Porter Goss speaks

What are we to do while the president of the United States impairs the national security of the country through a transparent political charade? Former CIA director Porter Goss was chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 1997 to 2004. He hasn’t been heard from much since he was driven out of the CIA in May 2006. In today’s Washington Post, he steps from the shadows to call the Obama Democrats on their little game:

I am slack-jawed to read that members [of Congress] claim to have not understood that the techniques on which they were briefed were to actually be employed; or that specific techniques such as “waterboarding” were never mentioned. It must be hard for most Americans of common sense to imagine how a member of Congress can forget being told about the interrogations of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In that case, though, perhaps it is not amnesia but political expedience.

Let me be clear. It is my recollection that:

— The chairs and the ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, known as the Gang of Four, were briefed that the CIA was holding and interrogating high-value terrorists.

— We understood what the CIA was doing.

— We gave the CIA our bipartisan support.

— We gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities.

— On a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.

I do not recall a single objection from my colleagues.

As for the proposition that the abandonment and disclosure of the enhanced interrogation techniques promotes national security, Goss observes: “The suggestion that we are safer now because information about interrogation techniques is in the public domain conjures up images of unicorns and fairy dust.”


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