Consequences of the Liberals' Death Wish

Emmett Tyrrell
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Posted: Jul 16, 2009 12:01 AM
Consequences of the Liberals' Death Wish

WASHINGTON -- Witnessing the current attempt by liberal Democrats in Congress to investigate CIA officers and possibly prosecute them for a covert initiative allegedly undertaken in time of war (a war that still is going on) inspires a happy thought. Perhaps these liberals have a death wish. The American people do not want another 9/11 attack on our shores. They approve of operations against al-Qaida, covert or otherwise. If the liberals continue in their harassment of the CIA for its efforts to protect American national security, for a certitude the electorate will turn these liberals out. Sayonara, my liberal friends!

If the liberals' death wish only extends to themselves, they have my full support. Yet it is conceivable that their death wish extends to the country itself. They rarely have anything very complimentary to say about their homeland. President Barack Obama talks about the United States as though it were a failed state. Liberals in general talk about the United States as though it were the provenance of slavery, bigotry, male chauvinism and -- oh, yes -- cowboy diplomacy. The only favorable thing about America that I have heard from the liberals recently is that America was the birthplace of Michael Jackson. In Congress, they observed a moment of silence to commemorate his assuming room temperature.

The liberals' present furor over the CIA's covert operations against al-Qaida suggests that they harbor a death wish not only for themselves but also for the whole country. Nations at war are not supposed to divulge military or intelligence operations. Often they keep them confidential for generations. British historian David Reynolds, in his superb book about Winston Churchill's World War II memoirs, tells us that both Churchill and the Labour government kept state secrets hidden from the British public and from the world years after the war had ended. Reynolds relates in "In Command of History" how Churchill's famous Nobel Prize-winning memoirs abound with evasions and inaccuracies, for instance, Churchill's silence about cracking the Nazi code (Enigma) and Churchill's true assessments of Dwight Eisenhower and Josef Stalin. Had Churchill been forthright on those matters, the Labour government might never have allowed the volumes to be published.

Today's liberals in Congress are demanding the investigation and threatening the prosecution of intelligence officers who are rumored to have undertaken a secret initiative to assassinate al-Qaida leaders. The initiative supposedly was authorized by President George W. Bush immediately after 9/11. It is not clear whether the initiative ever got beyond the planning stages. Reportedly, it envisaged sending hit teams into al-Qaida territory to do what our Predator and Reaper drones are doing now: kill our enemies. Naturally, much about the initiative is shrouded in secrecy. Yet by charging that Congress should have been informed of the initiative, liberals are making a colossal fuss. They claim that the diabolical Dick Cheney ordered the CIA to keep Congress in the dark and that the initiative was illegal. They want the whole shocking scheme out in the open. Doubtless, al-Qaida does, too.

There are serious consequences to this sort of harassment of intelligence operations. Over at the CIA, there are professionals today who are fearful that they may be forced to hire lawyers soon to defend them against the politicians' investigations. Uncertain as to whether the Obama administration will protect them, they are distracted and hunkering down. Ongoing operations are being affected.

Right now, very reliable sources tell me that the CIA is aware of the presence of al-Qaida leaders in Somalia and possibly Yemen. The terrorists have moved operations there from Pakistan, but the CIA is reluctant to take action against these brutes out of fear that they will not be supported by the government and may be exposed on Capitol Hill.

Such are the consequences of our liberals' death wish. As I say, I do not mind them imperiling their own existence. But when they imperil our intelligence community's ability to prevent another 9/11, it is no joke.