American Elephants

Dianne Feinstein’s One-Sided, Self-Serving Political Report On the CIA by The Elephant's Child

Senate Louncheons

Today’s political ‘blockbuster’ is Dianne Feinstein’s release of  the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s interrogation policy during the Bush years, which has finally been made public, for purely political reasons. Make no mistake, this is intended as a political football and is released for only one reason, because the outrage at specific ugly details will be politically convenient.

What the release is supposed to accomplish is not clear. ISIS is already using it as a recruitment tool. The President has said it will endanger our embassies abroad, and Americans serving abroad, but that it is important to release the report because it offends his morals.

Odd, his morality is not bothered by personally ordering drone strikes that kill whole communities of people, nor of cancelling the protection of missile defense that was promised to allies in Eastern Europe. Nor is his morality offended by his unseemly haste to get the troops out of Iraq, and the subsequent thousands of lives lost.  I could go on, but there’s no point. I think he has blundered his way through six years and done real damage to the country because he doesn’t know what he’s doing. But what really offends me is his moralistic posturing.

Feinstein was around when enhanced interrogation began in the Clinton administration, and after 9/11 she was all for it. Desperate times and a need to protect American lives demanded that the CIA get more intelligence. Doesn’t seem so urgent now, and she’s retiring anyway.

From the Wall Street Journal:

After the trauma of 9/11 and amid the anthrax letters in 2001, Americans wanted protection from another terror attack. The political class fired up a commission to examine what went wrong so it “would never happen again.” So the CIA, blamed for not stopping 9/11, tried to oblige. It captured the plotters, detained and interrogated them—sometimes harshly. There hasn’t been another successful al Qaeda plot on the homeland.

But political memories are short. As the Iraq war became unpopular, the anti-antiterror left fought back. Democrats who sensed a political opening began to fault the details of how the CIA and Bush Administration had protected the country—on surveillance, detention and interrogation. Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin, the lead Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, unleashed their staff to second-guess the CIA.

“The Senate Intelligence investigators never spoke to us − the leaders of the agency whose policies they are now assailing for partisan reasons.”

Here are links you may find interesting:

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline: “Dianne Feinstein and Her One-Sided, Self-Serving Report On Enhanced Interrogations”
Max Boot at Commentary: “The CIA, Interrogation and Feinstein’s Parting Shot”
Breitbart: “Feinstein. CIA Torture Report A Stain On America’s Values, History
Victor Davis Hanson’s Private Papers: “War Clouds On The Horizon?”

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program

17 States File Suit To Prevent the President From Ignoring The Constitution by The Elephant's Child

Seventeen states have combined to file suit against the Obama Administration last Wednesday, arguing that President Obama has violated the Constitutional limits on his power and swept aside his constitutional requirement to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” when he unilaterally dismissed enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws against four million illegal aliens.

The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, states firmly “This lawsuit is not about immigration, it is about the rule of law, presidential power, and the structural limits of the U.S. Constitution.”

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Texas Governor-elect, explained the argument of the seventeen states. “The President’s unilateral action tramples the U.S. Constitution’s Take Care Clause and federal law,” Abbott explained in his statement. “The Constitution’s Take Care Clause limits the President’s power and ensures that he will faithfully execute Congress’s laws − not rewrite them under the guise of ‘prosecutorial discretion.'”

The states pointed out in the complaint itself that President Obama had admitted in a speech in Chicago, that he had in fact changed the law.

“On November 20,2014, the President of the United States announced that he would unilaterally suspend the immigration laws as applied to four million of the eleven million undocumented immigrants in the United States,” says the complaint. The  President candidly admitted that, in so doing, he unilaterally rewrote the law. “What you’re not paying attention to is, I just took an action to change the law.”

The coalition of seventeen states joined in the lawsuit are Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Utah West Virginia Wisconsin, Mississippi and Maine.

The suit asks that the court block the president’s action on immigration.


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