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May 13, 2009

Dems Cry Foul: "The CIA is Out to Get Us!"

Idiots. As the infamously leaky CIA demonstrated over the past eight years, the intelligence agency is out for itself more than any other objective. That means prioritizing protection for its agents, analysts, and methods, above partisanship. The Democrats thought the CIA was an ally against Republicans and they were happy to encourage it's embarrassing tendency to leak. They were right about the means, but wrong about the objective:

The CIA has long been on the receiving end of harsh rebukes from Congress — on intelligence failures leading up to the war in Iraq, on secret prisons abroad and on the harsh interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects. But with the release of records showing that it briefed members of Congress along the way, the CIA has effectively put lawmakers on the defensive.

Intelligence officials insist it wasn’t intentional and have not taken responsibility for publicly releasing the documents.

Asked for comment about the Democrats’ charges, CIA spokesman George Little said only that the CIA “understands the importance of a strong relationship with the Congress, which in our democracy, conducts oversight of secret intelligence activities.”

But another U.S. intelligence official went further, noting that the records of the congressional briefings were “prepared in response to a request from Congress.”

Intelligence Committee member Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) said it appears that “members of the committee or their staff were not in any way involved in [the release of the document]. It appears to come from the executive branch itself. ... I think it’s unbelievable.”

A top congressional official who has participated in the briefings added: “I think the agency wanted to get this out, quite frankly.”

The 10-page document, which was prepared after an April 20 request by Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), lists 40 instances in which the CIA briefed members of Congress between September 2002 and March 2009. But they provide a vague description of the briefings, giving just enough information to fuel claims that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other top officials have long known about waterboarding and other tactics but did little to stop the techniques from being used.

Congress hung the CIA and its contractors out to dry. Of course individuals and the agency itself are going to hit back. I'd say it's likely that the average American is more likely to believe the CIA than Congress, especially since San Fran Nan has so obviously been lying about what she knew and when she knew it.

Democrats who were so eager for "torture commissions" may not be so eager now. Republicans already fessed up to supporting harsh interrogations, which are not torture. Pelosi and her fellows, who spent the last four years lying about their involvement, are not eager for the truth to be widely known. Which means that with a little leak the CIA will have made this whole issue go away.

Another Thing: Consider the arrogance of the Democrats, who thought they could use the CIA like a punching bag, secure in the knowledge that the CIA would never dare punch back. What the Democrats failed to consider is that the CIA believes that it should be setting national intelligence policy. That makes it the natural enemy of Congress and the White House, no matter which party is in power.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 08:33 AM

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