Attorney General Eric Holder is going to do a “preliminary review” of the CIA to see if any of the techniques their operatives used on detainees — which the Inspector General’s report reveals included threats to rape the detainees’ female relatives in front of them and kill their children, mock executions, and other gulag-style methods — merit prosecution.
Some New York
Republicans politicians have responded: Democratic Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. wrote to Azi Paybarah, “aww did we scare the baby killing, head sawing little terrorists? good! the president needs to stop this political witchhunt now, before americans actually do get hurt while the CIA is distracted.”
Republican Congressman Pete King — lately seen denouncing Michael Jackson — says, “It’s bullshit. It’s disgraceful. You wonder which side they’re on,” referring to the Obama Administration. “Either the president is intentionally caving to the left wing of his party or he’s lost control of his administration… You will have thousands of lives that will be lost, and the blood will be on Eric Holder’s hands,” etc.
And these are public officials. Rightbloggers, as you may imagine, are less cirumspect.
Radarsite says that while “as a DEA agent (who interrogated hundreds of prisoners) I would never resort to these methods,” prosecuting these offenses will “emasculate and demoralize an already demoralized CIA — at a time when we need a strong and aggressive CIA,” presumably to torture future offenders. Also, while in the Clinton Administration Holder helped pardon Marc Rich.
Shouts from the Stoop is also sore about Marc Rich, and declares the investigation is “like going after the Army Rangers for roughing up a few Nazi’s on D-Day,” though he regrettably does not link to any account of this occurrence.
“THIS KIND OF POLICY IS WHAT BROUGHT 9/11 TO OUR SHORES,” suggests Irritating.Me. “we let terrorism THRIVE in the hopes that if we’re SUPER nice they’ll all suddenly LOVE US… WE’RE NOT SORRY THEY SUFFERED. IT WORKED, AND WE WERE SAFE.” At the end of his closely-reasoned argument he says that Obama is a traitor, which is rather burying the lede.
“Here is my bold question Mr. Holder,” asks Let Freedom Ring, “have you forgotten 9/11, have you forgotten the screams, have you forgotten the firemen and police running into the falling buildings,” etc. and shows the burning World Trade Center just in case he has.
Even the tonier rightbloggers catch the bloodthirst. At the American Spectator, Quin Hillyer calls Holder “a very bad man” who “ought to be hounded out of office” — by whom he does not say; health care town hall shouters, perhaps. He also calls for CIA Director Leon Panetta, “a good man (albeit too liberal),” to resign rather than “cover to these thugs and Alinskyites.” Hillyer is also sore about Marc Rich, among many, many other things, and adds that Holder is “a menace to this nation. He is a bad man, a bad human being,” etc. (Actually maybe Hillyer expects to hound Holder out by himself, and he’s just the cowboy to do it.)
The palm d’oh goes to National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg, who argues that “in countless films and TV shows the good guys — not the bad guys — do things to get important information that makes
all some [see update] of the harsh methods and allegedly criminal techniques in the IG report seem like an extra scoop of ice cream and a Swedish massage.” Goldberg’s citations include 24, NYPD Blue, Patriot Games, Rules of Engagement, and other art-house favorites, though he unaccountably fails to include Reservoir Dogs, Saw, Hostel, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The torturers in these films may not rise to the level of “good guys,” but then, given the attitude of Goldberg and his comrades, how could anyone tell?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 26, 2009