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April 22, 2009

How did the administration think they could get away with it?

Topics: Political News and commentaries

After all, the truth was bound to come out sooner rather than later!

Via Jennifer Rubin at Commentary, The New York Times reports that Dennis Blair issued a memo last week confirming that the interrogation techniques banned by the the president resulted in "significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terror, This statement was deleted from a condensed version of his memo released to the media last Thursday, as well as a line in which he empathized with his predecessors who originally approved some of the harsh tactics after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Jennifer's comments on the administration's deceit is spot on:

One wonders how the administration thought it was going to get away with this bit of deceit -- revealing the interrogation techniques yet concealing their benefit (and the Obama team's recognition of the same) from the American people. It is bad enough to have provided terrorists with a road map to our methods and to have thrown our own national security officials to the "truth commission" wolves; it is quite another to mislead all concerned that we did this "for nothing."

This has been at the heart of the public argument raging for some time now. Most recently, Vice President Cheney, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former CIA chief Michael Hayden made the case that very tough methods were used, but used for the noble and successful end of saving lives. At this, the White House spinners rolled their eyes. Well, Admiral Blair says Cheney, Mukasey and Hayden on this one were right. But his words didn't see the light of day - until someone could bear the charade no longer and leaked to the Times.

Read more of the commentary here.

As Stephen F. Hayes writes (emphasis mine):

So you have the Director of National Intelligence acknowledging that "high value information" came from the now-banned techniques, contra his boss, and then hiding that intelligence assessment from the public. This from the self-described most transparent administration in history.

Smells like a scandal, no? The DNI's office apparently thought so and put out a statement to clarify Blair's position -- explaining why the assessments were cut from the public statement and backpedaling from his claim that the techniques were so valuable. (The DNI's office claims assessment were cut for space -- an odd explanation since such statements are released on the internet or over email. And Blair now says that because we don't know if we could have gotten the information using other methods he favors ending the techniques.)

"Self-described most transparent administration in history," indeed. As we've come to learn of the administration, they're 95% spin, mis-direction, and half-truths - and 5% substance, regardless of what they claim or say.

Posted by Hyscience at April 22, 2009 8:28 AM

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