GOP blocks efforts to criminalize interrogations

Jane Jamison
While we were obsessing over the tug-of-war at the "bipartisan" health care "summit" Thursday, guess what the Obama administration was doing down another hallway?

Open bill, insert sneaky, weird new language (see HERE) to not only totally hamstring CIA interrogations of terrorists but prosecute CIA agents for felonies if they violate the new rules.  It will be easy to become an "offender" because the guidelines are so vague.

The language was inserted into an intelligence bill Wednesday night (hours before the health care summit) and was defeated in the House on Thursdsay.  The language would have banned "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" during interrogations of terrorist prisoners.  

From Andy McCarthy, National Review Online:

"The proposal says the conduct reached by the statute "includes but is not limited to" the itemized conduct....That means any interrogation tactic that a prosecutor subjectively believes is "degrading" (e.g., subjecting a Muslim detainee to interrogation by a female CIA officer) could be the basis for indicting a CIA interrogator. 

The act goes on to make it a crime to use tactics that have been shown to be effective in obtaining life saving information and that are far removed from torture.

"Waterboarding" is specified.... (but)

Waterboarding is not all. The Democrats' bill would prohibit - with a penalty of 15 years' imprisonment - the following tactics, among others:

- "Exploiting the phobias of the individual"

- Stress positions and the threatened use of force to maintain stress positions

- "Depriving the individual of necessary food, water, sleep, or medical care"

- Forced nudity

- Using military working dogs (i.e., any use of them - not having them attack or menace the individual; just the mere presence of the dog if it might unnerve the detainee and, of course, "exploit his phobias")

- Coercing the individual to blaspheme or violate his religious beliefs (I wonder if Democrats understand the breadth of seemingly innocuous matters that jihadists take to be violations of their religious beliefs)

- Exposure to "excessive" cold, heat or "cramped confinement" (excessive and cramped are not defined)

- "Prolonged isolation"

- "Placing hoods or sacks over the head of the individual"

Naturally, all of these tactics are interspersed with such acts as forcing the performance of sexual acts, beatings, electric shock, burns, inducing hypothermia or heat injury - as if all these acts were functionally equivalent."

 The timing of all this "clarification" of the law is interesting. 

After spending more than four years on a "witch hunt" trying to prosecute John Yoo, the attorney who wrote the legal brief for the Bush administration which authorized waterboarding for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (mastermind of 9/11) and other terrorists, Yoo was recently (and very quietly) exonerated of any wrong-doing by the Obama Justice department.  The Berkeley, California "flea" circus has been calling Yoo a "murderer" and stalking him at his home, place of work and speaking engagements for years while his case was pending.)

To change the rules while Yoo's case while he was being investigated would have served as an admission that there were no rules or laws in place to make waterboarding or other interrogation techniques illegal.  

As McCarthy points out in his article: the Obama administration would rather have thousands of Americans endangered or killed, because, for heavens' sakes,  it wants to make sure Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his fellow Muslim be-headers don't have their "phobias exploited."

Jane Jamison is publisher of the conservative news/commentary blog, UNCOVERAGE.net

Hat tip: Gay Patriot

While we were obsessing over the tug-of-war at the "bipartisan" health care "summit" Thursday, guess what the Obama administration was doing down another hallway?

Open bill, insert sneaky, weird new language (see HERE) to not only totally hamstring CIA interrogations of terrorists but prosecute CIA agents for felonies if they violate the new rules.  It will be easy to become an "offender" because the guidelines are so vague.

The language was inserted into an intelligence bill Wednesday night (hours before the health care summit) and was defeated in the House on Thursdsay.  The language would have banned "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" during interrogations of terrorist prisoners.  

From Andy McCarthy, National Review Online:

"The proposal says the conduct reached by the statute "includes but is not limited to" the itemized conduct....That means any interrogation tactic that a prosecutor subjectively believes is "degrading" (e.g., subjecting a Muslim detainee to interrogation by a female CIA officer) could be the basis for indicting a CIA interrogator. 

The act goes on to make it a crime to use tactics that have been shown to be effective in obtaining life saving information and that are far removed from torture.

"Waterboarding" is specified.... (but)

Waterboarding is not all. The Democrats' bill would prohibit - with a penalty of 15 years' imprisonment - the following tactics, among others:

- "Exploiting the phobias of the individual"

- Stress positions and the threatened use of force to maintain stress positions

- "Depriving the individual of necessary food, water, sleep, or medical care"

- Forced nudity

- Using military working dogs (i.e., any use of them - not having them attack or menace the individual; just the mere presence of the dog if it might unnerve the detainee and, of course, "exploit his phobias")

- Coercing the individual to blaspheme or violate his religious beliefs (I wonder if Democrats understand the breadth of seemingly innocuous matters that jihadists take to be violations of their religious beliefs)

- Exposure to "excessive" cold, heat or "cramped confinement" (excessive and cramped are not defined)

- "Prolonged isolation"

- "Placing hoods or sacks over the head of the individual"

Naturally, all of these tactics are interspersed with such acts as forcing the performance of sexual acts, beatings, electric shock, burns, inducing hypothermia or heat injury - as if all these acts were functionally equivalent."

 The timing of all this "clarification" of the law is interesting. 

After spending more than four years on a "witch hunt" trying to prosecute John Yoo, the attorney who wrote the legal brief for the Bush administration which authorized waterboarding for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (mastermind of 9/11) and other terrorists, Yoo was recently (and very quietly) exonerated of any wrong-doing by the Obama Justice department.  The Berkeley, California "flea" circus has been calling Yoo a "murderer" and stalking him at his home, place of work and speaking engagements for years while his case was pending.)

To change the rules while Yoo's case while he was being investigated would have served as an admission that there were no rules or laws in place to make waterboarding or other interrogation techniques illegal.  

As McCarthy points out in his article: the Obama administration would rather have thousands of Americans endangered or killed, because, for heavens' sakes,  it wants to make sure Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his fellow Muslim be-headers don't have their "phobias exploited."

Jane Jamison is publisher of the conservative news/commentary blog, UNCOVERAGE.net

Hat tip: Gay Patriot