Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Peter King Goes Nuclear on Holder: 'It's Disgraceful. You Wonder Which Side They’re On'

Yes, I've been wondering that for some time.
A "furious" Rep. Peter King, the hawkish, maverick Long Island Republican, blasted a "disgraceful" Eric Holder for opening an investigation of CIA interrogators and chided his own party for what he described as a weak response to the move in an interview just now with POLITICO.

"It’s bulls***. It’s disgraceful. You wonder which side they’re on," he said of the Attorney General's move, which he described as a "declaration of war against the CIA, and against common sense."

"It’s a total breach of faith, and either the president is intentionally caving to the left wing of his party or he’s lost control of his administration," said King, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Homeland Security and a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

King, channeling both the sense of outrage and of political opportunity felt in parts of the GOP, defended in detail the interrogation practices -- threats to kill a detainee's family, and or to kill a detainee with a power drill -- detailed in a CIA inspector general report released yesterday.

"You're talking about threatening to kill a guy, threatening to attack his family, threatening to use an electric drill on him – but never doing it," King said. "You have that on the one hand – and on the other you have the [interrogator's] attempt to prevent thousands of Americans from being killed."

"When Holder was talking about being 'shocked' [before the report's release], I thought they were going to have cutting guys' fingers off or something – or that they actually used the power drill," he said.

Pressed on whether interrogators had actually broken the law, King said he didn't think the Geneva Convention "applies to terrorists," and that the line between permitted and outlawed interrogation policies in the Bush years was "a distinction without a difference."

"Why is it OK to waterboard someone, which causes physical pain, but not threaten someone and not cause pain?" he asked, warning of a "chilling" effect on future CIA behavior.

"You will have thousands of lives that will be lost and the blood will be on Eric Holder's hands," he said.
Interesting how Holder's old law firm is in the business of releasing Club Gitmo terrorists and now he's aiming to prosecute the men who helped put them there.


I will say Obama's desire to change the subject while he's busy golfing sure has worked. The left is wee-weeing with joy all over themselves at the notion that our nation's heroes could be prosecuted.

Meanwhile, King isn't the only one sending out the warnings.
“This is a political act….It’s awful, just awful” said Vince Cannistraro, who headed CIA counterterrorism efforts in the early 1990s. “There’s a lot of sadness among the professionals that have been doing this…They’re scaring the hell out of people. A lot of people are going to just retire.”

Cannistraro said he viewed many of the extreme techniques, such as waterboarding, as unhelpful and unwise, at least in retrospect. But he said it was “stupid” to expose people to criminal liability for excesses such as trying to frighten a detainee by staging a mock execution in another room.

“There were a lot of stupid things done, no question about it, but do you want to prosecute them for doing the same kind of thing you saw on TV in a drama?” the former CIA official said. “We are now forgetting why they were doing what they were doing. Whether it was right or wrong is another question.”

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