Former CIA Director and House Intelligence Chair Porter Goss has had enough of expedient amnesia by Democrats in Congress on the enhanced interrogation techniques. So he lays it out:
Let me be clear. It is my recollection that:
— The chairs and the ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, known as the Gang of Four, were briefed that the CIA was holding and interrogating high-value terrorists.
— We understood what the CIA was doing.
— We gave the CIA our bipartisan support.
— We gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities.
— On a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.
I do not recall a single objection from my colleagues. They did not vote to stop authorizing CIA funding.
And what does he think of the notion that by revealing our techniques to the enemy and pulling the rug out from under intelligence operatives we have made ourselves safer? That’s the stuff of “unicorns and fairy dust,” he says.
So two issues remain after this week’s trauma and drama. First, who other than the Obama team (and maybe not even all of them) thinks America looks better and that our intelligence community will function better after release of the memos and talk of show trials and prosecution? Looking back on this week, all the president did was set off a feeding frenzy, demoralize our intelligence community and ensure that more and more time and energy will be spent “looking back, not forward.” At every level — intelligence, communications, political — it has been a disaster.
Second, why did Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats think they could escape scrutiny once the president got the ball rolling? Perhaps they are drunk with power, but even they must know that when multiple people are involved from two branches of government there is little chance of keeping something under wraps in an investigation. It is becoming increasingly clear that Democrats, including the speaker, were well aware of what was going on — and that the speaker has been, quite frankly, misrepresenting her own role.
Republicans are reveling in the sight of the speaker trapped in her web of half-truths. But the damage done to our intelligence community should dwarf any partisan glee some may derive from this. The main take-away from this week: we are a more divided and less secure country and our enemies more emboldened than a week ago. There is no joy in that.