Sunday, February 10, 2013

Brennan and the Secret Senate Report

A common theme during this hearing was echoed by Democrats referring to an SSCI report (their committee), which apparently undermines the Zero Dark Thirty notion that EITs (enhanced interrogation techniques, known by Obama, Holder and others as torture).  They kept asking Brennan his thoughts about it--he said he'd only read the executive summary and not the entire 6000 page report, and that he would get back to them as CIA Director with Langley's response.

In other words, he refused to take a position that 1) waterboarding was torture and 2) the EITs had no effect on anything.  The problem is--the viewers had no idea what the dickens they were talking about since the report has not been issued to the public, even in redacted form.  Enter Saxby Chambliss.  He was the first Republican to shoot a hole in this report in this back-and-forth..

Brennan maintained his ambiguous response, saying his previous beliefs might evolve with the Senate's report (odd, because he was there), but the most effective question was when Chambliss asked if he agreed with outgoing DoD Secretary Panetta, who just recently admitted (again) that EITs had been part of the chain of events leading to UBL as indicated by Katherine Bigelow in her interviews about ZDT.

Chambliss explained that he's not happy with the Democratic-led SSCI report's conclusions and even inferred that Brennan himself might not have been so happy with them either despite his tap dance in the hearing.  He pointed out again that the report contradicts Brennan's own views expressed in 2007 when he was in the agency.  In other words, the report sounds like a political whitewash designed for politics--probably in advance of the 2014 mid-terms so they can again use Bush to sway an electorate.  But that would mean Brennan and others were lying in the past, which would mean the Senate is on the verge of confirming a lying Bush stooge, unless they believe he was easily swayed or clueless, which should be grounds for not confirming him.   So which is it?  

No doubt this will become bigger news when the Democrats decide it's time to make it news. Senator Chambliss, with a twinkle in his eye, reminded Brennan to be honest if indeed the CIA review he promised happens to disagree with the Senate report's majority partisan conclusion.  We'll see if Mr. Brennan can maintain his model citizenship on the matter.

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