Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Boo Hoo

Well, it sounds like some in Congress are sorry they started the fight, declaring in effect the CIA is “out to get them”:

Democrats charged Tuesday that the CIA has released documents about congressional briefings on harsh interrogation techniques in order to deflect attention and blame away from itself.

Sens. Levin, Durbin and Feinstein are all grousing over release of information concerning the congressional briefings. You can understand why they’re fussing: “with the release of records showing that it briefed members of Congress along the way, the CIA has effectively put lawmakers on the defensive.”

Yeah, can you imagine the nerve of those threatened with prosecution for doing their jobs (and subjected to carefully selected disclosure of material intended to show their work in the worst possible light) pushing back at those whom they briefed? I’m not sure which is more remarkable — the Democrats’ surprise or their public whining. You’d think they would try to clamp down on the “Witch Hunt Comes Back To Bite Congress!” storyline.

But you really have to laugh that the lawmakers are aghast about executive branch leaks (after celebrating every front page New York Times leak-induced story for eight years of the Bush administration) :

Intelligence Committee member Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) said it appears that “members of the committee or their staff were not in any way involved in [the release of the document]. It appears to come from the executive branch itself. … I think it’s unbelievable.”

Horror that executive branch employees should leak against his side!

I can’t imagine this is going to change the impression that this entire episode has been a partisan witch hunt. It seems that the perpetrators are now bruised because they have not gotten away with their scheme. But they’d probably do well to keep their disappointment to themselves.