Alexandra says we need to spend 40 trillion dollars. Nancy says, If we win she will flood the House with committees and endless investigations, Elizabeth says she is Cherokee because of trace elements in her DNA. Hillary says Bill’s behavior was not as bad as Brett’s. Diane says no man should be believed. Maxine says God wants us to harass people in restaurants.
Now Carl Bernstein says unless we develop a civil tone and talk to each other we’ll have civil war. He says we need to find common ground. Not when its quicksand!
Say a man breaks into your home. You got him dead to rights. Instead of leaving he begins to threaten you. He claims he has a right to a part of your private property. He even tells you that if you hurt him he will tell the police. Not your normal cop arrives. For some reason the wispy officer finds merit in the burglar’s claim and suggests you find common ground. “Maybe you can let him use part of your house as a humanitarian gesture.”
We are not vying for some strange new world. We merely wish to uphold the Constitution, and the values that made America great. For that we are condemned, threatened and called vile names.
Much of the world condemns Israel for not giving into Palestinian demands. Yet they forget that the fundamental demand of any of Palestinian offer of peace is that Israel cease to exist. That is why the Israelis refuse to negotiate. That’s also why we shouldn’t negotiate with the left.
University presidents say no conservative should be allowed to speak on any campus. The left is so gone that they have gone from witch hunts to witchcraft. A group of leftist witches are formally putting hexes on Judge Kavanaugh. Appropriately, they are also making a donation to Planned Parenthood. Of course they are! Human sacrifice has always been a part of witchcraft.
The left loves to say we are headed to civil war. Like true confederates and plantation owners Blue states want to secede from the Union. Don’t be fooled. This is not like 1860 it is more like 1776. We are not engaged in heated disagreement with folks that have a legitimate beef. These are loons. And oh yes…thugs.
Who is in the street wearing black masks? Why did George Soros pay operatives to physically attack Republican women? Splinter News writer Hamilton Nolan penned an essay this week, warning that they are going to start using bombs.
Carl you need to talk to your lunatic friends. This is no time to tell the rational people they need to give into insanity.
November is not an election based on policy or reasoned debate. It is a referendum on madness. It is the American people seeing through the media shills, the false victims, and the bloodthirsty politicians…and voting to stay free. You don’t negotiate with crazy.
The victory of Brett Kavanaugh faded quickly in my spirit. It was something President Trump asked the crowd in Kansas. “If they act this way trying to get power what do you think they will be like if they get the power?”
Then he said, “you don’t hand matches to an arsonist.”
Diane Feinstein will slander an innocent man—hold back that slander till it has the most sadistic impact on a godly family—just to win an election. If she does that now, what would she do with a Senate majority?
The left believes men should be guilty until proven guilty. They want carte blanche to investigate until the lies suffocate the truth.
And what if Kavanaugh had quit? What if that towering miscarriage of justice had carried the day? The war on men would have reached critical mass.
As it stands, all we have won is a battle. The war goes on. We will still see this ideology canonized in the courts if the left gains control.
Oh, they won’t go after every man…just your man. They won’t investigate Bill Clinton for rape or Keith Ellison for beating a woman senseless. They only want to stop men who oppose their agenda. What do you think they’d do to your Christian, conservative son, brother, husband, father, if they get in the way?
What about the street thugs of the left? With a Democratic majority they will be emboldened to expand and deepen their disruption and violence. The streets can become their reign of terror, destroying property and reputations. They will operate with impunity shielded by a Congress sympathetic to their cause.
Whatever restraint Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and all the social media platforms are showing now will go away. Instead of shadow banning there will just be banning.
Hollywood, and all the media voices of the left would churn out complete propaganda, drowning out all opposing views. Look at this tweet:
The writer of this vile tweet is a writer on the Stephen Colbert show, and has nearly 40,000 followers on Twitter. As the Senate confirmation vote was gearing up, she wanted everyone to know that “whatever happens” she is “just” glad she ruined a man’s life. Never mind if he was innocent, never mind any of the facts or corroborations or shifting stories of his accuser. The important thing to her was ruining his life. That was what mattered.
We have entered a moment unlike any in history. They only time it reminds me of is in Luke 4: 13 “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.”
The left is a bloodied beast regrouping. Their vile behavior against Kavanaugh was just a dress rehearsal. Starting today, they will unleash deceit, intimidation and yes, violence. Dark money will fuel their dirty commercials. A tsunami of leftist sewage is about to crash into the nation.
Mario, I don’t believe you, this can’t happen. Yeah and did you ever think something like these depraved confirmation hearings could happen?
The stakes for November are beyond calculation. I have never seen, nor will I ever see a closer tie between my faith and my vote. They have become virtually inseparable. One is now an extension of the other. Every believer must storm heaven in prayer! Every believer must go and vote. If your pastor is not rallying you to pray and vote why are you still listening to them?
You don’t hand matches to an arsonist. However, if you think you are spiritual by not voting you need to realize this: while you aren’t handing an arsonist matches, you are leaving them out on the table.
“Republican enthusiasm surges amid Supreme Court battle!” That’s what Katie Glueck and Adam Wollner of the Maclatchy Report said in their article of the same name.
“Conversations with pollsters, strategists and party officials reveal that Republican voters are circling the wagons around Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee who has been accused of sexual assault, allegations he strongly denies. And now, there are concrete signs that the drama over his confirmation, complete with emotional Senate hearings and an FBI supplemental investigation, is helping Republicans close an enthusiasm gap with Democrats, which has been one of the GOP’s biggest challenges of the last two years.
‘It’s the difference between victory and defeat in a close race,’ said veteran GOP pollster Whit Ayres, who said he’s seeing a bump in Republican enthusiasm. ‘They’re pretty upset about how Kavanaugh has been treated.’”
Feinstein and all the rest crossed the one line you don’t cross with Americans: their sense of fairness. Both liberal and conservative Americans are disgusted by the treatment of Brett Kavanaugh. And there are signs that the public is going to punish the Democratic Party for this circus of horrors.
No longer can you blame Trump…you did this to yourselves. Today for example, Chuck Schumer is screaming that there is only one copy of the FBI report on Kavanaugh for Senators to read. That is a procedure Obama created with the Justice Department in 2009. Again, they did it to themselves.
The media, universities, and the Democratic Party’s credibility is imploding. The press is crying foul. They claim the president’s attacks erode democracy. The truth is, they have been caught red-handed omitting facts and giving credence to people who have lied. They have been tagged for eroding democracy, once again they did it to themselves.
Tragically, they are not only missing the point, they are basking in their self-inflicted wounds.
Secular progressives from all of these institutions have deranged themselves. Old Democratic Party leftists will not even consider self-examination. The damage is now clear. Unable to take anymore, many mainstream liberals are quietly excusing themselves …quietly because of the left’s slander-terror campaign against any liberal who openly disagrees.
The exasperating—over-the-top—leftist behavior has given the nation combat fatigue. Not to mention they look and sound just plain loony. The new radical left has trapped Democrats trapped in a twilight zone. They are too big to be an insane asylum and too small to be a national movement. They are merely an elite, out of touch group of bullies who—for the moment at least—hold the microphone. It appears however that they will have to face the facts of life.
It’s a fact of life: the public will hold you accountable when you don’t hold yourself accountable.
It’s a fact of life: silencing people does not convert them.
The Trump excuse has worn thin and the left must pay the piper. They told the lies. They colluded to elect Hillary Clinton. They own the narrative that is spewing venom. They are the ones who look unhinged.
Here’s an all points left wing loon bulletin:
The University of Michigan has banned whiteboards in the dorms to cut down on hurtful words.
From the Devolving, Democratic Congress: Maxine Waters calls the entire Trump Cabinet “scumbags.”
From the fading CNN Bunker: A father asks Chris Cuomo, “what if my twelve-year-old daughter doesn’t want to see male genitalia in the girl’s locker room?” His answer, “her overprotective father should teach her tolerance.”
A terror group in the Bay Area who call themselves By Any Means Necessary say that they break windows, set buildings on fire and beat people to silence speakers on campus. Oh, and not on just any campus but Sproul Plaza at Cal Berkeley: the birthplace of the free speech movement. They said, “Our violence is an act of self-defense.”
When you scream that the enemy is white male Christians—when you use violence to stop free speech—when you say gender is not scientific—you not only sound crazy, but you show the public that the real racism, sexism, and hate is coming from.
You are driving folks to conservatism. You are the early committee to reelect Trump. You are alienating America. A part of me doesn’t want to tell you this. Napoleon said, “never interfere with your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
Today I address you, not as Republican or Democrat, but as a human being. You need—for the sake of your sanity—to admit what they are doing to Judge Brett Kavanaugh. You need to do this to save what’s left of America.
Desperate wounded animals are hiding behind words like women’s rights and racial equality. They care nothing about these things…it is all about power. They will destroy anyone and anything to stay in power.
How else can you explain the deception, the cruelty, and the madness?
Diane Feinstein is fighting for reelection. She has lost support in California because she is not left-wing enough. She made the cold-blooded choice to destroy a man with lies, so she can stay in office. What else explains her predatory behavior?
She waits until the last minute to produce a shabby witness to an uncorroborated high school event. She screams for time to investigate. She is the one who wasted it!
She is far from the only villain in this psycho-drama. We see a parade of politicians at the end of their rope. We see the news media shedding every shred of honesty to feed the frenzy. We see politicians who have actually sexually assaulted women crucifying a man who never did.
And why do you need to see this? For two mountainous reasons:
1. This is a war on you. It is a war on your sons, husbands, brothers and fathers. Today it is Kavanaugh. Tomorrow it will be a man you love—any man who stands in the way of their power. The man in your life can be destroyed without due process. That son of yours can be wiped out in a world that treats slander is if it were evidence.
2. You have the power to punish the evil doers. The one bright light is your power to vote. Get off the fence and embrace reality—no matter how painful it is to digest. The Democratic Party has been seized by power-starved wolves. You support this by not voting. You do so at the cost of your own decency.
God has granted us two bright lights:
1. The power of prayer. Today we discard tepid prayer. This is the day of crying out to God in clear passion and bold faith. We dive into prayer. We must run to the war room. It is all out in the open. We are locked in mortal combat with devils—devils bent on destroying freedom.
2. The power to act. Prayer without action is a mockery. Intercession without obedience is a sham. Raise your voice. Call your Senator. Arm yourself with facts. The scoundrels who would destroy anyone and anything to stay in power count on your apathy. They sneer at your convictions.
This November will be remembered as the final turning point for America—toward evil and destruction, or toward redemption. A loss will be worse than if Hillary had won.
I am not kidding you. A man robbing a convenience store—while holding a gun to the clerk’s head—called the police to complain that the clerk would not open the till, unless the thief first purchased something.
Democratic leaders are exactly like that armed bandit. While committing a crime—they not only falsely accuse the victim of a crime—they call the FBI.
As a nation swimming in moral confusion—we can’t see the towering injustice of this entire lurid affair against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. But that is not even the worst of it.
Now imagine if the police had sympathized with the armed intruder and investigated to see if the clerk had behaved properly. Imagine if members of his own family questioned the clerk’s reluctance to give into the robbery. (Jeff Flake.)
Republicans should be outraged in the face of tyranny—they should push for the vote, confirm Kavanaugh, and let the chips fall where they may. They should heed the words of Abraham Lincoln, “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”
Now, wouldn’t you love to hear the original recording of the robber to the police? “I am trying to rob this store and the cashier not cooperating.” That is precisely what Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the committee felt like to me.
Julie Swetnick—the other Brett Kavanaugh accuser—was sued for misconduct allegations at a Portland company.
In the suit, Webtrends alleged Swetnick claimed to have graduated from Johns Hopkins University but the company said it subsequently learned the school had no record of her attendance. Webtrends said she also “falsely described her work experience” at a prior employer.
The suit also alleges Swetnick “engaged in unwelcome, sexually offensive conduct” while at Webtrends and “made false and retaliatory allegations that other co-workers had engaged in inappropriate conduct toward her.”
The suit alleges Swetnick “engaged in unwelcome sexual innuendo and inappropriate conduct” directed at two male employees during a business lunch, with Webtrends customers present. Swetnick claimed two other employees had sexually harassed her, according to the suit.
Webtrends’ suit said it determined Swetnick had engaged in misconduct but could not find evidence to support her allegations against her colleagues. Later, the company alleged, Swetnick took medical leave and simultaneously claimed unemployment benefits in the District of Columbia.
Diane Feinstein is as irrational as the now over-referenced robber—holding back false accusations until they would inflict the most pain. Turning a blind eye to the collateral damage to an innocent family. This man watched his children traumatized, and his sparkling reputation besmirched. He got mad. Which leads me to the heart of this blog.
The left—in the stupidest argument ever—says his anger proves he is unfit to be on the Supreme Court. Listen to the Los Angeles Times editorial by David G. Savage: “Determined to clear his name, he did not just argue that Ford, whom he says he had barely known, had mistakenly identified him as the attacker she feared would rape her, or suffocate her by muffling her cries. Rather, he portrayed the accusation as a politically motivated attack by vengeful Democrats, arising from “the frenzy on the left” to “blow me up and take me down.”
Should he be confirmed, however, at a minimum his nationally televised remarks are likely to linger in Americans’ memories, further undercutting for many the notion that the high court’s decisions reflect a fair, impartial reading of the Constitution, history and precedent — and not the nine justices’ political leanings. In particular, Kavanaugh’s judicial temperament has been called into question.” After that, Saturday Night Live had a skit satirizing the Judge’s anger.
An unnamed source put this all in proper perspective: “In watching the testimony of Brett Kavanaugh, I am as angry as Mr. Kavanaugh for the absurd questions asked of him by the assortment of senators. These are the very people we elect to be fair but instead choose to embarrass themselves with questions about drinking beer, parties, his groping – all of which took place 35 years ago. If I were Judge Kavanaugh, I would tell them all where to go and walk out. The Democrats are on this rant because they want to hold the seat open just in case they win in 2020. Disgusting!”
My question to you is…what kind of a Judge, husband and father would Brett be if this did not make him angry? And what kind of people are we if we don’t plug this open sewer hearing in Washington?
I watched Diane Feinstein oversee San Francisco’s darkest night. Mayor Moscone had been assassinated by Dan White in San Francisco. 900 people from the People’s Temple were killed by Jim Jones in a South American jungle. She acquitted herself with honor, strength and wisdom.
Today, I don’t know this woman. What my heart says is that person who held a city together is still in there—somewhere. My mind tells me that what we have now is a cold, cynical, calculating politician throwing a bone to the hard left in order to win reelection.
A George Soros funded educator has gone public with an accusation that Brett Kavanagh—nominee for the Supreme Court—sexually assaulted her back in high school. A charge he vehemently denies.
I don’t expect everyone to believe me but in my soul where it matters, I know this accusation is a lie. More importantly, Diane knows this is a lie. She knows, that we know, if there was anything to this story, it would have come out a long time ago. The timing does not pass the smell test—it stinks to high heaven.
Diane has caved to the Socialist, Me Too#, Antifa, Kill Trump wing of the Democratic Party. She has lit her torch to the fire of the crazed villagers.
I picture her pounding at the mirror—knowing full well she is lying—repeating over and over again, “it’s for the greater good, it’s for the greater good.”
By running this Kabuki Theater, the Left has utterly disgraced itself. When Bill Maher admits “this makes us look bad” you know they have disgraced themselves.
How disgusting are California Democrats, if they’re telling the world this is how you win our vote in California. Diane can no longer run as the voice of reason in the wacko world of Maxine Waters, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders. Her integrity has been drowned out—finally, by her own hand.
Kavanaugh will be confirmed. No proof of the assault will be found. This too shall pass. But what must never pass in the mind of any believer…is what you are doing to your soul, you country, and your children if you pull a lever for any Democrat this November. Why? Because if Diane—the last bastion of reason—is gone, the whole party is gone.
A TERRIFYING YEAR — YET THERE’S HOPE
By Ben Stein
Away from the White House and Justice Department, America has been doing great things.
This has been a terrifying year. Unspeakable brutality by Islamist terrorists in the Middle East and in Africa. A level of barbarity towards the innocent that would have made Eichmann envious. A world that in large measure kowtows to the most violent and bloodthirsty and turns on the most innocent and law-abiding (think Hamas vs. Israel). In this year, no one demonstrated in the streets of Europe’s capitals against Islamists who murdered children by the thousands but did protest screamingly against the major guardians of law and decency in the world, the USA and Israel.
In this year, man’s essential mean-spiritedness ran riot, with fanatics of various stripes and Islamists brutalizing universities either physically or by the essential evil of their tortured so-called “thoughts.” This was at prestige universities in the United States.
In 2014, the President and the Attorney-General, both men of color, sought to awaken the demons of racism for votes. That was not “just politics.” That was something like sedition from on high. People are fragile on the subject of race. To have the most exalted in the land stir up fear and anger about race over highly dubious claims of racism was in fact wildly dangerous racism in and of itself.
To see the “black power” flags run up on Pennsylvania Avenue by the mightiest of the mighty was a distressing spectacle. It got the GOP overwhelming control of Congress. I am sure it will get the GOP the White House if it continues, for even Hillary is not inevitable if the Democrat party makes itself the party of anti-white racist feeling.
Is America racist? Well, Americans are people. People dislike other people pushing them around. Black people do not like being pushed around and white people do not like being pushed around. That is not racism. That is basic humanity. Nations get into trouble when one sector pushes another sector around for grievances that were once horribly real, but no longer are.
In other words, until Mr. Obama came along to capitalize on racial feelings, poll data showed Americans feeling pretty good about race relations. Now, Americans are fearful and anxious about race. This is a colossal step backwards. This is what happens when the President is beholden to extremists and agitators and must dance to the tune they call about race-baiting. I totally see how it came about. But it’s time to walk back. Time, high time, to back down from that race-baiting cliff.
In other words, when the President of the United States listens to Al Sharpton and takes him seriously, we are in a lot of trouble. We are a glorious, God-centered nation. We can rise above racial antagonisms. We have done it in the past. We can do it in the future, if, if, if politicians can step back from mortgaging America’s future to win votes. A big “if”…
So my gloomy thoughts run on this glorious Christmas in Rancho Mirage, with the stars painting the night sky behind my palm trees.
But I also have seen great things this year. My job is, in large part, to speak at events, often business-related events. And here I see magnificent things happening. I see auto dealers who have completely changed the way selling and financing and servicing of cars works. A business notorious for sharp practice is now a business people trust and love. It is fun to buy a car.
I have seen the tenacious oil people, who fought like warriors to drill—and now they have brought cheap gasoline to America—at huge cost to themselves. When you fill your tank for roughly two-thirds of what it would have cost a year ago, it’s no thanks to the government. No thanks to Hollywood. It is thanks to those oilmen whom the government loves to criticize and lambaste.
But the most surprising and impressive people I saw were the finance people. Cursed and double-cursed by the media, they have wrought miracles. In health care especially, they have financed breakthroughs in diagnosis and cures for disease, in management of pain, in making the lives of us humans longer, more pleasant, and pain-free. It is an inspiring sight to see a room filled with the best and brightest of our young people and middle-aged people, men and women of all races, seeking to find the best medicines and diagnostic tools and anodynes to keep the world’s people’s lives brighter.
Yes, they do it for money. That’s fine. That is a perfectly good motive. But they do it, and the meds get in the pipeline and heart disease and tumors get diagnosed early. This is what finance should be.
I have seen America working together for a better life for the whole world, the intelligence and money coming out of finance and into the hearts and bloodstreams of Earth’s people. It is an inspiring sight. On TV and on the campuses, people look for trouble and ways to cause pain. In the venture capital and private equity firms, without fanfare, without the mainstream media, lives are being made better. And if profits come, they pay for the retirements of firefighters and police and elementary school teachers. Capitalism is working beautifully. If we can keep the wolves of envy away from the door, man’s world will be sunnier.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has released its majority report on Central Intelligence Agency detention and interrogation in the wake of 9/11. The following response is from former CIA Directors George J. Tenet, Porter J. Goss and Michael V. Hayden (a retired Air Force general), and former CIA Deputy Directors John E. McLaughlin, Albert M. Calland (a retired Navy vice admiral) and Stephen R. Kappes :
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on Central Intelligence Agency detention and interrogation of terrorists, prepared only by the Democratic majority staff, is a missed opportunity to deliver a serious and balanced study of an important public policy question. The committee has given us instead a one-sided study marred by errors of fact and interpretation—essentially a poorly done and partisan attack on the agency that has done the most to protect America after the 9/11 attacks.
Examining how the CIA handled these matters is an important subject of continuing relevance to a nation still at war. In no way would we claim that we did everything perfectly, especially in the emergency and often-chaotic circumstances we confronted in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. As in all wars, there were undoubtedly things in our program that should not have happened. When we learned of them, we reported such instances to the CIA inspector general or the Justice Department and sought to take corrective action.
The country and the CIA would have benefited from a more balanced study of these programs and a corresponding set of recommendations. The committee’s report is not that study. It offers not a single recommendation.
Our view on this is shared by the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Republican minority, both of which are releasing rebuttals to the majority’s report. Both critiques are clear-eyed, fact-based assessments that challenge the majority’s contentions in a nonpartisan way.
What is wrong with the committee’s report?
First, its claim that the CIA’s interrogation program was ineffective in producing intelligence that helped us disrupt, capture, or kill terrorists is just not accurate. The program was invaluable in three critical ways:
• It led to the capture of senior al Qaeda operatives, thereby removing them from the battlefield.
• It led to the disruption of terrorist plots and prevented mass casualty attacks, saving American and Allied lives.
• It added enormously to what we knew about al Qaeda as an organization and therefore informed our approaches on how best to attack, thwart and degrade it.
A powerful example of the interrogation program’s importance is the information obtained from Abu Zubaydah, a senior al Qaeda operative, and from Khalid Sheikh Muhammed, known as KSM, the 9/11 mastermind. We are convinced that both would not have talked absent the interrogation program.
Information provided by Zubaydah through the interrogation program led to the capture in 2002 of KSM associate and post-9/11 plotter Ramzi Bin al-Shibh. Information from both Zubaydah and al-Shibh led us to KSM. KSM then led us to Riduan Isamuddin, aka Hambali, East Asia’s chief al Qaeda ally and the perpetrator of the 2002 Bali bombing in Indonesia—in which more than 200 people perished.
The removal of these senior al Qaeda operatives saved thousands of lives because it ended their plotting. KSM, alone, was working on multiple plots when he was captured.
Here’s an example of how the interrogation program actually worked to disrupt terrorist plotting. Without revealing to KSM that Hambali had been captured, we asked him who might take over in the event that Hambali was no longer around. KSM pointed to Hambali’s brother Rusman Gunawan. We then found Gunawan, and information from him resulted in the takedown of a 17-member Southeast Asian cell that Gunawan had recruited for a “second wave,” 9/11-style attack on the U.S. West Coast, in all likelihood using aircraft again to attack buildings. Had that attack occurred, the nightmare of 9/11 would have been repeated.
Once they had become compliant due to the interrogation program, both Abu Zubaydah and KSM turned out to be invaluable sources on the al Qaeda organization. We went back to them multiple times to gain insight into the group. More than one quarter of the nearly 1,700 footnotes in the highly regarded 9/11 Commission Report in 2004 and a significant share of the intelligence in the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on al Qaeda came from detainees in the program, in particular Zubaydah and KSM.
The majority on the Senate Intelligence Committee further claims that the takedown of bin Laden was not facilitated by information from the interrogation program. They are wrong. There is no doubt that information provided by the totality of detainees in CIA custody, those who were subjected to interrogation and those who were not, was essential to bringing bin Laden to justice. The CIA never would have focused on the individual who turned out to be bin Laden’s personal courier without the detention and interrogation program.
Specifically, information developed in the interrogation program piqued the CIA’s interest in the courier, placing him at the top of the list of leads to bin Laden. A detainee subjected to interrogation provided the most specific information on the courier. Additionally, KSM and Abu Faraj al-Libi—both subjected to interrogation—lied about the courier at a time when both were providing honest answers to a large number of other critical questions. Since other detainees had already linked the courier to KSM and Abu Faraj, their dissembling about him had great significance.
So the bottom line is this: The interrogation program formed an essential part of the foundation from which the CIA and the U.S. military mounted the bin Laden operation.
The second significant problem with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report is its claim that the CIA routinely went beyond the interrogation techniques as authorized by the Justice Department. That claim is wrong.
President Obama ’s attorney general, Eric Holder , directed an experienced prosecutor, John Durham, to investigate the interrogation program in 2009. Mr. Durham examined whether any unauthorized techniques were used by CIA interrogators, and if so, whether such techniques could constitute violations of U.S. criminal statutes. In a press release, the attorney general said that Mr. Durham “examined any possible CIA involvement with the interrogation and detention of 101 detainees who were alleged to have been in U.S. custody” after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The investigation was concluded in August 2012. It was professional and exhaustive and it determined that no prosecutable offenses were committed.
Third, the report’s argument that the CIA misled the Justice Department, the White House, Congress, and the American people is also flat-out wrong. Much of the report’s reasoning for this claim rests on its argument that the interrogation program should not have been called effective, an argument that does not stand up to the facts.
Fourth, the majority left out something critical to understanding the program: context.
The detention and interrogation program was formulated in the aftermath of the murders of close to 3,000 people on 9/11. This was a time when:
• We had evidence that al Qaeda was planning a second wave of attacks on the U.S.
• We had certain knowledge that bin Laden had met with Pakistani nuclear scientists and wanted nuclear weapons.
• We had reports that nuclear weapons were being smuggled into New York City.
• We had hard evidence that al Qaeda was trying to manufacture anthrax.
It felt like the classic “ticking time bomb” scenario—every single day.
In this atmosphere, time was of the essence and the CIA felt a deep responsibility to ensure that an attack like 9/11 would never happen again. We designed the detention and interrogation programs at a time when “relationship building” was not working with brutal killers who did not hesitate to behead innocents. These detainees had received highly effective counter-interrogation training while in al Qaeda training camps. And yet it was clear they possessed information that could disrupt plots and save American lives.
The Senate committee’s report says that the CIA at that point had little experience or expertise in capture, detention or interrogation of terrorists. We agree. But we were charged by the president with doing these things in emergency circumstances—at a time when there was no respite from threat and no luxury of time to act. Our hope is that no one ever has to face such circumstances again.
The Senate committee’s report ignores this context.
The committee also failed to make clear that the CIA was not acting alone in carrying out the interrogation program. Throughout the process, there was extensive consultation with the national security adviser, deputy national security adviser, White House counsel, and the Justice Department.
The president approved the program. The attorney general deemed it legal.
The CIA went to the attorney general for legal rulings four times—and the agency stopped the program twice to ensure that the Justice Department still saw it as consistent with U.S. policy, law and our treaty obligations. The CIA sought guidance and reaffirmation of the program from senior administration policy makers at least four times.
We relied on their policy and legal judgments. We deceived no one.
The CIA reported any allegations of abuse to the Senate-confirmed inspector general and the Justice Department. CIA senior leadership forwarded nearly 20 cases to the Justice Department, and career Justice officials decided that only one of these cases—unrelated to the formal interrogation program—merited prosecution. That person received a prison term.
The CIA briefed Congress approximately 30 times. Initially, at presidential direction the briefings were restricted to the so-called Gang of Eight of top congressional leaders—a limitation permitted under covert-action laws. The briefings were detailed and graphic and drew reactions that ranged from approval to no objection. The briefings held nothing back.
Congress’s view in those days was very different from today. In a briefing to the Senate Intelligence Committee after the capture of KSM in 2003, committee members made clear that they wanted the CIA to be extremely aggressive in learning what KSM knew about additional plots. One senator leaned forward and forcefully asked: “Do you have all the authorities you need to do what you need to do?”
In September 2006, at the strong urging of the CIA, the administration decided to brief full committee and staff directors on the interrogation program. As part of this, the CIA sought to enter into a serious dialogue with the oversight committees, hoping to build a consensus on a way forward acceptable to the committee majority and minority and to the congressional and executive branches. The committees missed a chance to help shape the program—they couldn’t reach a consensus. The executive branch was left to proceed alone, merely keeping the committees informed.
How did the committee report get these things so wrong? Astonishingly, the staff avoided interviewing any of us who had been involved in establishing or running the program, the first time a supposedly comprehensive Senate Select Committee on Intelligence study has been carried out in this way.
The excuse given by majority senators is that CIA officers were under investigation by the Justice Department and therefore could not be made available. This is nonsense. The investigations referred to were completed in 2011 and 2012 and applied only to certain officers. They never applied to six former CIA directors and deputy directors, all of whom could have added firsthand truth to the study. Yet a press account indicates that the committee staff did see fit to interview at least one attorney for a terrorist at Guantanamo Bay.
We can only conclude that the committee members or staff did not want to risk having to deal with data that did not fit their construct. Which is another reason why the study is so flawed. What went on in preparing the report is clear: The staff picked up the signal at the outset that this study was to have a certain outcome, especially with respect to the question of whether the interrogation program produced intelligence that helped stop terrorists. The staff members then “cherry picked” their way through six million pages of documents, ignoring some data and highlighting others, to construct their argument against the program’s effectiveness.
In the intelligence profession, that is called politicization.
As lamentable as the inaccuracies of the majority document are—and the impact they will have on the public’s understanding of the program—some consequences are alarming:
• Many CIA officers will be concerned that being involved in legally approved sensitive actions can open them to politically driven scrutiny and censure from a future administration.
• Foreign intelligence partners will have even less confidence that Washington, already hemorrhaging with leaks, will be able to protect their cooperation from public scrutiny. They will cooperate less with the United States.
• Terrorists, having acquired now the largest haven (in the Middle East and North Africa) and string of successes they have had in a decade, will have yet another valuable recruitment tool.
All of this means more danger for the American people and for our allies.
Anyone who has led a U.S. intelligence agency supports strong congressional oversight. It is essential as a check on leadership judgment in a profession that deals constantly with uncertainty, crises and the potential for surprise. We have all experienced and benefited from that in our careers, including at times when the judgment of overseers was critical.
When oversight works well, it is balanced, constructively critical and discreet—and offers sound recommendations. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report is disrespectful of that standard.
It’s fair to ask whether the interrogation program was the right policy, but the committee never takes on this toughest of questions.
On that important issue it is important to know that the dilemma CIA officers struggled with in the aftermath of 9/11 was one that would cause discomfort for those enamored of today’s easy simplicities: Faced with post-9/11 circumstances, CIA officers knew that many would later question their decisions—as we now see—but they also believed that they would be morally culpable for the deaths of fellow citizens if they failed to gain information that could stop the next attacks.
Between 1998 and 2001, the al Qaeda leadership in South Asia attacked two U.S. embassies in East Africa, a U.S. warship in the port of Aden, Yemen, and the American homeland—the most deadly single foreign attack on the U.S. in the country’s history. The al Qaeda leadership has not managed another attack on the homeland in the 13 years since, despite a strong desire to do so. The CIA’s aggressive counterterrorism policies and programs are responsible for that success.
A few days ago, I wrote about the considerable number of Connecticut gun owners who have simply refused to comply with the post-Newtown rules and register their “assault weapons” with the state. Connecticut, I observed, has created a “real problem” for itself.
Today, the pro-Second Amendment group, Connecticut Carry, went one stage further, issuing a provocative press release in which it suggested that “the state does not have the b—s to enforce [the new] laws” and demanded that authorities pick a course of action: “It’s time,” the group argues in summation, ”for the State to enforce the tyranny they passed or repeal it entirely”:
As many media sources have pointed out, there is very little compliance with the new edicts, and there is absolutely no way for the State to know who is obeying the law or not. State officials have made their bluff, and Undersecretary Lawlor has made his position clear, that the State will enforce the laws. We say: Bring it on. The officials of the State of Connecticut have threatened its citizens by fiat. They have roared on paper, but they have violated Principle. Now it’s time for the State to man-up: either enforce its edicts or else stand-down and return to the former laws that did not so violently threaten the citizens of this state.
There is nothing that will so completely destroy faith in those edicts faster than the State-provoked chaos and violence that will be required to enforce the 2013 anti-gun laws. Connecticut residents should not have to live in perpetual fear of “the jack boot” coming down on them. Unenforced, frequently repeated threats fall on deaf ears. By passing laws that they cannot or choose not to enforce, State officials tell the public that this State is ignorant, immoral, blind, and impotent in its legal and decision making processes. The passage of such foolishly conceived, insufferable laws is an affront to every law-abiding citizen. Every official who supports such legal foolishness mocks our State and the Constitution they swore to uphold.
If the state does not have the stomach to enforce these laws, then the legislature has until May 7th, 2014 to completely repeal these immoral edicts and let the residents of Connecticut return to their rightfully owned property and former exercise of constitutional rights and practices without any threat of State violence.
Harsh as it might sound, this isn’t an unreasonable dichotomy. As the Hartford Courant reported at the time, there are now ”enough people in serious violation of Connecticut gun laws to fill a small town at least, a very big town more likely and perhaps as many as live in the state’s largest cities.” The state thus finds itself in a quandary. To enforce the laws more aggressively would, in Connecticut Carry’s words, likely ”not survive the public outcry and resistance that would occur” (really, all it would need is a good story about authorities connecting an individual to a sales record and searching his house — or, worse, confiscating a weapon – and the whole liberty movement would mobilize). On the other hand, authorities had rather banked on their reforms being a success and, having stood before the nation in early 2013 and painted themselves as trailblazers and model-makers, the state’s fate is now pretty much inextricable from the wider gun-control movement’s success. After all, if Connecticut gives up, what chance does anywhere else have?
One to watch, certainly.
The IDF intercepted an attempt to smuggle an Iranian shipment of advanced weaponry intended for terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. The operation took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The operation was made possible due to the combination of in-depth intelligence and enhanced operational capabilities. This shipment was meant to reach the hands of terrorist organizations in Gaza that are waging an ongoing armed conflict against Israel. These terrorist organizations systematically use such weaponry against the Israeli civilian population.
The course of the Iranian weapons shipment
Last night, following extensive preparations, and on the government’s authorization, the IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Benjamin (Benny) Gantz, ordered the Israel Navy to intercept the KLOS-C, upon which the illicit arms were concealed in between commercial cargo.
IDF special naval forces boarded the vessel, in accordance with international law, and carried out a preliminary inspection of the cargo.
They discovered numerous advanced weapons during the inspection, including M-302 surface-to-surface missiles, which are capable of reaching any point in Israel, including major population centers Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. If Palestinian terrorist organizations had gotten their hands on these weapons, they would have been able to use them to threaten millions of Israeli civilians.
The Navy is currently sailing together with the cargo ship back to Israeli shores.
“The IDF will continue to operate against the Iranian attempts to arm regional terrorist organizations, who intend to continuously ignite our borders,” said IDF Spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. ”We will continue to employ all the necessary means in order to prevent the armament of terrorist organizations and will combat the Iranian smuggling attempts that threaten the security and sovereignty of the State of Israel.”