As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, June 05, 2009


So Republicans walk out of a closed intelligence briefing and directly into a waiting microphone, and Democrats are the ones who hate America?

Republicans ignited a firestorm of controversy on Thursday by revealing some of what they had been told at a closed-door Intelligence Committee hearing on the interrogation of terrorism suspects.

Democrats immediately blasted the GOP lawmakers for publicly discussing classified information, while Republicans said Democrats are trying to hide the truth that enhanced interrogation of detainees is effective.

GOP members on the Intelligence Committee on Thursday told The Hill in on-the-record interviews that they were informed that the controversial methods have led to information that prevented terrorist attacks.

When told of the GOP claims, Democrats strongly criticized the members who revealed information that was provided at the closed House Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing. Democrats on the panel said they could not respond substantively, pointing out that the hearing was closed [...]

“I am absolutely shocked that members of the Intelligence committee who attended a closed-door hearing … then walked out that hearing — early, by the way — and characterized anything that happened in that hearing,” said Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). “My understanding is that’s a violation of the rules. It may be more than that.”

The culprits are John Kline (R-MN) and Crazy Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), who has been pushing this propaganda for weeks and frankly cannot be trusted. In fact, it would be just like him to make a wild claim, knowing that Democrats cannot respond because they actually give a crap about things like the meaning of the word "classified."

As Marcy Wheeler notes, Kline's claim that "we did gather information that did disrupt terrorist plots," disassociated from which techniques elicited what information, means nothing, and thus the entire story is pretty bogus. As for Hoekstra:

It seems to me the story from these quotes ought to be:

The Ranking Member of HPSCI thinks people should immediately talk about the content of classified briefings
The Ranking Member of HPSCI treats hearsay--the comments of his members who attended a briefing--as proof
The Ranking Member of HPSCI is politicizing intelligence

But instead, Allen seems to have followed Hoekstra down the road of taking hearsay evidence as clear proof (it's not even clear that Allen asked Hoekstra who he had talked to about the briefing).

And all of those are par for the course for Republicans. They skillfully use both the classified nature of intelligence briefing and the gullibility of the media to push BS narratives.

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