Or, why the Romans did that “Remember, thou art mortal” thing*.
Rep Peter Hoekstra of Michigan would like to remind people in general – and the White House in particular – that the events of the last eight years didn’t actually occur in a vacuum:
Congress Knew About the Interrogations
Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair got it right last week when he noted how easy it is to condemn the enhanced interrogation program “on a bright sunny day in April 2009.” Reactions to this former CIA program, which was used against senior al Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003, are demonstrating how little President Barack Obama and some Democratic members of Congress understand the dire threats to our nation.
It was not necessary to release details of the enhanced interrogation techniques, because members of Congress from both parties have been fully aware of them since the program began in 2002. We believed it was something that had to be done in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to keep our nation safe. After many long and contentious debates, Congress repeatedly approved and funded this program on a bipartisan basis in both Republican and Democratic Congresses.
Rep Hoesktra goes on with this shot across the administration’s bow: “I have asked Mr. Blair to provide me with a list of the dates, locations and names of all members of Congress who attended briefings on enhanced interrogation techniques.” That being, of course, the thing that the White House probably doesn’t want publicized. It also doesn’t want it publicized that it doesn’t want it publicized, but that’s normal for administrations in the middle of an embarrassment.
Continue reading Obama caught between rock and a hard place on ‘torture.’
Hi, I am one of those scary bloggers that attacked Freeman.
Glenn Reynolds reminds me of something I saw a few days ago, but forgot about. I just wanted to note that while I’m flattered that DNI Dennis Blair thinks that we in the blogosphere are powerful enough – or notorious enough – to blame for the way that Chas Freeman got steamrollered:
On the Charles – on the Chas Freeman appointment, I am happy to say that looking around this room, there was pretty responsible reporting on Chas, but apparently you guys aren’t bloggers, as – (laughter) – or you guys aren’t as powerful bloggers as some that I discovered when I made the announcement. I thought he was a good pick, I still think he’s a – still think he would have made a great National Intelligence Council Chairman, but it wasn’t to be, and so we’re – lesson learned, moving on.
…I’m afraid that it’s simply not true. It wasn’t us, and it wasn’t this “Israel lobby” that so exercises the pseudo-intellectual mind. One person torpedoed Charles Freeman’s nomination… and it was Charles Freeman himself. The guy was simply far too gone an apologist for too far broad a spectrum of unpleasant regimes to be tolerable, Right or Left.
That being said, I was exceptionally happy to help. I think that we can safely take at least some credit for helping.
PS: I don’t think that you’ve really learned the lesson, DNI Blair. The lesson isn’t don’t be more proactive in getting your notorious apologists for unpleasant regimes through the nomination process: it’s supposed to be don’t appoint notorious apologists for unpleasant regimes in the first place. Just in case nobody’s mentioned.
Crossposted to RedState.