Thomas Wictor

Lip service, posturing, and striking poses

Lip service, posturing, and striking poses

Today Senator Dianne Feinstein spoke about the report on CIA interrogation and detention polices written by the Democratic majority of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Feinstein is Chairman of the committee, and her words are a masterpiece of lip service paid to lofty notions that play no part in her existence. This report is a final attack on the eternal Democratic boogeyman, George W. Bush, before the Republicans take over the Senate next year.

Here’s Feinstein posturing for reporters.


I don’t know why she has a pink stripe running from her forehead down her nose. It kind of diminishes the melodrama of the moment. Feinstein is doing her best to look like a ship’s figurehead.


The senator sees herself as noble, mournful, but grimly determined to clear our nation’s besmirched name.

Utter crap.

Here’s what she said.

History will judge us by our commitment to a just society governed by law and the willingness to face an ugly truth and say, ‘Never again.’

She showed her seriousness by using air quotes when deriding the notion that this wasn’t the “right” time to release such a report.


The gargoyle to the right of Feinstein showed her seriousness by adopting the expression of someone experiencing an attack of gastritis.

This is so laughable that I almost don’t know where to begin. I guess we’ll start with “a macabre accounting of some of the grisliest techniques that the C.I.A. used to torture and imprison terrorism suspects.”

1. Depriving detainees of sleep for as long as a week.

2. Telling detainees that they would be killed.

3. Rectal feeding.

4. Rectal hydration.

5. Making the detention facilities look like a dungeon.

6. Making detainees look like dogs in kennels.

Those are the “grisliest” forms of torture that the New York Times listed, before spilling the beans.

The report is more than 6,000 pages long, but the committee voted in April to declassify only its 524-page executive summary and a rebuttal by Republican members of the committee. The investigation was conducted by the committee’s Democratic majority and their staffs.

Thus, an admission that this is purely political. That’s why they didn’t declassify the report. What I learned after 9/11 is that executive summaries written by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence are not required to actually summarize the report. The executive summaries are written by the majority political party and always make the other political party look bad.

Every report has an additional report called “minority views.” The Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program has attached to the executive summary a report that refutes everything in the executive summary.



So, who’s telling the truth, the majority Democrats or the minority Republicans? We won’t know until the report is declassified. That might happen next year, when the Republicans take control of the Senate.

In the meantime, here are more horrors inflicted on detainees.

Sexual threats and menacing one detainee with a power drill are expected to be among controversial CIA torture techniques revealed in a report later today.

The report will detail interrogation techniques used by CIA agents in the wake of 9/11, including threats to sexually assault one captive with a broomstick, according to sources.

It also describes how terrorist Abdel Rahman al Nashiri, suspected mastermind of the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, was threatened with a buzzing power drill. The tool was not used on him.

You know how you can tell when people have a dishonest agenda? When they strip the context from actions they’re criticizing. This was the context of all the “torture.”


Now we’re bracing for worldwide violence? Because in response to the atrocity of 9/11 we menaced people with broom handles and power drills? This whole charade is sickening. Here’s the unvarnished truth.

We were attacked on September 11, 2001, by what amounts to a religious mafia that wants to conquer the planet, and they thought that by destroying the symbols of our economic, military, and political power, we’d scrunch up into a ball and let them do whatever they wanted.

They miscalculated.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence—the majority of which released the executive summary because they said the period of 2001 to 2008 doesn’t reflect our values and is a stain on our history—is perfectly aware of what began in 2008.

We don’t interrogate suspects anymore, using enhanced methods or any other. Now we just kill them.

Every war brings its own deformations, but consider this disturbing fact about America’s war against al-Qaeda: It has become easier, politically and legally, for the United States to kill suspected terrorists than to capture and interrogate them.

Predator and Reaper drones, armed with Hellfire missiles, have become the weapons of choice against al-Qaeda operatives in the tribal areas of Pakistan. They have also been used in Yemen, and the demand for these efficient tools of war, which target enemies from 10,000 feet, is likely to grow.


The pace of drone attacks on the tribal areas has increased sharply during the Obama presidency, with more assaults in September and October of this year than in all of 2008. At the same time, efforts to capture al-Qaeda suspects have virtually stopped. Indeed, if CIA operatives were to snatch a terrorist tomorrow, the agency wouldn’t be sure where it could detain him for interrogation.

Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA, frames the puzzle this way: “Have we made detention and interrogation so legally difficult and politically risky that our default option is to kill our adversaries rather than capture and interrogate them?”

Yes. That’s what’s happening. We’ve stopped water boarding. Instead, we dismember suspects with Hellfire missiles that have fragmentation sleeves. Hellfires chop people up like giant blenders.

You know what? It’s time that all you outraged finger waggers see what we do rather than sully our reputation by water boarding. This is what becomes of someone hit by a blast-fragmentation munition. Watch at your own risk.

Let’s have a show of hands: Which is more moral, depriving people of sleep and playing loud music at them, or shredding them like pulled pork?

And let’s dispense with the idiotic herd’s definition of water boarding.

They lied to you about how the CIA did it. The CIA wrapped the detainee’s head in cellophane. There was no chance of water going into the prisoner’s nose, mouth, or lungs. Every image you’ve seen has nothing to do with what the CIA did.


The CIA version triggered the instinctive drowning response, making the detainees panic, but it didn’t physically harm them.

A question for all you sanctimonious, utterly uninformed “anti-torture” blockheads: If a hardened criminal kidnapped your child and stashed him or her somewhere, would you let me take a ball-peen hammer and smash his toes one by one until he told us where your kid was?

Or would you prefer that your child died?