Finally, a New Year's Resolution. This comes by way of another edition of The Little Thing, our occasional feature where something that doesn't get the attention it deserves is what really gets to me.
The Huffington Post recently had an article about a demand made by Senator Mark Udall during a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He wants the CIA to release a secret study it made of the torture - the so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" such as waterboarding - employed by the agency.
It was an important story, worthy of notice, but -
It was an 18-paragraph story. Just about right in the middle, paragraphs seven and eight were these:
During the hearing, Krass [referring to Caroline Krass, Obama's nominee to be the CIA's general counsel] told Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the committee, that she did not believe members of the Senate panel had the right to see documents that provide the legal basis for CIA actions, such as waterboarding.My jaw dropped when I read that and even more when there was no other mention of this anywhere in the story. Really? She tells you to your faces that you have no right to see how the CIA justifies what it does and no one hits the ceiling? The only reaction is one person who is "troubled?" Really?
Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins said she was "troubled" by Krass' answer.
No. Just no. A bad hair day is "troubling." A padded expense account is "troubling." The White House telling the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is charged with overseeing the CIA, that it has no right to see and therefore no way to challenge the legal arguments the CIA uses to convince itself that torture is legal is not "troubling." It is dangerous and threatening. It approaches, and if carried into actual direct practice by the administration would cross over into, impeachable.
So this is my New Year's resolution for 2014: The next time some Obamabot tries to tell me that criticizing the Amazing Mr. O marks me as a closet conservative or says anything about "11-dimensional chess," I am going to smack them upside the head. I am past all patience.