Obama put politics ahead of national security

Stephen Hayes:

Porter Goss, former CIA Director and past chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, blasted the Obama administration for releasing Justice Department memos on harsh interrogation techniques. “For the first time in my experience we’ve crossed the red line of properly protecting our national security in order to gain partisan political advantage,” Goss said in an interview.

Goss, a former CIA operative, has made few public comments since leaving his post as DCI in September 2006. In December 2007, he told a Washington Post reporter that members of Congress had been fully briefed on the CIA’s special interrogation program. “Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing,” Goss told the Post. “And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement.”

In a letter to his intelligence community colleagues last Thursday, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair described those briefings. “From 2002 through 2006 when the use of these techniques ended, the leadership of the CIA repeatedly reported their activities both to Executive Branch policymakers and to members of Congress, and received permission to continue to use the techniques.”

That passage from Blair’s letter – along with another confirming that the interrogations produced “high-value information” that provided a “deeper understanding of the al Qaeda organization attacking this country” – was dropped when language from the letter was released publicly. A spokesman for Blair attributed to the omission to normal editing procedures.

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There is more about putting political operatives out to defend the disclosures rather than intelligence professionals. The evidence continues to build against this political use of intelligence operations. It is also building against the hypocrisy of members of Congress who knew the truth all along and now act like they are shocked.

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