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Military Officials Please Review this: Move On.Org Inflames Tension with Torture Ad

April 22, 2009

I won’t lower myself to respond to this video unprofessionally. Nor will I lower myself to the basic instinct to react with emotion versus being practical.  However, this ad will end up fueling tension for those currently deployed and could have adverse affects to our current missions overseas as those living and residing in Iraq and Afghanistan begin to see the picture unfolding that there are those here, in  our own administration, seeking to incite there emotions by bringing up the past and painting us in a bad light. If this administration intends to prosecute anyone do it and be done.  But remember, this political posturing is just that. There needs to be individuals stepping down, resigning or impeached.  This entire spectacle is unprofessional and looks badly in regards to administrations around the world.

I will never support this type of posturing because it is not beneficial to our nation as a whole.  This is a game changer which everyone should pay attention to.  I am so disappointed. So very disappointed.  The world is watching. Our moral standing is being shredded.  Professional agencies that answer to a higher calling by placing country first who are witnessing this as well.  It all seems so unprofessional.  But before I say anything else,  let’s go back for a minute to 9 December 2007 and remember what so many chooses to forget:

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

“The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough,” said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.

And this:

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

“The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough,” said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.

But more importantly, the game changer itself:

Yet long before “waterboarding” entered the public discourse, the CIA gave key legislative overseers about 30 private briefings, some of which included descriptions of that technique and other harsh interrogation methods, according to interviews with multiple U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge.

With one known exception, no formal objections were raised by the lawmakers briefed about the harsh methods during the two years in which waterboarding was employed, from 2002 to 2003, said Democrats and Republicans with direct knowledge of the matter. The lawmakers who held oversight roles during the period included Pelosi and  Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and  John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), as well as Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and  Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan).

Individual lawmakers’ recollections of the early briefings varied dramatically, but officials present during the meetings described the reaction as mostly quiet acquiescence, if not outright support. “Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing,” said Goss, who chaired the House intelligence committee from 1997 to 2004 and then served as CIA director from 2004 to 2006. “And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement.”

Congressional officials say the groups’ ability to challenge the practices was hampered by strict rules of secrecy that prohibited them from being able to take notes or consult legal experts or members of their own staffs. And while various officials have described the briefings as detailed and graphic, it is unclear precisely what members were told about waterboarding and how it is conducted. Several officials familiar with the briefings also recalled that the meetings were marked by an atmosphere of deep concern about the possibility of an imminent terrorist attack.

“In fairness, the environment was different then because we were closer to Sept. 11 and people were still in a panic,” said one U.S. official present during the early briefings. “But there was no objecting, no hand-wringing. The attitude was, ‘We don’t care what you do to those guys as long as you get the information you need to protect the American people.’ ”

Only after information about the practice began to leak in news accounts in 2005 — by which time the CIA had already abandoned waterboarding — did doubts about its legality among individual lawmakers evolve into more widespread dissent. The opposition reached a boiling point this past October, when Democratic lawmakers condemned the practice during Michael B. Mukasey’s confirmation hearings for attorney general.

GOP lawmakers and Bush administration officials have previously said members of Congress were well informed and were supportive of the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques. But the details of who in Congress knew what, and when, about waterboarding — a form of simulated drowning that is the most extreme and widely condemned interrogation technique — have not previously been disclosed.

U.S. law requires the CIA to inform Congress of covert activities and allows the briefings to be limited in certain highly sensitive cases to a “Gang of Eight,” including the four top congressional leaders of both parties as well as the four senior intelligence committee members. In this case, most briefings about detainee programs were limited to the “Gang of Four,” the top Republican and Democrat on the two committees. A few staff members were permitted to attend some of the briefings.

We have troops deployed and continuing to deploy and inflaming the anger with this and this video below is beyond horrendous. Whose side is this country on? We have more questions than answers and I think in my opinion someone needs to get out there, military wise and explain this.

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