Watch the goalposts move. First the left insisted that America doesn’t torture as a matter of simple morality, whether or not that means another round of crashing airplanes forcing office-dwellers to swan-dive off of skyscrapers. That one didn’t fly, so they shifted to the cagier argument that enhanced interrogation never, ever, ever, ever, evah works — ever — except that Cheney and Obama’s own DNI claim that it does, and now a majority of the public believes them. In fact, according to Gallup, Pelosi’s slo-mo meltdown over what she knew about waterboarding has left her credibility so thoroughly shot that she’s almost exactly as popular as Darth Cheney himself.
Cornered, the Democrats make the only move left that they can make: After eight years of leaks aimed at kneecapping every aspect of Bush’s counterterror program, they’ve suddenly decided that … leaks are bad.
GOP members on the Intelligence Committee on Thursday told The Hill in on-the-record interviews that they were informed that the controversial methods have led to information that prevented terrorist attacks.
When told of the GOP claims, Democrats strongly criticized the members who revealed information that was provided at the closed House Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing. Democrats on the panel said they could not respond substantively, pointing out that the hearing was closed.
In the bowels of the Capitol Visitor Center, members of the panel gathered behind locked doors on Thursday morning to begin a series of hearings on the interrogation of terrorism suspects…
But Republicans on the panel said that not only did the use of interrogation techniques come up Thursday, but that the data shared about those techniques proved they had led to valuable information that in some instances prevented terrorist attacks…
“The hearing did address the enhanced interrogation techniques that have been much in the news lately,” [GOP Rep. Jon] Kline said, noting that he was intentionally choosing his words carefully in observance of the committee rules and the nature of the information presented.
“Based on what I heard and the documents I have seen, I came away with a very clear impression that we did gather information that did disrupt terrorist plots,” Kline said.
Note that no Democrat interviewed for the Hill’s piece disagrees with Kline’s conclusion, just that they’re pissed that he chose to say anything. Like Tom Maguire says, given that The One already published the details of our interrogation techniques by releasing the torture memos, what damage is done to national security by the GOP insisting that EIT works? There’s plenty of political damage done to the left, but surely angry Democrats’ only concern with leaks is how it complicates protecting America, no? Exit question: How exactly did the GOP congressmen who talked to the Hill reveal any more or less than Carl Levin did last week when he denied that those two memos Cheney wants declassified confirm that EIT is effective? Neither he nor the Republicans revealed any information beyond asserting whether it works or whether it doesn’t. Double standard, anyone?