Monday, July 20, 2009

Stop That Man--He Didn't Do Anything!

The nervous nellies on the left are in high dudgeon again, fueled by a non-revelation revelation from the New York Times. And who is the nefarious villain behind the plot? The Prince of Darkness, grim, we tremble not for him, his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure, four little words shall fell him: "Look, it's Dick Cheney!"


The New York Times, which seems to know more about spy programs than all our agencies put together, discovered another secret counterterrorism program which was designed to train hit squads to bump off top Al Qaeda leaders. Now I assume you're all horrified by such a concept, but apparently there are those who would beg to differ. Isn't it against the law to pick off terrorist leaders? Well, no, actually. It's an executive order which can be rescinded with the stroke of a pen, but let's not get bogged down in details.

So what has the New York Times' panties in a bunch? CIA Director Leon Panetta last month killed the program after he confidentially told the two Congressional Intelligence Committees about the sketchy details. The leaks didn't get out to the Times for a couple of days, but that's not what the Gray Lady is having a hissy fit over. The Evil One, former Vice President Cheney, may have told the CIA not to disclose the program to Congress. Can you imagine such a thing? Never mind that the program was never actually set up, let alone activated, and that it was abandoned before it ever got past the initial talking stages and the routine non-assassination training of a few overseas allies who might, maybe, have been brought into the program later. This is a blot on America's goodness, and it must be avenged.

Token conservative Debra Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle put it very nicely: "After all, why bankroll an intelligence agency if you can't use it to kill an enemy against whom America is fighting a war?" Logic like that falls on deaf ears at the New York Times, as well as dyspectic Congressional Democrats. The inestimable Senator Dick Durbin of Lyinnois has argued that there should be--wait for it--an investigation!

First of all, there's no evidence, other than the New Yorks Times' unnamed sources' say-so that V. P. Cheney ever told the agency any such thing. It's all right for the Times to have secrets, just not our intelligence agencies. All this indignation is just more lefty political grandstanding. The New York Times reported on December 15, 2002, that there was a program which contained "a list of terrorist leaders the Central Intelligence Agency is authorized to kill." Isn't that seven years ago? It would seem that Senator Durbin, along with 98% of Americans, and its own staff, do not read the New York Times.

The current Times article went on to report that the covert program "never became fully operational, involving planning and some training that took place off and on from 2001." OK. And other Times stories added that CIA Director George Tenet killed the program in 2004, his successor, Porter Goss revived the program, but it never became operational, even when Michale Hayden, and later Panetta, took over as CIA chief."

Saunders goes on to say that the AP has reported that the House Intelligence Committee is laying the groundwork for a formal investigation. "If so, the committee might start by probing how it is that Intelligence Committee members didn't know about a plan that had been reported on the front page of the New York Times." I would add that the second question should be "How is it that the New York Times didn't know about a story that was printed on the front page of the New York Times? And did the Times' unnamed sources get their information from the 2002 New York Times story?"

The 2002 story also has another gem. "In the case of the presidential finding authorizing the use of lethal force against members of Al Qaeda, Congressional leaders have been notified as required (emphasis added), the officials said." In other words, the best Mr. Cheney could be investigated for is allegedly telling the CIA not to tell Congress about a program that Congress had already been told about. If you're confused, you're not the only one.

Who is the real goat in all this silliness? Norman Panetta. He rushed to tell two Committees, confidentially, that he had discontinued a non-operational operation which had been cancelled much earlier as reported by the New York Times, and was rewarded (as he should have known he would be) by a leak coming out of one of those Committees.

Saunders' final words are very apt: "The message to Agency staff may be unintended, but it is clear--If there's anyone left at CIA headquarters who wants to defeat Al Qaeda, that person would be well-advised to hire a lawyer first. Or maybe a shrink."

17 comments:

StanH said...

Lawhawk, the part that irritates me most is the fact that this is not a standing order, “if you get a Al Qaeda terrorist in your sights pull the trigger!” …duh! I have always liked VP Cheney, and I like him more when I find out about some of these attempted policies. Democrats are truly dumb, if they push to hard Mr. Cheney will put down his fishing pole and go on the attack again, making Barry look like the empty suit that he is.

Writer X said...

The more we watch the Obama administration in action, the more I miss (and appreciate) VP Cheney. The reporting at the New York Times is one step below the National Inquirer.

AndrewPrice said...

So he didn't tell Congress about a plan that they never put into effect based on something they had been authorized to do. I see. Yeah, that's very upsetting.

Goldentrout said...

The NERVE of Cheney- actually trying to kill our enemies' top leadership! I suspect what this really is, is payback to Cheney for speaking the truth to this Administration's failing policies concerning national security. I doubt it will get anywhere in the legal system, but they will drag it out for months to make as much political hay as possible.

LawHawkSF said...

StanH: Another thing I love about Cheney, is he hasn't taken this lying down like so many politicians. He is on the attack, and if they ever make the mistake of actually calling him before a committee, he'll clean their clocks.

LawHawkSF said...

WriterX: And the National Enquirer gets the facts right. Please note that they knew years ago that ancient aliens built Andrew's house.

Goldentrout: Dick Cheney is all about national security, and he never put a smiley-face on it. That just irritates the crap out of liberals. And he refuses to cower at threats from the lefty pipsqueaks. Nothing makes liberal bullies angrier than to be treated with the contempt they so richly deserve. And unlike Scooter Libby, Cheney won't allow his former boss to throw him under the bus.

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: The other plan that Cheney didn't tell the liberals about is his plan to take them hunting. Since most of them are lawyers, their fate is sealed LOL

patti said...

not only do i miss cheney, i miss rumsfeld. nothing better than someone who isn't gonna take liberal's crap, but make them eat it.

~sigh~

LawHawkSF said...

Patti: Rumsfeld was a good defense man. His only mistake was doing what McNamara did years before him. He came up with a new way of thinking about a war situation, implemented it, and it worked--at first. When the situation changed on the ground, he stubbornly refused to change with the situation. But he always had America's best interest at heart. And indeed, he took no nonsense from the nay-sayers.

StanH said...

Oh, Lawhawk …now you’re getting me excited Cheney testifying in front of congress would be wonderful stuff indeed. Did you happen to watch Oliver North testify during “Iran-Contra,” it was great. Cheney’s dry delivery, no-nonsense, brilliant, without equivocation, responses would batter the libs about the face and shoulders, the question is …are they really that dumb? YES!

LawHawkSF said...

StanH: I know what you mean. I was still at a political epiphany point at the time of the Iran-Contra hearings, but I was really impressed with Ollie North. And Cheney has that nasty smirk that just drives liberals up the walls.

BevfromNYC said...

StanH and Law - Please, please let it be Barbie Boxer who questions him. I want to see what he says when she dresses him down for calling her "Ma'am". Because you know he would...

LawHawkSF said...

Bev: Wouldn't that be fun? Over in the House it wouldn't be quite so much fun, since Pelosi's face is frozen and she couldn't react to finding herself eviscerated. Dianne Feinstein could be interesting as well, since more and more she looks like one of those souls in hell on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. I must have done something terribly bad in a past life to deserve that Unholy Trinity.

Goldentrout said...

"...since more and more she looks like one of those souls in hell on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel."

ROFL! Made me think of something- the Libs are perpetually filled with angst, aren't they? They worry and fret and wring their hands with fear all day long, and need tranqulizers to sleep at night, and that's just for the crises they manufacture. The really important things in life go unnoticed or trampled upon by them-you know, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness- trivial things like that.

LawHawkSF said...

Goldentrout: The agenda of the liberals is to deal crazily with big issues that have no simple solution so they can appear wise, rather than deal with genuine governmental issues which have relatively simple solutions which would result in the public confirmation of their genuine cluelessness.

Tennessee Jed said...

I still say this whole episode was a hastily dredged up exercise at Pelosi's request. She was made the complete fool over the original "C.I.A. systematically misleads and I didn't know about water boarding" folly. She desperately needed to save some face.

Further, she didn't wish to get into a pissing contest with a good Democrat operative C.I.A. head. The notion was, get Cheney and the Bushie's and vindicate Nancy. Fortunately, the whole exercise has been botched so badly anybody but the Times staff and the few remaining Times readers can see it as the farce it is.

LawHawkSF said...

Tennessee: The CIA comments made by Pelosi are indeed a major portion of the reasoning behind the Cheney feint. But we must also remember that every time the Obamists need to get people's attention away from the chaos they are creating, it's time to start raising another red herring about some really important non-issues concerning the Bush administration. For most of them, going after Cheney is just a bonus.

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