Free Markets, Free People

Pelosi, “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”, and Hypocrisy

You know, when you’re in DC it seems such a calm and beautiful place, and yet, the cynical machinations of politicians continue unabated.

We now have Nancy Pelosi under fire for essentially sanctioning the “advanced interrogation techiniques” by not speaking up against them or opposing them when she was briefed about their use many years ago:

Nancy Pelosi didn’t cry foul when the Bush administration briefed her on “enhanced interrogation” of terror suspects in 2002, but her team was locked and loaded to counter hypocrisy charges when the “torture” memos were released last week.

Many Republicans obliged, led by former CIA chief Porter Goss, who is accusing Democrats like Pelosi of “amnesia” for demanding investigations in 2009 after failing to raise objections seven years ago when she first learned of the legal basis for the program.

She and her staff can be as “locked and loaded” as they wish, but the fact remains that she’s said nothing about the use of those techniques for 7 years – not a single, solitary word to anyone about opposing them on any grounds.

So the use of these techniques wasn’t something which was going on in a dark corner out of the view or knowledge of Congressional leadership. Democrats have tried to sell that as the “conventional wisdom” – a fascist and authoritarian president making decisions that violate human rights behind closed doors and without the knowledge of the enlightened Dems who would surely have stopped it if they had only known.

But they did know – and said nothing. In the realm of Washington politics that is the same as giving something sanction.

More importantly, Democrats would like for you to believe that these things took place due to an out-of-control executive branch. However, and as usual, this all took place because both Republicans and Democrats in Congress allowed it to take place. When you have the information necessary to stop something you supposedly oppose and do nothing, you become as complicit as anyone.

So as I said in the beginning, Pelosi’s staff as “locked and cocked” as they wish, and they can spin it until they puke, but the fact remains she can’t plead ignorance and she certainly can’t say she did or said anything in opposition, and that that speaks louder than anything her spin machine can gin up in her defense.

Whether or not you agree with the use of the techniques doesn’t change the fact that when it came to “put up or shut up” time where leadership and principle were called to the fore, Nancy Pelosi blew it and any criticism or spin she or her staff now puts forward has the horrific stench of hypocrisy emanating from it.


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17 Responses to Pelosi, “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”, and Hypocrisy

  • If you are looking for reasons, let alone the glimmer of reason itself, in any of Nancy Pelosi’s thought or behavior, here is exactly the point: there are no reasons, there is no reason.

    She is a swarm of flies, from which this or that fly finds its way into the glue of this or that flypaper narrative. She is not a postmodernist, in the sense that she thinks theoretically or could think her way to where she is. She is, rather, a postmodern phenomenon, an abandoned personhood (as in an abandoned neighborhood). There is nobody home.

    One could make the case that this is no more than a modern politician, if one wanted only to pluck the whisker of this terror without looking it in the eye. But Pelosi is way down river from that, way way down river.

    But we have seen her before, in other places, or at least we have seen the consequences of this sort of abandonment of personhood.

  • It’s the same pattern we’ve seen over and over for the past 8 years,  beginning with overwhelmingly voting for the Iraq war, and then crying about it when the political winds shift. Iraq, Waterboarding, FISA… it. Any of the issues that they used to whip the useful idiot nutroots up. Not a single principled stand- ever.

    In a just world, Pelosi and her corhorts would be swinging from the nearest tree for this conduct.

    • My observation over the years is that whoever Pelosi’s replacement will be, he or she will be worse.

      Back when George Mitchell was the Democratic leader in the Senate I was so struck by the flatness of his affect that I began to look into his background and even considered writing a book about him. You know what I found out about Mitchell? That there was essentially nothing to find. I read, I called around, I searched the record, and there was very little sign of a personality, at all.

      I rejoiced when he quit the Senate, but then he was placed by the man I called Uriah Heep, Tom Daschle. I thought, who would believe that the Democrats could come up with someone worse than Mitchell? Then Daschle lost his bid for re-election to the Senate and, Voila!, next comes Harry Reid, who is a human zero. He makes George Mitchell look like the drunk guy from accounting rockin’ out on the dance floor at the firm Christmas party.

      I honestly think, and I’m being serious, that this declension down to non-personality, to zeroness, is the consequence of the political premises in action inside the Party. At the extreme point where “the personal is political” the political person becomes unpersonal. Exhibit A: Pelosi. Exhibit B: Reid.
      These people are not “stoics,” like a Coolidge. They are not simply bland. Their very atoms have been sucked clean of spirit.

  • Perhaps President Transparency will release the contents of the briefings to Congress as well as those infamous memos.

    • Only once some other matter is in the media-public flux engaging Chris Matthews and Anderson Cooper, et al., and “torture” is being given a rest (it will always be there when needed!) would anything like that be released. But don’t hold your breath waiting for it, in any case. This is a White House with a very cloudy notion of right and wrong. This is a “whatever works for us” White House.

      Here’s my question: Six months from now will people around places like McQ’s blog be saying, “we should have known when it had gone as far as it had after just a hundred days that it was going to get this much worse,” or will the condition be one of numbness, viewing each successive act as just another “unfortunate example” when the reality will be a cumulative effect that is nothing less than prelude to horror?

  • This has had the desired effect.

    Its partly derailed the anti-Obama / Tea Party momentum. 

    The Democrats got to go back on the offensive and put the republicans on the defensive.   A situation they’ve dearly missed, I’m sure. 

    And they can keep whipping this out for the next 4 years and beyond if they wanted to. 

    Those that oppose Obama need to decide its it really worth giving up pressing your advantage to retreat to a defensive position around Bush?  I feel bad about suggesting that minimal to no effort should be applied defending Bush, but OTOH he made his own bed by refusing to take part in defending himself for 8 years making it that much more burdensome for his supporters. 

    • I have no problem whatsoever defending Bush on a matter like this: From September 11, 2001 to now we have not seen another terroist attack on the United States. That is the result of Bush’s leadership, and his willingness to see through the cloud of asymmetrical warfare and all of its moral paradoxes and do what he saw, and said repeatedly, was his number one job, keeping the country safe from attack.

      Bravo Bush!

      What you are seeing now, however, from Obama, and directly from Obama, is a “search for moral clarity” inside the very cloud of asymmetrical warfare. So typical of the narcissist to head for the hall of mirrors, which is right where the terrorist wants him.

      Here is moral clarity: terrorism is an organism of which the constituent parts are individual terrorists. In asymmetrical warfare the weapons are only secondarily bombs or airplanes. They are primarily information. Each terrorist carries that weapon at all times: he knows where the asymmetrical nodes are (persons, places, and things) in the matrix of the terror network.

      He cannot be treated as a criminal suspect. He must be treated as an armed combatant. He must be disarmed. That is not simply a moral choice, it is a moral obligation for those charged with the duty of defending the country. Where information is the weapon, it is information that must be taken to disarm the terrorist and the terrorist network.

      If Bush and Cheney had a problem it was in getting out ahead of the curve in the public conception of this.

      Let’s put it in a more conventional framework: Why was the U.S. able to defeat a superior Japanese navy at Midway? We had broken the Japanese code and knew what their navy was up to. It was an informational breakthrough.

      With terrorists and asymmetrical warfare, where one slippery individual could blow up a major bridge or infect an entire city with a bio-contagion, you must take the armament of information seriously, and you must take it away from any individual terrorist you get hold of. If you cannot do that you cannot fight that kind of war.

      • Defense of Bush’s position isn’t bad.

        Does it merit compromising the offensive on Obama, though to recycle old arguments?  All that stuff you just went through could have been linked to something already stated.  

        It isn’t the positions I question.  Its the priorities.  The Democrats would love to trap the right in the past while they work on the present.   

        • You have it very backwards, if I may be so bold: The Left wants to trap the right in the present, without reference to the past. That gives the Left control of both the present and the past, because you cannot clearly understand the present without clearly understanding the past.

          Bush is not a solid block. He need not be taken as a whole. He had different approaches to different matters. His antiterrorism was stellar (based on results that were thought highly improbable by the afternoon of 9/11/01), and it is not possible to understand where we are right now without understanding that. On the other hand, as Billy Beck so often pointed out, beware of institutions, like Homeland Security, created by people who you can trust, at least provisionally, to do the right thing, because eventually they will fall into the hands of people who you can’t trust, and who are almost congenitally incapable of doing the right thing and who you could legitimately suspect of being capable of intentionally doing very wrong things.

          Beck’s theory has already been proved regarding Homeland Security with the report naming people holding conservative views and returning Iraq veterans as automatic terror suspects. That was this already high-pitched Leftist administration turning quite forthrightly and glaring at its political opponents through a key element of its national security apparatus.

          If you pay attention to the way things have gone in Europe, especially the U.K., you’ll see how viewpoints the government doesn’t like can be very quickly criminalized.

        • P.S. to that last line:
          Here is Hal Colebatch writing about how far it has gone in the U.K.
          In the U.S. this sort of thing is being warmed up in the bullpen of the universities, preparing the “well educated” to accept it.

  • Awww hell.  We legally suck ‘cellular growths’ out of wombs every day.  That’s not considered torture by the liberal left.  It’s considered ‘choice’.

    Excuse me if I find their moral superiority somewhat lacking in luster.

  • “My observation over the years is that whoever Pelosi’s replacement will be, he or she will be worse.”

    That principle was proven in the descent from that idiot Hastert to the ungulate Pelosi.

  • Who remembers the dems’ support of the Patriot Act?

    Who remembers the dems’ support of OIF?

    Nobody in MiniTru, that’s for sure.

    Pelosi’s amnesia… no… let’s call it what it is: a f***ing LIE will be similarly forgotten, to be replaced by memes familiar to us all:

    Bush (snarl!) created the Patriot Act all by himself, locked up librarians all by himself, wiretapped people calling their Aunt Sally in Schenectady all by himself.  The dems (spit) had nothing to do with it.

    Bush (snarl!) lied about WMD all by himself and invaded Iraq all by himself.  The dems (spit) had nothing to do with it.

  • This strategy depends on a friendly media. As do many of the democrat strategies (like keeping corrupt members in office) or claiming that they were ‘lied’ to about Iraq.

  • Viva Nancy Pelosi! She will legalize illegal immigrants, so we can leave off your taxes.