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Applause for Obama at CIA

by JP Bill / April 20, 2009 10:14 PM PDT

Were they just being polite or glad for the change?

IF you were an "agent" and were required to carryout "enhanced interrogation techniques", would you be glad that you would no longer be required to use these methods.

I would.

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Sounded a lot more enthusiastic than merely polite.
by Ziks511 / April 21, 2009 2:01 PM PDT

I was frankly astonished at the enthusiasm with which he was received.

The CIA took a lot of stick during the Bush years for "alleging weapons of Mass Destruction" which were then never found, and other failures of intelligence. Maybe they're just relieved.

George Tenet comes out quite well in the movie "W." Colin Powell less so, and Condoleeza Rice much less so, more as the "Whatever you say Mr President" gal rather than an advisor on Foreign Policy. Of course it's only a movie and from a suspect source (Oliver Stone), though I was surprised by what seemed a fairly straight forward story, not the hatchet job I expected.

Then again, perhaps I am ill-qualified to identify a hatchet job on George Bush.


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Condi Rice was portrayed the exact same way.....
by Josh K / April 21, 2009 11:19 PM PDT

....in Scott McClellan's book. She became a Bush lackey. How else would you explain him giving a promotion to the person who was in charge of national security in the months preceding 9/11/01?

"W" was fun and entertaining when I wasn't going "holy crap, this boob was PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES." I took it as part bio-pic and part parody.

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Speaking of parody...
by EdHannigan / April 21, 2009 11:45 PM PDT

the comedy of errors currently occupying the WH is side splitting. It's been one long goof-up.

Rice was a natural for the job. She was highly qualified. Relying on Oliver Stone for strainght info is absurd. How do you explain Leon Paneta? Purely a political choice. A least he had the wits to horrified (as most of the intelligence community was) at Obama's major screwup in releasing the "torture" memos.

From what I've heard the group Obama spoke to was mostly recent recruits and NOT those who did their jobs. Those agents are still trying to get the knives out of their backs.

Must get revenge on Bush! The hell with National Security. There is NO war on terror!

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Must get revenge on Bush!
by JP Bill / April 22, 2009 12:04 AM PDT

Blair should get with the program.....

Think Obama will turf him?

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Rice was highly qualified....
by Josh K / April 22, 2009 2:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Speaking of parody...

...which makes her colossal failure even more perplexing. The fact that she was qualified for her initial post does not negate the fact that she became a "yes man" for Bush and Cheney, or that she completely dropped the ball on Al Qaeda.

And as I said, I did not rely on Oliver Stone for this. His portrayal of Rice is supported by Scott McClellan, maybe others but I haven't read all the books by those "disgruntled former staffers just trying to make a buck" who all apparently told the same exact story.

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Colossal failure
by EdHannigan / April 22, 2009 6:28 AM PDT
Yeah sure. Name it.

She completely dropped the ball on Al Qaeda.

That BS again? What a crock! She is hardly the one who dropped the ball in Al Qaeda. That happened a few years before she was in office, boyo.

....who all apparently told the same exact story.

Yeah sure. Name them.
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BTW, can't help but notice....
by EdHannigan / April 22, 2009 6:37 AM PDT

in your zeal to bash Bush you completely overlooked the important point...Obama's colossal blunder in releasing the memos.

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Yes, a lot of people are upset about that
by Josh K / April 22, 2009 11:32 PM PDT

Interesting, isn't it. They're less upset about the fact that we engaged in torture than the fact that the administration got ratted out for it (after Bush insisted that we did not do such things). If the "enhanced interrogation techniques" (nice spin) hadn't been used in the first place, then there would have been nothing to release.

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Speaking of spin....
by EdHannigan / April 22, 2009 11:57 PM PDT

That's what your claim of torture is. Obama has compromised National Security by this unnecessary disclosure, done purely for political reasons. That is the problem.

If the "enhanced interrogation techniques" hadn't been used in the first place, we would have been subject to more attacks. Then you lefties would be blaming Bush for THAT.

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What utter nonsense
by Josh K / April 23, 2009 12:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Speaking of spin....

Your assertion that we prevented attacks by torturing people is completely baseless. You do realize that the primary objective of "enhanced interrogation techniques" has traditionally been to get people to confess to things they're not really guilty of, right? If you don't believe me, ask John McCain. He knows.

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Do a little digging...
by EdHannigan / April 23, 2009 12:11 AM PDT
In reply to: What utter nonsense
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Speaking of utter nonsense....
by EdHannigan / April 23, 2009 12:17 AM PDT
In reply to: What utter nonsense
Your assertion that we prevented attacks by torturing people

Consider the Justice Department memo of May 30, 2005. It notes that "the CIA believes 'the intelligence acquired from these interrogations has been a key reason why al Qaeda has failed to launch a spectacular attack in the West since 11 September 2001.' . . . In particular, the CIA believes that it would have been unable to obtain critical information from numerous detainees, including [Khalid Sheik Mohammed] and Abu Zubaydah, without these enhanced techniques." The memo continues: "Before the CIA used enhanced techniques . . . KSM resisted giving any answers to questions about future attacks, simply noting, 'Soon you will find out.' " Once the techniques were applied, "interrogations have led to specific, actionable intelligence, as well as a general increase in the amount of intelligence regarding al Qaeda and its affiliates."
All this confirms information that I and others have described publicly. But just as the memo begins to describe previously undisclosed details of what enhanced interrogations achieved, the page is almost entirely blacked out. The Obama administration released pages of unredacted classified information on the techniques used to question captured terrorist leaders but pulled out its black marker when it came to the details of what those interrogations achieved.
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RE:we prevented attacks by torturing people
by JP Bill / April 23, 2009 12:22 AM PDT


You would never use the word torture.

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Slow Roll Time At Langley
by EdHannigan / April 23, 2009 1:34 AM PDT
Sad to say, it's slow roll time at Langley after the release of interrogation memos that, in the words of one veteran officer, "hit the agency like a car bomb in the driveway." President Obama promised CIA officers that they won't be prosecuted for carrying out lawful orders, but the people on the firing line don't believe him. They think the memos have opened a new season of investigation and retribution.

The lesson for younger officers is obvious: Keep your head down. Duck the assignments that carry political risk. Stay away from a counterterrorism program that has become a career hazard.

Obama tried personally to reassure the CIA workforce during a visit to Langley on Monday. He said all the right things about the agency's clandestine role. But it had the look of a campaign event, with employees hooting and hollering and the president reading from his teleprompter with a backdrop of stars that commemorate the CIA's fallen warriors. By yesterday, Obama was deferring to the attorney general whether to prosecute "those who formulated those legal decisions," whatever that means.

One veteran counterterrorism operative says that agents in the field are already being more careful about using the legal findings that authorize covert action. An example is the so-called "risk of capture" interview that takes place in the first hour after a terrorism suspect is grabbed. This used to be the key window of opportunity, in which the subject was questioned aggressively and his cellphone contacts and "pocket litter" were exploited quickly.

Now, field officers are more careful. They want guidance from headquarters. They need legal advice. I'm told that in the case of an al-Qaeda suspect seized in Iraq several weeks ago, the CIA didn't even try to interrogate him. The agency handed him over to the U.S. military.
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"guidance from headquarters"
by drpruner / April 23, 2009 1:59 PM PDT

sounds much like 'the orders I was merely following'.

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So, it would be better if agents in the field...
by EdHannigan / April 23, 2009 9:18 PM PDT

had NO guidelines? Hmmm....

It's very facile and bogus to compare ANY group to Nazis. Anyone who has had an encounter with Storm Troopers of the Witnesses would know that. If you're unsure, consult your higher-ups.

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US soldiers can disobey orders....
by Josh K / April 23, 2009 11:05 PM PDT

....if they believe those orders are illegal or immoral. "I was just following orders" is no excuse, and even the "higher-ups" were using that excuse since the "enhanced interrogation techniques" were approved by the White House.

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...if they believe those orders are illegal or immoral....
by EdHannigan / April 23, 2009 11:10 PM PDT

and if they don't?

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RE: and if they don't?
by JP Bill / April 23, 2009 11:25 PM PDT

Then there is something wrong with them.

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(NT) The Judgment of Nuremburg awaits.
by drpruner / April 24, 2009 1:32 AM PDT
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That is ridiculous.
by EdHannigan / April 24, 2009 1:45 AM PDT

I'm sorry, but the US is NOT Nazi Germany, no matter who says it is.

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It's a valid analogy, Ed
by Josh K / April 24, 2009 3:20 AM PDT

The Nazis on trial at Nuremberg didn't think what they were doing was immoral either, yet when they were on trial for those acts, they tried to distance themselves by insisting they were only following orders.

The only difference is that in their case, refusal to follow those orders was punishable by death.

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Bt that lohgic...
by EdHannigan / April 24, 2009 3:42 AM PDT

ALL orders should always be refused. Soldiers should NEVER follow orders.

Maybe you need to re-think that.

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Here's why the analogy is flawed...
by EdHannigan / April 24, 2009 4:21 AM PDT
The Nazis on trial at Nuremberg didn't think what they were doing was immoral either
I don't believe that. I think they knew it was immoral and illegal and were using "just following orders" as an excuse. They plainly did all they could to conceal their actions from the worlds.

In the CIA case, the agents were trying to determine what the legal bounds were so they would NOT go beyond them.

Harsh interrogation of known murderers is not comparable to exterminating millions of innocent people. Making that analogy is probably not the best way for your "side" to go.
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RE: They plainly did all they could to conceal their actions
by JP Bill / April 24, 2009 4:39 AM PDT

And CIA/Government was shouting it from the rooftops.

So what's the uproar about NOW?

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Fascinating reply; shows your ignorance of the
by drpruner / April 24, 2009 1:47 AM PDT

wartimes records of Witnesses.
The best choice is to refuse in the first place. We did.
To do that, though- in the face of the death penalty in many countries- one needs to have a set of permanent principles laid down by the very highest authority. We did.

Joseph Rutherford, who was President of the WT Society from 1918-1942, regretted in print that he had no very good advice to give European Witnesses as the Nazi cloud lowered; just 'maintain neutrality in the world's affairs.' (John 13:34,35) Historians agree they did quite well, anyway. Many Witnesses were released from camps and asked to take positions in postwar governments because they alone were free from Nazi taint as a group, on principle.

BTW, you'll want to avoid the storm trooper by-play; it will just get you deleted, and neither of us wants that. You're quite the amateur at it anyway. We've been called Communists by Hitler and Fascists by Stalin. Hannigan? Never heard of him. Happy

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BTW, you'll want to avoid the storm trooper by-play;
by EdHannigan / April 24, 2009 2:01 AM PDT
...it will just get you deleted, and neither of us wants that.

I couldn't care less, actually.

Just trying to point out how absurd your comparison is. Like I said, you can level that bogus charge against any group. See?
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To be safe, Ed...
by J. Vega / April 24, 2009 2:10 AM PDT

Ed, to be safe you could say something about Catholics. That seems to be politically acceptable.

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"Something about Catholics"
by drpruner / April 24, 2009 3:40 AM PDT

Wait! Lemme do it!

Mackerel snapper! Mackerel snapper!

So there!

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