Secret Santa Gives to the House

I blast them when they misjudge. So it's fair to praise them when they get it right. And on Wednesday White House and Justice Department officials got it right -- at least for now -- by promising to cooperate a bit with a House investigation into the destruction of those CIA videotapes.

"The wisdom, propriety and appropriateness of the decision to destroy these tapes are worthy and compelling subjects of an oversight investigation," a Justice Department spokesman declared last night in an about-face so complete the poor fellow's neck must still be sore. What happened to all the chatter about leaving the executive branch -- the Justice Department and the CIA -- to handle the investigation alone, without any legislative or judicial intervention? It's gone, apparently, for the moment.

So the CIA is supposedly going to turn over relevant documents, maybe even today, and then in January make its head lawyer, John A. Rizzo, available for testimony. Who knows what the documents will say. And who really expects a lawyer to share a whole lot with the panel? Still, it's a heartening step in the right direction. Not because we necessarily will get a satisfactory answer to why the tapes were destroyed -- I don't believe there is a satisfactory answer -- but because it's a relief to finally see the executive branch promising to play nice with the other branches.

And now? What will the CIA say to the Senate, which wants to hold its own hearings with its own set of witnesses and documents? What do Justice Department lawyers say in court tomorrow to U.S.District Judge Henry H. Kennedy, who issued a "do not destroy evidence" order back in June 2005 and who now wants to know whether that order was violated? Can the feds say no to the judge after saying yes to the House? Can the CIA open the door a little bit without having it forced open wide? We'll see.

By Andrew Cohen |  December 20, 2007; 7:46 AM ET
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The House's "investigations" of the destruction of the CIA videotapes is in fact nothing more than a Democratic Party fishing expedition solely for political purposes. This wouldn't even be an issue if this was a Democratic administration, and no one would have ever heard of this from the Democratic Party--controlled MSM or Andrew Cohen. This "investigation" is similar to the phony Valeri Plame affair that the Democratic Party and their Democratic Party--controlled MSM used to advance their party's political goals. The by far more serious damage done to our CIA and NSA intelligence gathering abilities was when the New York Times committed sabotage and treason by publishing the secret CIA/NSA black box operation that sent captured terrorists to Egypt and Jordan for interrogations and their secret terrorist tracking program. This NSA secret tracking program that tracked the terrorist groups international bank transfers and their funding to enable them to committ acts of terrorism like the WTC's 9/11, the Bali Hotel bombing, the Madrid train bombing, the London subway and bus bombing and many, many more was exposed by the New York Times putting many of our agents in danger, and probably out of business. This act of sabotage and treason by the Democratic Party--controlled New York Times and the rest of the MSM nobody cared about because it was their guys that did it. We still don't know who in the CIA or NSA revealled these top secrets to the NYT, and we probably never will because there's no real interest in finding out. No calls for a Special Prosecutor. No calls for any "investigations" by the US Senate or House. No calls by the MSM to get to the bottom of these top secret revelations. No MSM whining and hand--wringings about the damage done to our intelligence gathering abilities. No nothing! These by far more serious and damaging CIA/NSA top secret revelations the lip--service liberal Democrats don't care about because the CIA/NSA leakers were more than likely liberal Democratic Party partisans. They also don't want the New York Times--who in reality is nothing more than the Democrats propaganda arm--to get in trouble.
The news-spin is crystal clear. Any damage done to our CIA or NSA's intelligence gathering abilities is only important to the Democrats and the MSM when they can pin it on the Bush administration or any Republican. When the potential damage of any investigation may involve Democrats, the MSM acts like the three monkeys, hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil.

Posted by: madhatter | December 20, 2007 01:54 PM

Madhatter, I'd like to see you produce even one verifiable, unbiased source for your accusations.

FYI, freerepublic.com is not an unbiased source, nor is World Net Daily nor is Fox News.

Posted by: Nobody's Fool | December 20, 2007 03:19 PM

Nobody's Fool,
Who are you trying to con?
I could list a thousand sources with indisputable proof, with Jesus Christ, Moses, Ghandi, and Mohammad all swearing to it, and you liberal Democratic Party--pimps would call them all "biased sources".
The trouble with you my-do-do-doesn't-stink liberals is that you guys all think everybody else is stupid.

Posted by: madhatter | December 20, 2007 04:26 PM

Madhatter, you have chosen an appropriate nom de plum, as you are off your rocker.

Re the revelations about secret prisons extraordinary renditions by the Times and others: What's the problem? Are you ashamed to see them divulged. If they are so crucial, and legal, why didn't the administration crow to the public ans say "Damn straight we tortured these guys, this is what we do to "terrorists".

The administration did all this in secret because it was illegal. Maybe it was the right thing to do. I personally don't think so, but if the administration thinks these actions are the right thing to do, it should have the honor to do so publicly.

Posted by: YankeeEsq | December 20, 2007 04:55 PM

Madhatter -
I hate to say it, but I'm convinced that you, alone among all of the other commenters who have slipped off the edge, probably could obtain affidavits from "Jesus Christ, Moses, Gandhi and Mohammed." Thanks for the laugh, and say hello to the Red Queen for me.

Posted by: BobsYourUncle | December 20, 2007 07:34 PM

YankeeEsq writes (re. The CIA's black box operation also known as the Rendition program)
"The administration did all this in secret because it was illegal."
Wrong YankeeEsq.
Apparantly you know nothing about the rendition program because if you did you'd know that the captured terrorists that were sent to Jordan, Egypt and a few other countries for interrogation never entered the USA. For it to be illegal (according to US laws) the captured terrorists would have had to be on US soil first and then sent to another country. Sending a captured terrorist from say Iraq to Egypt is perfectly legal.
By the way, the CIA's Rendition program started about 1995 when Bill Clinton ordered the CIA to use any means to destroy al Qaeda. According to Michael Scheuer who headed the CIA Rendition program (now retired) in an interview with Die Zeit told the reporter that he developed the rendition program that tracked Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden from 1996 to 1999. He said that this program included moving prisoners without legal process to countries without strict human rights protection in order to circumvent the cumbersome US legal system. (ABC NEWS ON LINE "CIA renditions began under Clinton:agent")
It's not surprising that the liberal Democratic Party--shills and the Democratic Party--controlled MSM has ONLY NOTICED THE CIA's RENDITION PROGRAM NOW when they can use it to score political points against the Bush administration. No one made a peep when their guy was doing it.

Posted by: madhatter | December 21, 2007 01:05 AM

madhatter wrote: "It's not surprising that the liberal Democratic Party--shills and the Democratic Party--controlled MSM has ONLY NOTICED THE CIA's RENDITION PROGRAM NOW when they can use it to score political points against the Bush administration. No one made a peep when their guy was doing it."

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0508,hentoff,61345,6.html
feb 22 2005

Posted by: generaljinjur | December 21, 2007 01:54 AM

madhatter...you are missing the larger point...these liberal fellow citizens are beholden to 2nd/3rd party sources. THEY AREN'T PARTICPANTS IN THE PROCESS. I can count on one hand the number of libs I encountered while serving in the military over the course of 3 decades. Every service for them is tantamount to a central american maid - a disgreeable task someone else performs but they can feel virtuous about after signing the check.

they can very often be marginalized and ignored. you have to be playing the game to influence it.

Posted by: lamo | December 21, 2007 12:39 PM

YankeeESQ...right or wrong (in your opinion, of course) aside...why should this administration...or any other for that matter....trust large swaths of the political and legal establishment? they have demonstrated time and again that they themsleves will violate national security policies when it comes to classified material WHEN IT SUITS THEIR POLITICAL OBJECTIVES. the watchdogs are themselves corrupt.

Posted by: lmao | December 21, 2007 12:48 PM

generaljinjur--trying to prove that the MSM did notice the CIA's Rendition Program and that these investigations by the Democratic Party--controlled US Congress are not just fishing expeditions to slime President Bush, actually proved just the opposite.

The Nat Hentoff column link YOU provided that reported details of the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restucturing Act of 1998 in the Village Voice was published on Feb. 22, 2005. Nat Hentoff whined that:
"For three years, there have been sporadic reports in some of the media, including this column, of the CIA's sending detainees (prisoners without charges or lawyers) to countries where the CIA knows they will be tortured to extract information the CIA can't dig out of them".
Notice the dates.
*Nat Hentoff's column whining about the CIA's rendition program published on Feb. 22, 2005 (Bush administration).
*Nat Hentoff's report that there have been sporatic reports by the media FOR THREE YEARS, or about from about 2002 (Bush administration).
*CIA Michael Scheuer who set up and ran the Rendition program report to Die Zeit that he ran this program from about 1995 on (Clinton administration).
In other words, Nat Hentoff and the Democratic Party--controlled MSM only noticed this program starting about from 2002, even though this CIA Rendition Program was in existance since about 1995. The obvious conclusion is that the MSM ignored the CIA's Rendition program for about 7 years, and only got religion about this CIA program when it became a political football that they could use to bash President Bush. Bill Clinton's hand in this CIA Rendition program his administration ran for 6 years prior to Bush, the MSM doesn't make a peep about.
Thank you generaljinjur for proving my point.

Posted by: madhatter | December 21, 2007 01:42 PM

Is it Iamo, Lamo, or Lame-O?

Typical Lifer!

Posted by: | December 21, 2007 05:09 PM

First, I take umbrage to any American that casts dispersions on those that commit to serve their country in uniform. Being a "Lifer" is not something to scoff at, but to be honored. I watched the episode of "The Biggest Loser" where families were all weepy and joyous at being reunited after 4 months. Those that serve are gone from 6 - 15 months at a time, home for less than a year most times before leaving again. Not something to criticize until you lived through it.

By the way, I noticed you did not have the guts or honor to leave your name.

Posted by: Randy | December 22, 2007 01:26 AM

In regards to the debate on the CIA. I agree that the methods went beyond the acceptable, but I also believe that the issue is being used as a political tool. Let's face it, the Democrats and Republicans both play this game to make the other team look bad.

If the government was more worried about fixing the nation's problems than keeping their jobs, we would probably be in much better shape. As was mentioned in a previous entry, there are many in politics that want to make a difference, but have had to play the game to do it. Isn't that a sad statement. How many have seen that at work and been disgusted? So why do we accept it from our governmental leaders? Is it OK from them because it's expected?

The Press is another tool. I believe completely in Free Press and good journalism, but is displaying classified information for our enemies to see fit into either of those categories? It is not against the Constitution to put National Security above someone's right to talk. If it is against the law to hire a killer, should it not be just as unlawful to purposely leak information that will cause the death of fellow Americans?

Posted by: Randy | December 22, 2007 01:38 AM

The New York Times is typical of what has become of the America's main stream media and how low they've sunk in credibility and honesty. A free press and good journalism used to mean that the only news that they would hold back was news damaging to our country and our National Security. The New York Times's publishing our National Security secrets that exposed our CIA's and NSA's secret International Banking transfers of Al Qaeda and other terrorists groups financing, was nothing more than treason. They did this only because they wanted to politically damage the Bush administration in order to get Democrats elected--i e SABOTAGE! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that these terrorist groups who now know--thanks to the NYT-- what our CIA/NSA is doing to prevent them from doing it, would now change their money--laundering financing to another and safer (for them) way.
The New Yory Times didn't give a da** about our country; our CIA/NSA secrets; our CIA/NSA operatives in the field; our agents and foreign sympathisers giving us tips; the American people's well-being if the terrorists suceed in more 9/11's, dirty bombs, or train/subway/bus bombings. All they cared about was to give Bush a black eye politically.
FDR during WW2 would have had every NYT editor and journalist in jail had they done this during his administration.
What's even sadder in all this is that the rest of America's MSM circled the wagons to protect this harm done to our country by the NYT, and never bothered to even report it or investigate it.
More proof that America's main stream media is nothing more than the Democratic Parties propaganda arm.

Posted by: madhatter | December 22, 2007 01:20 PM

Hey Randy, I'd bet that that lame Lifer is a REMF.

Have any idea what that is?

Posted by: | December 22, 2007 04:47 PM

I had heard that term before, but it has been a while. There aren't too many true REMF left, and that's not really a bad thing. I've been in both billets before, and can truly say that there are many in Rear Echelon billets that would prefer to be in the thick and many people in the thick that want to get back to the rear echelon.

So I make no disparagy against either. The symbiotic relationship requires people to serve in both places for the efforts to work in either. If you don't believe me, think about this - "where would the front lines be without the supplies, aircraft, and communication lines provided by those REMF? And what would the REMF have to do everyday with no front lines to support?"

Posted by: Randy | December 23, 2007 12:13 AM

I had heard that term before, but it has been a while. There aren't too many true REMF left, and that's not really a bad thing. I've been in both billets before, and can truly say that there are many in Rear Echelon billets that would prefer to be in the thick and many people in the thick that want to get back to the rear echelon.

So I make no disparagy against either. The symbiotic relationship requires people to serve in both places for the efforts to work in either. If you don't believe me, think about this - "where would the front lines be without the supplies, aircraft, and communication lines provided by those REMF? And what would the REMF have to do everyday with no front lines to support?"

Posted by: Randy | December 23, 2007 12:13 AM

silly madhatter, you must resist the temptation to jump to conclusions. I find very little difference between the two main parties and a great deal to dislike in both of them.

Your point *about this issue* seems to be correct unless it can be proved that the Clinton program was so covert no one knew about it until later. I would be very disappointed in Nat Hentoff if he knew about the Clinton renditions and said nothing about them before 2005... his voice is one of the very few who regularly apprises of human rights issues. He certainly reported on the lessening of our civil rights under Clinton's administration.

I was particularly disgusted to read, recently, that Al Gore (yes, the guy who just won a peace prize) was a particular endorser of extraordinary rendtion. If true, someone should mention it. Here's one of the links I found on this:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-schwartz/lets-not-forget-al-gore_b_69349.html


Posted by: generaljinjur | December 23, 2007 06:02 AM

Kudos to Randy for knowing what a REMF is.

However, on the aspect of posting names. With a few exceptions, the names on these posts are fictitious. How does anyone who uses a pseudonym have any more guts or honor than somebody who chooses to have their Name be anonymous?

As to the "lifer" comment. It was predicated on: "I can count on one hand the number of libs I encountered while serving in the military over the course of 3 decades. Every service for them is tantamount to a central american maid - a disgreeable task someone else performs but they can feel virtuous about after signing the check."

Lamo must not have looked very far in 30 years; or he listened only to those with whom he agreed, to produce that libel. In 40 years, I've found a lot of Conservatives, Independents, Liberals and Libertarians in the military. I was in it for part of that time and lived around it virtually all the rest of my life. Lamo has a lazy intellect when it comes to objectively observing the world around him. Lifer was meant as sort of a tit for tat rejoinder, although it brought me down to his simplistic level,

p.s. apologies to anonymouse from other Post blogs for hijacking their name. I think that it's a great posting name.

Posted by: A Non E Mouse | December 23, 2007 05:04 PM

A Non E Mouse, thanks for the clarification of meaning. I will admit to having thin skin about certain issues and agree that there is much narrow mindedness in our fellow humans. I also understand the use of pseudonyms, but as you may have guessed mine is not. That is my choice, I realize, but after years of ignoring political issues, I decided it was time to stand up and be counted for what I believe. However I will use a pseudonym, if I ever publish my romance novel. LOL

To combine thoughts from A Non E Mouse and Generaljinjur, in almost 20 years of service in the Marine Corps, I have met many people with a variety in religion, culture, moral beliefs, traditions, political views, and family histories. I've ceased to try to put labels on people, even in regards to political parties. It reminds me of the old song about the state being churchy, and the church being too secular. They blend and stand apart as the mood strikes, and neither have the best ethics for running a clean campaign.

As I was running today, I started thinking about what it might be like if every American truly thought of themselves as Americans first, and whatever else they might be second. Right after 9/11, the catch phrase was "United we stand." Well I don't see the country as United when everyone is accusing others of foul play and we have a whole Native American nation trying to secede from treaties that made them a part of this country.

I'm willing to admit ignorance on this one. What do they expect to truly happen? Some magical event like on Santa Clause 3 where they go back and undo all the modernization that they have been a part of? Will they cut off all use of resources not produced within their community?

Posted by: Randy | December 23, 2007 09:39 PM

lamo is probably closer to the truth when he writes that: "I can count on one hand the number of libs I encountered while serving in the military over the course of 3 decades". Having served for 4 years myself, it's been my experience that while many of my fellow grunts described themselves as Democrats or Republicans, not one ever did so as a liberal Democrat or a liberal Republican. When the descussion was on liberals or liberalism in general, they were equated more with distain and contempt on par with the hippy 60's and 70's culture that spat on our returning soldiers, sailors, and Marines returning from the Viet Nam War.
Also interesting is that the Military Absentee Ballots sent in before every election runs about 85% Republican.

Posted by: sparks | December 24, 2007 02:03 AM

TO MS MAD HATTER & MS LAMO---You two useless lifers seem to be Fox News watchers. You two women definitly give the military a bad name with your intolerance torwards everything. Im a liberal and Ive served in the USMC. Infact with your attitudes we've probably met. I was a "Chaser" that worked out of the Pendleton Brig. Im a true blue liberal but the only thing different about me is I don't turn the other cheek.

Hey Randy Im not trying to disparage anything you believe in. I just thought I'd help these two women pick out a dress.

Sparks I agree with your thoughts exactly

Well Lamo & madhatter lets get goin. We've got to pick out a nice pair of heels that will match your dresses.

Ed Feeney (real name)

Posted by: Ed Feeney | December 25, 2007 04:02 PM

Ed,
I definitely can appreciate your humor, even when I don't agree with all your comments. I can't say I'm a liberal, because I don't agree with how far some liberals take things, nor can I call myself a true republican for the same reason. I am what is disparagingly known as a moderate.
It's not that I can't take a stand or won't make a decision. I believe strongly that there is too much intolerance around the world and especially in our country.
Ed and Madhatter have very strong adversarial viewpoints. Both are built on a conviction that you are correct and that the other is wrong. I understand that, but disagree with both of you. I believe that both of you have valid points, but neither of you are willing to concede any flaws. That is a perfect example of our society today. To back down or admit a flaw in any logic is a sign of weakness and not allowed, but does that truly build cohesion or unity in a nation.
I have had many discussions with others of different mindsets than my own, but when met with a contradictory viewpoint that won't listen or accept our viewpoint as valid, we all (even me) tend to take on a bully approach of getting our message across. This renews the cycle of not listening and segregating our country.
It sounds like I'm saying "Can't we all just get along?" and sometimes I'd like to when I hear of ridiculous confrontations in the news. But my message really is - "Are we so sure that we are right, that we are willing to fight ourselves to prove it?" It sounds a lot like what started the civil war doesn't it?

Posted by: Randy | December 25, 2007 06:40 PM

Randy I want to tell you thats your points well taken. I wish I could have a discussion with ya now but I just don't have the time. I still have alot of family over for X-mas. For the effort you put into your reply you deserve a response. Maybe later on tonight but Im not promisin nothing. Randy if I don't get the chance to talk you aghain have a Merry Christmas and great New Year.

P.S. Madhatter and Lamo were brats when I took them shopping today but they both look great in chiffon.

Posted by: Ed Feeney | December 25, 2007 10:20 PM

Ed, LAMO(LMAO), and Madhatter - I hope everyone had a great Christmas.

I read about Al Sharpton this morning. I find myself again agreeing with the points but not the delivery. I just don't believe that the methods used by all these issue specific lobbyists are helpful to the country or even very effective for their cause in the long run.

The nation as a whole must realize that differentiating the minorities does not give them equality, it actually becomes an undercurrent of inequality that has the potential to swallow the very people that are trying to be rescued. Until that happens the country perpetuates the problem to the future generations.

Let me re-iterate, I agree with certain principles applied. I am proud to be part of a country where different genders and ethnic as well as religious backgrounds all have equal chance of running for the top leadership position of this government. I will not vote for Ms. Clinton because I don't believe she is the person to lead this country into peace, war, or anything else that might happen in the future. I don't trust her anymore than I did her husband. I believe she represents the "system" and the status quo. None of this is due to her gender, but to her leadership ability. I could see myself possibly voting for Mr. Barak, depending on who the Republican candidate is. He represents change and wants to make a positive difference. That is what the nation needs.

Back to the original point of Mr. Sharpton's monologues, I believe in true equality. I have read contradictory material on Affirmative Action and "Equal Rights". I can safely say that most people don't really understand the issue, even some of the "Experts". If true equality was the goal and the standard, there would be no need for Affirmative Action.

Well, Hope you all have a Happy New Year!

Posted by: Randy | December 26, 2007 07:22 PM

Lamo: If voting patterns are any indication, then signifiganly more than half of the American heroes who died on the beaches of Normandy were "liberals". Who are you to denigrate them? You should be ashamed of yourself!

Posted by: Rj2z | December 27, 2007 09:43 AM

You know, movement conservatives would not have given Burkian conservatism a bad name if they occassionally practiced something besides name calling and illogic.

IIn the first place, regarding rendition, kidnapping people in the countries of our allies is usually illegal THERE --which is why there are a double digit number of warrants out for the arrest of CIA agents in --for example --Italy.

In the second place, we kidnapped a Canadian citizen from JFK airport and sent him to Syria to be tortured for a year. It was found by a Canadian commission to be utterly unwarranted. Naturally, the U.S. government continues to stonewall.

Continuing on, torture performed by CIA officers in ANY country is probably illegal, and a violation of U.S. treaty obligations, unless one buys into the cooked Justice Department opinion produced for the Bush Administration. It certainly is a matter for legitimate Congressional oversight.

As John McCain -also not much of a liberal --has stated many times, any smell of U.S. support for torture vastly increases the probability that others will feel justified in the torture of U.S. soldiers who are captured.

So what is your point? That Congress should simply ignore what has been going on? What logical basis do you have for that position? Or are you just so irrationally certain of your "rightness" that logic doesn't apply?

Posted by: tc125231 | December 27, 2007 08:12 PM

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