any of our tactics? Nobody but our enemy and our politicians. While we are in the midst of war, it is not the right time to have a public political debate about our national security secrets.
As Pelosi and Mr. Obama release more sensitive information to the public to embarrass the Bush administration and cement their long-term goal of destroying the Republican Party, I suggest they go back to the Clinton administration and disclose their memos as well.
Those memos reveal what I believe is at the heart of the issue of our national security and the two very different views the political parties take when radical Islamic terrorism is addressed.
The Clinton administration saw the issue of terrorism as a "criminal" and "legal" matter. With proper law enforcement, terrorists could be "brought to justice." Mr. Clinton stated that he had no "legal" authority to detain Osama bin Laden when he was in our reach.
The Bush administration viewed the issue as a war that must be won if we were going to defeat our enemy. Bush saw evil as something that must be eliminated, not punished â€“ destroyed, not appeased. These were two very different approaches to the same problem.
I side with Mr. Bush on this one. I know how lawyers operate, especially ACLU acid heads from the '70s. They want to reform the terrorists and enlighten them to the joy of peace. Well maybe the ACLU folks should take the Gitmo detainees home to their neighborhoods and families if they truly believe terrorists can be reformed. ACLU attorneys believe pedophiles who rape children can be rehabilitated. Unfortunately, data proves them wrong. Lawyers make things worse. Soldiers make things better.
So this week will be painful to watch. After all the spin, Pelosi will be exposed for what she is: a partisan political hack who has ascended to a position of power in our government during a very dangerous time in American history for a speaker with no moral compass.
If the media do their jobs, Pelosi will have a lot of explaining to do. If they don't, I am placing my trust in the people of California to hold her accountable. Make her pay the political price the next time she runs for office. It is time for California to say "no" to Ms. Pelosi.
This is especially true when by the end of this week she will have exposed our whole nation to the torture of watching her squirm to save her political future. It will make water-boarding seem like a weekend at a family water park in comparison.
Or perhaps we should all save ourselves the trouble and water-board her for the answers.
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