I was going to say “GOP having way too much fun making Pelosi look like an idiot,” but they haven’t done anything to make her look bad here except stitch together her stupidest utterances. To accompany your viewing, today’s WaPo piece about plummeting morale at the CIA is a must-read. It seems interrogators have a crazy hunch they might not be safe from prosecution even if they follow the Army Field Manual, since there’s plenty of vague language in there that the Dems can use against them the next time they have a politically-motivated epiphany about what constitutes “torture.”
Under an executive order signed by Obama on Jan. 20, the Field Manual is “the law of the land. . . . There is nothing outside it now,” one intelligence official said. But according to several past agency and military officials, the Field Manual is sometimes so broad as to be unclear.
Its section on interrogation bans “violence, threats, or impermissible or unlawful physical contact,” without specifying what is sanctioned. The manual also says an interrogator cannot threaten “the removal of protections afforded by law.”
Present and past CIA officials maintain that other legal techniques exist beyond those mentioned in the Field Manual that should be available for use. Panetta has said he would go to the president for authority to use them if he believed it necessary.
For example, the “attention grasp,” described as “grasping the individual with both hands, one hand on either side of the collar,” is one of the 13 techniques employed in the past by the CIA and is listed in the Justice Department’s May 10, 2005, memo. It is barred under the Field Manual. Unlike harsher techniques on the list, such as nudity, dietary control, sleep deprivation and waterboarding, CIA officials say they want the authority to use the attention grasp without going back to Washington for approval.
You might remember that on the day he signed the order to close Gitmo — which seems increasingly irrelevant with each passing hour — The One also appointed a task force to review detention policies and procedures. Anyone want to bet the task force will come back and declare that the CIA’s going to need a few “extra” procedures outside the Field Manual after all? Call it a … “classified loophole.” Who’ll give me odds?
Oh, and before I forget, here’s the latest data point demonstrating just how far out of the mainstream the leftist intelligentsia is on detainee matters.