Posted by: Puma1 | April 17, 2009

Torture Memos? Obama Releases State Intelligence Secrets, Throws CIA Under the Bus

The Obama administration has declassified and released opinions of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel…that analyze the legality of interrogation techniques authorized for use by the CIA. Those techniques were applied only when expressly permitted by the director, and are described in these opinions in detail…

The release of these opinions was unnecessary as a legal matter, and is unsound as a matter of policy. Its effect will be to invite the kind of institutional timidity and fear of recrimination that weakened intelligence gathering in the past, and that we came sorely to regret on Sept. 11, 2001…

Although evidence shows that the Army Field Manual…is already used by al Qaeda for training purposes, it was certainly the president’s right to suspend use of any technique. However, public disclosure…of the techniques themselves, assures that terrorists are now aware of the absolute limit of what the U.S. government could do to extract information from them, and can supplement their training accordingly and thus diminish the effectiveness of these techniques as they have the ones in the Army Field Manual…

By allowing this disclosure, President Obama has tied not only his own hands but also the hands of any future administration faced with the prospect of attack…

Disclosure of the techniques is likely to be met by faux outrage, and is perfectly packaged for media consumption. It will also incur the utter contempt of our enemies. Somehow, it seems unlikely that the people who beheaded Nicholas Berg and Daniel Pearl, and have tortured and slain other American captives, are likely to be shamed into giving up violence by the news that the U.S. will no longer interrupt the sleep cycle of captured terrorists even to help elicit intelligence that could save the lives of its citizens…

As already disclosed by Director Hayden, as late as 2006, even with the growing success of other intelligence tools, fully half of the government’s knowledge about the structure and activities of al Qaeda came from those interrogations…

The effect of this disclosure on the morale and effectiveness of many in the intelligence community is not hard to predict. Those charged with the responsibility of gathering potentially lifesaving information from unwilling captives are now told essentially that any legal opinion they get as to the lawfulness of their activity is only as durable as political fashion permits.

via The President Ties His Own Hands on Terror – WSJ.com.

Doesn’t get any more clear or succint than that. It’s very hard to understand why Obama would cut our intelligence agents off at the knees and embolden/empower our enemies with the unnecessary release of these memos. I truly doubt pernicious intent, which leads to the inevitable conclusion that Obama is too stupid or too naive to understand why the declassification of America’s intelligence gathering techniques puts the nation’s security at risk.

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