Congress creates contrived outrage over “torture”

Following the contrived outrage over the AIG bonus scandal, which many politicians knew about well in advance, the next phony outrage story is over alleged “torture” of terrorist prisoners by waterboarding.

Congress, led by President Obama, is doing a fine job of manufacturing outrage over something they were briefed on dozens of times.

Fox News reports:

Republicans, hoping to turn the tables on Democrats who are open to prosecuting Bush-era lawyers for justifying “enhanced” interrogation techniques, are seeking to reveal the names of those lawmakers who were briefed on the tactics as much as seven years ago.

FOX News has learned there were more than 30 meetings and briefings with members of Congress on the subject since 2002.

The first such briefing dealt with the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, the Al Qaeda operations chief who ran the training camps in Afghanistan where the Sept. 11 hijackers were trained. Sources said California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, now the speaker of the House, attended the meeting with then-Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla. (who later became CIA director), and she did not raise any objections.

The briefings were given to the chairmen and ranking members of the intelligence committees in the House and Senate until 2006. That could cover Sen. John Rockefeller, W.Va., and Rep. Jane Harman, Calif., both Democrats, as well as Sen. Pat Roberts, Kan., Sen. Lindsey Graham, S.C., Sen. Richard Shelby, Ala., and Rep. Pete Hoekstra, Mich., all Republicans.

Defenders of the interrogation program note that if Congress had wanted to kill the program, all it had to do was withhold funding, which didn’t happen.

Did any of the spineless cowards in congress stand up on their principles to speak out against what they perceived as “torture”? No, they did not.

Glenn Beck elaborates:

Representative Pete Hoekstra, Republican from Michigan, also wrote today in the Wall-Street Journal shedding light on how much congress has known for years about so-called “harsh” interrogation techniques:

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair got it right last week when he noted how easy it is to condemn the enhanced interrogation program “on a bright sunny day in April 2009.” Reactions to this former CIA program, which was used against senior al Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003, are demonstrating how little President Barack Obama and some Democratic members of Congress understand the dire threats to our nation.

George Tenet, who served as CIA director under Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, believes the enhanced interrogations program saved lives. He told CBS’s “60 Minutes” in April 2007: “I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us.”

Last week, Mr. Blair made a similar statement in an internal memo to his staff when he wrote that “[h]igh value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country.”

Yet last week Mr. Obama overruled the advice of his CIA director, Leon Panetta, and four prior CIA directors by releasing the details of the enhanced interrogation program. Former CIA director Michael Hayden has stated clearly that declassifying the memos will make it more difficult for the CIA to defend the nation.

It was not necessary to release details of the enhanced interrogation techniques, because members of Congress from both parties have been fully aware of them since the program began in 2002. We believed it was something that had to be done in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to keep our nation safe. After many long and contentious debates, Congress repeatedly approved and funded this program on a bipartisan basis in both Republican and Democratic Congresses.

So if congress knew, including then-Senator Obama, why the manufactured outrage today? Could it be perhaps that the members of congress who knew about these techniques, yet sat idly by, are now speaking out merely for political reasons?

No, of course not, I’m sure it’s that they just now found their spines and decided to stand up for their principles they’ve been hiding in the back closet for several years.