FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The CIA is Not Your Dog. Do Not Wag It.
How badly has this healthcare plan debate gone for the Obama Amatueristration? So badly that they had to start making noises about arresting Dick Cheney. Well, they haven’t sunk far enough down in the polls to go that far, but they all of a sudden decided that NOW! Was the perfect time to take up the issue of CIA interrogations of suspected terrorists. CNN describes the coming witch-hunt.
Attorney General Eric Holder has asked federal prosecutor John Durham to examine whether CIA interrogations of suspected terrorists were illegal, the Justice Department announced Monday.
The move came as senior administration officials said President Obama had OK’d a special interrogation unit to be housed within the FBI, and as a redacted CIA inspector general’s report on interrogation methods was made public for the first time.
This, of course, is the same Attorney General Eric Holder who previously told us the following.
‘It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department.” –Attorney General Eric Holder, April 2009 (HT: Wall Street Journal.)
The Wall Street Journal goes on to give Barack Obama entirely more credit than he deserves as a moral human being. They claim he does this out of a sense that America’s representatives went too far and were inhumane. The Journal warns that this would lead to lower morale at the CIA.
If Barack Obama were merely doing this to determine whether US combat forces and secret agents had behaved IAW the Laws of Land Warfare and The Geneva Convention, our president would still be within the limits of his job description. He regrettably is the Commander-In-Chief of anybody the US sends into a combat zone. He may being doing his job absolutely wrong, but he isn’t stepping outside his authority.
What truly bothers me about this is the obvious and crass cynicism. The CIA gets to be Goldstein for Barack Obama’s Hopey-Changey version of INGSOC. Current CIA Director Leon Panetta puts lie to the notion that this is anything other than a dog-wagging expedition by a suddenly unpopular administration. The Washington Times reports below.
He wrote that “career prosecutors have [already] examined” the 2004 findings. He added, “They worked carefully and thoroughly, sometimes taking years to decide if prosecution was warranted or not.”
“My primary interest – when it comes to a program that no longer exists – is to stand up for those officers who did what their country asked and who followed the legal guidance they were given,” Mr. Panetta wrote.
Other CIA officials were even more vocal in their displeasure. (Off the record, of course).
“All the significant cases were referred to the Department of Justice [under the George W. Bush administration] and career prosecutors decided not to indict them,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“Many were disciplined, reprimanded [or] … their careers severely damaged or ended. … Now this administration comes along and says they are going to look at it again.”
This brings up an important point. How many times does someone get investigated and potentially prosecuted for the same crime? I guess if the Libertarians get Ron Paul elected in 2012, we’ll have to reopen all these investigations yet again. We just can’t let Status Quobama sweep all this evil torture under the rug.
The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution weighs in elegantly on the issue of Double Jeopardy. “…nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb;…”
What makes this entire proposed miscarriage of justice more laughable is its transparency. The entire “Tar and Feather Dick Cheney Lobby” has been demanding trials of Bush Administration officials as a sort of reconciliation commission for the last three years. In A New York Times Editorial entitled “Forgive Not”, Slate magazine’s Dahlia Lithwick wrote the following.
Some commentators have suggested that any such truth commission should promise immunity or a pardon in exchange for truthful testimony, but I believe that if it becomes clear that laws were broken, or that war crimes were committed, a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate further. The Bush administration made its worst errors in judgment when it determined that the laws simply don’t apply to certain people. If we declare presumptively that there can be no justice for high-level government officials who acted illegally then we exhibit the same contempt for the rule of law.
Eric Holder is blessedly a coward, and no meetings of The Committee for Public Safety will be gaveled to order beneath the shadow of the bloodied guillotine. Instead, the CIA and its agents will be subjected to politically expedient blame and condemnation intended to distract the hacked-off members of Barack Obama’s increasingly disappointed political base.
The dog is being wagged and the red meat is being tossed out to a hungry crowd. Yet this invokes problems Eric Holder and Barack Obama will steadfastly refuse to acknowledge. A soldier or agent of the US Government is obligated to disobey illegal orders. They defend and uphold the US Constitution. This is hallowed tradition, and should continue to stand.
However, the practice of retroactively redefining what orders were legal at some time in the past and then prosecuting those who obeyed or disobeyed them based upon the standards of the time, can lead to unwillingness to ever follow a leader who makes a controversial decision. Even worse and more demoralizing to these soldiers and agents is the use of this sort of trial as a political side show.
People could go to jail or worse just so Barack Obama can get out of an unpleasant conversation about healthcare!? How does any of this uphold or defend the Constitution? It doesn’t. Neither does the man who would resort to such base calumny. There will come a day when the US government won’t have to worry whether its agents go too far. There will come a day when no one who isn’t an idiot would volunteer to go at all.
That day will come when every order they obey or disobey only remains legal when certain politicians are in office. Attorney General Eric Holder is making that righteously kfucing neigh. Quite simply put, the CIA is not your female canine, it is a vital agency in serve of our nation’s defense. The current administration needs to stop wagging the CIA.