White House: Debate over EITs a “distraction from the broader picture”

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Obama’s favorite word rears its ugly head once again:

The chain of clues that led to the Abbottabad compound where Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. special forces early Monday began with human intelligence. Senior administration officials have said key members of bin Laden’s inner-circle were flagged by post-9/11 detainees under interrogation, and that has raised an inescapable question: Did the chain begin with information gleaned from “enhanced interrogation” or waterboarding, the Bush-era technique President Obama and CIA chief Leon Panetta have decried as torture?

The White House insists that not only is the answer unknowable, but ultimately moot. “It’s impossible to know whether information obtained by [Enhanced Interrogation Techniques] could have been obtained by other forms of interrogation,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor tells TIME. “I think this is a distraction from the broader picture, which is that this achievement was the result of years of painstaking work by our intelligence community that drew from multiple sources.”

[…]

The Obama administration is steering clear of anything declarative. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters Tuesday that he simply doesn’t know whether EITs could have yielded vital intelligence. “There was a mosaic of sources that lead to the identification of the people,” he said. And the White House is prepared to press the “mosaic” case aggressively.

“Multiple detainees have given us insights into networks of people who might have been close to Bin Laden. And beyond detainee reporting, solid information derived from other sources over many years ultimately helped solve an incredibly complex puzzle,” Vietor says. “The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003. So this argument just doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

What a deceitful load of crap! That argument is not that the code name for the courier who eventually led the US to bin Laden came as a direct result of KSM’s 2003 waterboarding. What people are saying is that over time – which various news reports bear out – while KSM was in US custody in either an evil “secret prison” or the “unconstitutional” Gitmo, that the information was gleaned over a period of time, possibly under threat of another waterboarding, and most assuredly it came after one of a series of rounds of very aggressive interrogating – and not just of KSM but Abu Faraj al Libi as well.

The Obama administration, including their “spokesmen”, want people to believe that Islamofascist thugs at all levels will give up crucial information merely when “standard” interrogation techniques are used. I take that back – that’s what they’re hoping people believe as they’d prefer nothing more than for the American people to be in the dark on any number of issues because that would mean that the administration would be questioned less. The undisputable fact is that Islamic fanatics live to DIE for their “cause.” Being a martyr is the name of the game. Yeah, they want to take out as many “infidels” as possible, but they don’t mind if they go out with them, because not only do they think it will it bring “honor” to their Islamic families, but also because they believe virgins are awaiting them in Allah’s “heaven.”

Nope, these guys don’t give up information easily, which is the main reason EITs were authorized for use. The Obama administration will forever refuse to admit their gross error in judgement on the issue of President Bush’s more “controversial” counterterrorism policies, and they have good reason to. Obama’s approval ratings, prior to the OBL kill, were tanking. As a result of the news of OBL’s demise, Obama’s ratings have risen 9 points. The administration understandably wants to ride that wave into Campaign 2012 as opposed to being “distracted” by the fact that the very victory that they can credit with the surge in approval ratings was enabled, in part, thanks to the Bush doctrine policies they and their fellow liberals swore up and down were absolutely, positively not conducive to obtaining valuable, actionable intelligence.

To modify a quote from someone pretty famous, if the Obama administration is counting on conservatives to be passive in this debate, they’ve counted wrong. Very wrong.

Friends and enemies, and how to tell the difference

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**Posted by Phineas

Consider this a bookend to yesterday’s post about Hamas eulogizing bin Laden and thus declaring itself an enemy of the United States. Here’s what a friend, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, had to say:

This is an historic day for the United States of America and for all the countries engaged in the battle against terrorism. I want to congratulate President Obama and the American people. I want to congratulate America’s soldiers, and its intelligence personnel for a truly outstanding achievement. It took ten years to track Osama bin Laden down. It took ten years to bring a measure of justice to his victims.

But the battle against terrorism is long and relentless and resolute. This is a day of victory – a victory for justice, for freedom and for our common civilization.

And here’s the video:

Friends and enemies. It’s not hard to tell them apart at all.

via Power Line

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Nanny says, “No lunches from home!”

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**Posted by Phineas

There were several good competitors for Reason.tv’s “Nanny of the Month” award, but the judges had no choice but to give it to a woman who embodies the spirit of “minding everyone else’s business:” Elsa Carmona, a school principal in Chicago who has forbidden students from bringing lunch from home:

I’d be real curious to know what, if any, connections she has to the company that supplies the school’s lunches.

Or maybe she was just jealous that she never had a Pokemon lunch box.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)