For over eight years now we’ve been hearing that the United States is “not a torture nation”, in response to the use of EIT’s, the Enhanced Interrogation Techniques’ used by the Central Intelligence Agency to obtain valuable intelligence information from captured terrorists.
Information that contrary to the claims of some dishonest Democrat and Republican politicians did indeed help lead us to the hideout of Osama bin Laden, and which we effectively used to kill the Al Qaeda terrorist leader. Finally bringing him to justice for the September 11, 2001 attacks against our nation that killed over three thousand of our fellow citizens.
It seems some politicians and even news personalities can’t seem to stop equating what had been thoroughly reviewed by government lawyers during the Bush Administration and judged to be a legal interrogation method, with real brutally physical torture that has been performed on captured Americans by our enemies regularly throughout our nation’s history.
The queen of political dishonesty, or is it just senility, either way Nancy Pelosi herself boldly denied that she was told about the use of EIT’s during briefings to the Congressional Oversight Committee on that very subject. Briefings conducted by senior career representatives of the CIA.
In fact, Ms. Pelosi claimed later when it was pointed out that she did indeed attend CIA briefings during which EIT’s were discussed, Pelosi said “the CIA lied to me, they always lie to me”, or words to that effect. Unfairly impugning the integrity of career intelligence officers in order to later claim that she didn’t know anything about the techniques.
Just one example of how elected officials twist the truth, and in fact lie to Americans regularly to protect their own backsides when something controversial becomes public. Something that they well knew about and could have objected to at the time. Yet they chose to let proceed unquestioned until political expediency dictated otherwise.
Truthfully the controversy over EIT’s should never have happened, since it was a program that should never have been compromised and made public in the first place. A program that dedicated intelligence professionals employed solely in order to try to help protect American lives following the attacks of September 11, 2001.
It was a time when the Bush Administration was concerned about the real possibility of additional attacks being made against the United States and her interests around the world. In desperate times desperate measures sometimes become necessary. Not because of some out of control rogue CIA officers who enjoyed employing EIT’s, but because America was indeed vulnerable, and intelligence professionals were doing their level best to prevent another catastrophic attack against our homeland.
And while dishonest politicians like California Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein and others will claim that nothing of intelligence value was obtained by using the tactics, the intelligence professionals who through their efforts led us to Osama bin Laden’s hiding-place have indicated otherwise. Even former CIA Director John Brennan begrudgingly admitted that through the use of EIT’s valuable intelligence was indeed obtained.
The EIT program became nothing more than a political football used by then candidate Barack Obama and his supporters in order to discredit the Bush Administration. Political gain was all that mattered to the Obama team, the safety of the American people took a backseat. And harming the reputation of the United States in world opinion didn’t matter either since they already planned on conducting an ‘apology tour’ once Obama was elected.
For better or worse EIT’s have been retired and relegated to the dustbin of CIA programs that had become an embarrassment to the CIA, and ultimately to the United States. Hopefully there will never be a time in the future when we need them in order to save an American city from nuclear annihilation.
But I’m sure Senator Feinstein and Congresswoman Pelosi will sleep well at night knowing that they were able to parlay publicity about the EIT program into some short term political gain. Used to discredit their political opponents in the Bush Administration, and the dedicated career intelligence professionals who work tirelessly to protect this nation against a determined enemy, radical Islamic terrorists.
There’s an old joke we told back during my ‘Cold Warrior Days’. “At an embassy cocktail party how can you tell which ones are the CIA officers? They’re the ones with one arm tied behind their backs”.
Defending America isn’t easy in today’s world. And our enemies don’t play by the same rules. While I’m not necessarily calling for the return of EIT’s as an interrogation tool, the Army Field Manual prohibiting being “mean” to terrorists isn’t the answer either.
It’s time to stop being squeamish about protecting America.