Apr 23 2009

Worth More Than The FBI, CIA And NSA Put Together

Published by at 7:36 am under FISA-NSA


“Worth More Than The FBI, CIA And NSA Put Together” – this being the program of enhanced interrogation used for only 2 years right after 9-11. So says the then head of the CIA George Tenet, who was selected for his position by Bill Clinton. All of this comes from an eye popping article from GOP Congressman Pete Hoekstra, who was briefed on this program:

Reactions to this former CIA program, which was used against senior al Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003, are demonstrating how little President Barack Obama and some Democratic members of Congress understand the dire threats to our nation.

George Tenet, who served as CIA director under Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, believes the enhanced interrogations program saved lives. He told CBS’s “60 Minutes” in April 2007: “I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us.”

So some evil guys who declared war on us and helped execute the murder of 3,000 innocent people on 9-11-01 where given a bit of rough treatment by tricking their senses into reacting like they were drowning (not actually drowning, not even close to drowning). And thousands of lives were probably saved. I think most Americans can and will gladly live with that.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed is not a victim, he is unrepentant killer. The people in the CIA and administration who finally had to use some techniques they discovered in our military training programs (which means we inflict this fake drowning test on our own people hundreds of times a year) are not criminals for stopping al Qaeda before it could kill again. They are defenders of this nation.

The left has this all backwards because they hate America. They hate its capitalism, the free flow of opportunity so anyone can get ahead, its unchallenged strength and its ability to project that strength to save humanity form itself (e.g., Kuwait, Iraq, Kosovo). They hate what we are so in their mind the mastermind behind the worst attack in this nation’s history is a victim because we had to keep him cold and awake for a few days straight so he would tell on his allies working to execute the next attacks.

If Tenet is right and this program produced more complete and detailed (and actionable) intelligence then all our premier spy and investigative organizations combined, then we know the answer to “wasn’t there another way?” There wasn’t – unless we let more innocent people die. That is what Obama and the left think is right, to leave people exposed to murder by Islamist fanatics. In my mind, THAT is a crime, especially given the oath of office they took to protect this nation and its people from attacks, foreign and domestic.

Addendum: And don’t be fooled by any faux shock from the democrats – it is all an act:

It was not necessary to release details of the enhanced interrogation techniques, because members of Congress from both parties have been fully aware of them since the program began in 2002. We believed it was something that had to be done in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to keep our nation safe. After many long and contentious debates, Congress repeatedly approved and funded this program on a bipartisan basis in both Republican and Democratic Congresses.

Just like with our invasion of  Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein, we have a legal activity here.

2nd Addendum: I am quickly coming of the opinion this program should be fully investigated in the light of public congressional hearings:

Members of Congress calling for an investigation of the enhanced interrogation program should remember that such an investigation can’t be a selective review of information, or solely focus on the lawyers who wrote the memos, or the low-level employees who carried out this program. I have asked Mr. Blair to provide me with a list of the dates, locations and names of all members of Congress who attended briefings on enhanced interrogation techniques.

Any investigation must include this information as part of a review of those in Congress and the Bush administration who reviewed and supported this program. To get a complete picture of the enhanced interrogation program, a fair investigation will also require that the Obama administration release the memos requested by former Vice President Dick Cheney on the successes of this program.

An honest and thorough review of the enhanced interrogation program must also assess the likely damage done to U.S. national security by Mr. Obama’s decision to release the memos over the objections of Mr. Panetta and four of his predecessors. Such a review should assess what this decision communicated to our enemies, and also whether it will discourage intelligence professionals from offering their frank opinions in sensitive counterterrorist cases for fear that they will be prosecuted by a future administration.

That’s a broadside warning shot to the Dems, open this up and we open it all up. It is time to have this debate, bring it on. Let’s get this over with.

38 responses so far

38 Responses to “Worth More Than The FBI, CIA And NSA Put Together”

  1. ph2ll says:

    AJ, I agree let’s open this up and let the American people decide. I am tired of the one sided debate going on where the procedures are exposed yet the results are kept secret. If the American people see that scaring someone saved lives then that is an easy choice for them to make.

    I am not very familiar with the legislative rules but I worry that without any real power in Congress the Republicans will be left without many options and Pelosi and company will overrule, override, and runover the whole process thereby denying the American people the chance to make up their minds for themselves.

    Whatever happens we need to get this over with now. National Security is not a toy and the American people need to see that.

  2. Alert1201 says:

    I tell you, if the dems want to go after this it will be a blood bath that they will loose. I was skipping through some radio stations last night and hit Mark Levin. He may be a crack pot talk radio host but he is a brilliant and ferocious lawyer. He has promised that his legal foundation will defend those who participated in the program and he will drag any and everybody necessary before the bar for cross examination.

    I am sure there are dozens more just as brilliant and ferocious (but hopefully more balanced) who would do the same.

    Here is another good article from the wsj that sets the memo in context:

    Bring it on dems!!!

  3. gwood says:

    I agree Obama has overstepped here, right into some knee-high doodoo. We on the right have known from the beginning that Obama wants to weaken America, and this is the issue that could convince those who voted for him, but didn’t believe it when we told them what he was really about.

    Obama truly is politically tone-deaf, thank goodness. I’m feeling more confident we can vote these rascals out now.

  4. ph2ll says:

    Looks like some in Congress are ready to play hardball.
    “An honest and thorough review of the enhanced interrogation program must also assess the likely damage done to U.S. national security by Mr. Obama’s decision to release the memos over the objections of Mr. Panetta and four of his predecessors. Such a review should assess what this decision communicated to our enemies, and also whether it will discourage intelligence professionals from offering their frank opinions in sensitive counterterrorist cases for fear that they will be prosecuted by a future administration.” PETER HOEKSTRA, MI (R)

    Let’s not just look to the past but instead look to the future and the damage that the current adminstration is actively doing at this time. Forget what happened in 2003-2003 and forget that we have not been attacked in 2,781 days since 9/11 but instead focus on what is going to happen to us if the far left is successful in their witch hunt.

  5. ph2ll says:

    My previous comment is adding to what AJ just previously stated, sorry for the overlap but this really troubles me that the far left can be so short sighted.

  6. Redteam says:

    I’m for it all being exposed to the light of day.

    far left is not short sighted. It’s normal vision for them, they see a socialist future.

    the damage that the current adminstration is actively doing at this time.
    That’s exactly their intent

    have known from the beginning that Obama wants to weaken America,

    That’s not a revelation, it’s well known.

    in Congress the Republicans will be left without many options and Pelosi and company will overrule, override, and runover the whole process thereby denying the American people the chance to make up their minds for themselves.

    as usual. and if the conservatives disagree they will be ‘over-reacting. it’s win-win for dems, lose-lose for the conservatives.

  7. kathie says:

    There is a big problem in opening this up………it takes Bush out of, the everything that could go wrong or is wrong with this country is all the fault of George Bush. Oh dear, Bush can no longer be the fall guy for the talking heads, what are we going to do when the truth comes out. Remember, just like Obama did, Bush could have declassified those same memos, only in their entirety. But he didn’t. I don’t need to ask why!

    The worst President in American history…….what did he do?

    He rescued a plane of Americans from the China.

    He lowered taxes to help recover from the dot com bubble.

    He took the terrorists head on after 911.

    He lowered taxes again to get the economy back on it’s feet after the trillion dollar loss from 911.

    He fought two wars.

    He helped seniors get prescription drugs for lower prices so they wouldn’t have to eat dog food.

    He began the process of holding our schools accountable.

    All with the support of the public. Every step of the way he informed congress and the American people, what we were up against, where we had to go, and how he hoped to do it.

    He begged congress starting in 2001 to reel in Fannie and Freddie, and regulate GSE’s.

    He set up the six party talks with North Korea.

    He brought India toward the west and the community of nations.

    He saved million of lives in Africa and held governments responsible for good governance if they received American aide.

    He tried to help establish a Palestine State. And he didn’t let the killer Arafat back in the Lincoln bedroom.

    He strengthened sanctions on Iran.

    He encouraged and supported countries who were once under the thumb of Russia to find their own way.

    I never had to guess where he was going, if America and Americans were at the center of his thinking. I ask, when the chips were down, who stood up for him?

  8. conman says:

    “I am quickly coming of the opinion this program should be fully investigated in the light of public congressional hearings.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Let’s find out what EIT were approved and used, who pushed for them and approved them, who in Congress knew about it and did nothing (including those Democratic leaders that pretended they didn’t know, just like with the NSA program), how widely they were used and determine how beneficial they were in safeguarding against attacks. In order to have a meaningful investigatation, Obama and/or Congress need to give immunity to all of the CIA operatives who simply carried out orders – they don’t deserve to be punished for following orders and won’t talk without immunity.

    That way we can have a full accounting of whether or not this program is worth it. We need to know not only what intelligence we derived from these programs, but also (1) how many people in the military/CIA/FBI objected to the legality and effectiveness of these programs (quite a few based on my research); (2) how many rabbit holes we wasted resources on because detainees would say anything to make it stop; (3) how many people were subjected to these techniques that didn’t have the information we suspected or were innocent; (4) how this program led to abuses at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib (Senate Armed Services Committee Report released yesterday provided strong links); and (5) how much these programs underminesd our world standing and helped Al Qaeda recruitment (hard to measure, but we need to consider the full picture).

  9. conman says:


    Before you start assuming that a full accounting of the program will demonstrate that it was worth it, take stock in who is advocating and who is resisting the public release of this information. Obama was the one who released the memos and it is the Democrats that are pushing for a full accounting. It’s the Bush crowd and GOP that is out their publicly decrying the release of this information and resisting a full accounting. If the program has been as effective as those on the right claim, why not have a full accounting and let the American people decide?

    The GOP claims the release of this information is “dangerous” because it will tip off our enemies, but we’ve known for quite some time that the EIT program exists and the a lot of information about the specific techniques. Bush already acknowledged waterboarding, the ABU Ghraib pictures provided proof of the use of dogs, shackling, forced nudity and there is plenty of public information about sleep deprivation and psychological methods used at Gitmo. In fact, these very same techniques have been around for a long time and have been used by our own enemies. The US military training program you referred to was based on torture techniques used in Korea and Vietnam – to prepare our soldiers in the event they are captured by those nations we know resort to torture.

    The only legitimate concern with the release in my mind is the potential for CIA operatives getting caught up. But if it is not torture and is really legal, what is the concern? Sounds to me like they all realize that they are on shaky ground with respect to the legality. Regardless, the CIA operatives need to be given immunity since they followed orders and won’t disclose info without these protections. Obama said he would do it and he needs to follow through.

  10. kathie says:

    I think we also need to find out what torture programs were ordered before the two embassies were blown up in Africa, the Cole got a big hole in it’s side, the World Trade Center bombed in 1993, and the other terror acts against America. What caused loonies to do this? How can we stop it. Upps, we did!

  11. conman says:


    I hestitate to get off topic, but I just can’t let your comments about Bush go unchallenged. The bottomline is that Americans judge presidents by the results, not their efforts or intent. What are the results of the previous 8 years.

    The worst terrorist attack in our countries history. A resurrgent Al Qaeda after 7 years despite the GWOT. Afghanistan in shambles and on the verge of becoming a failed state once again. Pakistan, the only muslim country with nuclear weapons, more destablized than it has ever been and Taliban and Al Qaeda increasing their influence. A horrendous post-war Iraqi plan, saved by the surge (Bush gets big credit for that part), but once again reverting back to increasing ethinic tensions, suicide bombs, etc. because we never fully resolved the political problems. North Korea and Iran’s nuclear ambitious uninhibited despite the sanctions. Russia resurgent and more dangerous than any time since the fall of the Soviet Union. The worst recession since the Depression. The worst economic growth in an 8-year span since the Depression. The highest deficient on record. Continued decline in our education numbers. Continued increases in health care costs that are killing small businesses and the private sector in general. Social Security and Medicare funding unresolved and kicked down the road for another president to address.

    Americans don’t care what Bush TRIED to do. They care what he ACCOMPLISHED. Other than a strong initial response after 9-11 (before Iraq distracted us), stronger ties with India and African aid, he failed on all of the big items. That is why 70-80% of Americans think he was a bad president. Since Democrats do not make up 70 to 80% of the country, you can’t blame it on partisanship.

  12. kathie says:

    I disagree Conman, rarely do events cooperate with a 4 or 8 year Presidential term. Events happen, making history, and men come and go.

  13. KauaiBoy says:

    Another sure sign of the despotic nature of those in charge. And funny how it comes after the recent tea parties. This is a flex of “muscle” to threaten your opponents with “hearings” which will be conducted by whom??? Pat Leahy? MoveOn? Soros? why not have Acorn conduct the witchhunt. With real, solvable problems right in front of them, it is amazing these miscreants can waste time and my money to second guess history.

    Brave people do the work that allows stupid people to continue being stupid. I salute the work done on KSM, now let’s execute him.

  14. sherman50 says:

    conman, there’s nothing resurgent about Russia or al-Qaeda except in the minds of people who see signs (because they are rooting for it) of American decline in their cereal in the morning.

    And blaming Bush for the dysfunction of certain parts of the Muslim world that preceded him by centuries is laughable. Afghanistan has been given as much of a shot at becoming a decent country as it ever has before. The rest of your screed isn’t much better.

  15. marksbbr says:

    Conman, I had to comment on one thing in your response to Kathie.

    “The worst terrorist attack in our countries history” Keep in mind that September 11 occurred only eight months since he entered office. Given the pace anything in the machine that is the federal government moves, what could Bush have done in eight short months to prevent it? I respect that you at least gave Bush credit for the success of the surge, as long as it took him to realize Iraq wasn’t a rose garden. While I was not a complete fan of the Bush administration, I believe it will be history that will judge him. Truman was despised when he left office in ’53. Lincoln was hated by the Democrats. However, it is time that has corrected their legacies.

    Back on topic: I think the decision by Obama to release the memos also sets a precedent. For the first time in our history, a tranquil transition of power from one party to the other has been interrupted by a president eager to embarrass his predecessor. However, not to get into the legal stuff, my main resentment about the left and their obsession with “torture” has been that they don’t care about what al-Qaida does. When AQ beheads its captives, there is no anger. I don’t remember the left being angry at the discovery of torture houses in Fallujah. Despite what any investigation may claim, we aren’t anywhere as harsh on our captives as al-Qaeda is on theirs.

  16. conman says:


    I agree that Bush is not solely responsible for 9-11 and that it is possible no president could have prevented it, but what we do know is he was warned about a possible attack in August of 2001 and never during the 8-month period did he commit any additional resources or implement any new plans to combat against it. Don’t you think he bears some responsibility for a failure of action – just like people blame Clinton for failing to act? I also agree that Bush’s legacy will be flushed out further as time passes, but I just don’t see how it improves over time. What is going to happen over the next 5, 10, 20 years to undo the failures I noted above?

    As for the memo releases, I think you are missing the point. Obama didn’t release the memos simply to embarrass Bush. Obama released them to demonstrate to the country and the world that America no longer employs these EIT and is serious about this committment. The only way to make a clean break from these policies was to bring the EIT program to light and show why he is taking this position since the Bush administration never came clean with the country about what it was doing in the name of America. I don’t know many Americans who think it is okay for us to use torture, so the real question is whether or not the EIT amounted to torture.

    Those Americans that don’t support the EIT because they believe it amounts to torture are not taking that position because they think Al Qaeda is a group of nice guys or don’t care that they are brutal. Americas has never defined its interrogation policies based on what our enemies do. Hitler/Nazis and Imperial Japan were about as evil and ruthless as you can get, but I don’t know many WWII veterans that think we should have tortured them or adopted their inhumane practices. Instead, in every conflict or war we have stayed true to our values and principles and I believe have been better off for it. People who oppose the EIT are not upset about hurting Al Qaeda, but about altering American values and principles that have been around since our creation.

  17. conman says:


    By the way, in yesterday’s post you suggested that I read the 2005 memo at Gateway Pundit regarding use of EIT on KSM. It refers to Mark A. Thiessen’s, a former Bush speechwriter, Washington Post op-ed (“The CIA’s Questioning Worked”) argued that justification for the Bush administration’s techniques is there for all to see in a memo from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel dated May 30, 2005, in particular the claim that the use of EIT on KSM thwarted the Second wave or West Coast plot in Los Angeles. It caught my interest and I did some additional digging. I found this article at Slate that pretty clearly demonstrates that it is not possible that the EITs used on KSM thwarted that plot based on the Bush administrations own public statements regarding the timing of KSMs capture and when we foiled the west coast plot. http://www.slate.com/id/2216601/

    Here is the key part:

    “What clinches the falsity of Thiessen’s claim, however (and that of the memo he cites, and that of an unnamed Central Intelligence Agency spokesman who today seconded Thessen’s argument), is chronology. In a White House press briefing, Bush’s counterterrorism chief, Frances Fragos Townsend, told reporters that the cell leader was arrested in February 2002, and “at that point, the other members of the cell” (later arrested) “believed that the West Coast plot has been canceled, was not going forward” [italics mine]. A subsequent fact sheet released by the Bush White House states, “In 2002, we broke up [italics mine] a plot by KSM to hijack an airplane and fly it into the tallest building on the West Coast.” These two statements make clear that however far the plot to attack the Library Tower ever got—an unnamed senior FBI official would later tell the Los Angeles Times that Bush’s characterization of it as a “disrupted plot” was “ludicrous”—that plot was foiled in 2002. But Sheikh Mohammed wasn’t captured until March 2003.”

    If there was an actual instance of EIT providing significant actionable intelligence that helped thwart a terrorist plot, you would think someone would have leaked it by now. Bush, Cheney and other senior officials in the adminsitration and CIA have been under attack for these techniques for a long time and theor asses are on the line now big time, and yet we still don’t have any instance of that occuring. I’m sorry, I’m highly skeptical that they would wait until now to do it.

  18. kathie says:

    Holy Cow Conman……….we didn’t capture many Germans, and the ones we found on US soil we shot, no trial, no nothing. We put the Japanese living in the US in internment camps, and we bombed a few, do you remember, those Germans living in Germany we carpet bombed, killing anybody and everybody we could. But we knew who we were fighting, because they represented a Nation, wore uniforms, and we watched them coming. The only thing that distinguishes the guys we are chasing now, is their sick minds.

    Only in theory do people disagree with water-boarding. Fortunately none of them had to make the decision. When you swear to defend and protect, you don’t have luxury to think in theory, because people are depending on you to protect and defend, not say uppsy!

  19. conman says:


    Maybe you should send a letter to General Petraus and inform him that he is a traitor who roots for Al Qaeda. Here are some quotes from his testimony about Al Qaeda at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on April 6, 2009:

    “Operations there are imperative, and we need to provide the support and assistance to the Pakistani military that can enable them to confront the extremists who pose a truly existential threat to their country,”

    “The extremists that have established sanctuaries in the rugged border areas not only contribute to the deterioration of security in eastern southern Afghanistan, they also pose an evermore serious threat to Pakistan’s very existence,”

    Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, and Adm. Eric Olson, special operations commander – both of whom echoed Petraeus’ concerns about Pakistan. Flournoy added: “Pakistan’s ability to dismantle the safe havens on its territory and defeat terror and insurgent networks within its borders are absolutely critical to the security and stability of that nuclear-armed state.”

    Read the quotes and educate yourself. http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/daily-news-article/us-must-work-with-pakistan-to-stop-al-qaeda-gen-petraeus-says/

    But hey, who cares if Al Qaeda is threatening the existence of a nuclear armed muslim country right. No big deal right?

  20. Terrye says:


    Democrats had no problem with these tactics until it was politically expedient for them to have a problem. You can fall for that if you want to, but I will not.

    Even now Obama is using rendition. What do you think the Jordanians do to get information? Do you even care?

    The Democrats went along with the war when it worked for them and then they balked when it was politically expedient. They went along with these techniques for the same reason.

    you are naive and partisan.