Monday, July 6, 2015

DARTMOUTH ALUM PROVIDES CLARITY ON “TORTURE” (DP: Will confirm what you may have known, but from THE source)

Robert Grenier served in the CIA for 27 years. In 2001, as station chief in Islamabad, he developed a CIA war plan for southern Afghanistan that relied on Afghans to drive Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters from Kabul and install Hamid Karzai as the country’s new president. He describes these events in a new book called 88 Days to Kandahar.
Grenier also helped coordinate covert operations in support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He then served as the CIA’s top counterterrorism official from 2004-2006.
Grenier is a 1976 graduate of Dartmouth College. The current issue of Dartmouth’s alumni magazine features an interview with him.
Grenier provides valuable insight into the issue of detainee interrogation. He takes a dim view of the efforts of Dianne Feinstein and other Senate Democrats to mislead the public on the subject. Asked about Feinstein’s 2014 “torture” report, he responded, in part:
The Democrats’ report makes all sorts of charges against the CIA, many of which I consider blatantly spurious, and employs what I regard as a highly selective and misleading narrative in order to manipulate and energize those who are legitimately opposed to the use of harsh interrogations for what I regard as perfectly valid reasons.
I guess I’d say that then-committee chairman Dianne Feinstein set out to write a report that was clearer and more compelling than the truth.
(Emphasis added)
Grenier continued:
I think the report is unfortunate. They were very selective in their use of the facts, and some were presented in a misleading way. Sen. Feinstein made it very clear from the outset that she’s very strongly opposed to these harsh interrogations, so rather than taking an even-handed, dispassionate look at the program and what came from it, she instead used the report as a polemic to make sure that these methods would never be used again.
Given his position as the CIA’s top counterterrorism official, one would expect Feinstein’s staffers to have interviewed Grenier. They did not:
I was dismayed the Democrats didn’t interview any of us. I think that’s why they were able to misuse much of the written record. If somebody gained access to every email that you’d written for the last 10 years, they might find things that could be presented in a way you did not intend, and I think there was a lot of that in the Democratic report.
(Emphasis added)
Not interviewing the key participants is just what you would expect from an operation designed to produce a polemic, rather than an even-handed, dispassionate analysis.
At Dartmouth, Grenier majored in philosophy, as John and I had a few years before. But it doesn’t take a background in philosophy to understand that the debate over “torture” should turn not on labeling (as Grenier says, “there’s torture and there’s torture”), but on a careful analysis of the various interrogation methods to which critics attach the label.
With regard to waterboarding, Grenier noted that it was only used for three individuals — the three the CIA expected to have the greatest amount of threat information after they were captured. And the CIA stopped using this technique once interrogators believed “they had refined their methods to the point where they could be confident that if they hadn’t gotten what was to be gotten using other means, then waterboarding would not be effective either.”
Other techniques that have been characterized as “torture,” such as sleep deprivation, are “not that bad” in Grenier’s view, and should not be ruled out in all instances. He explained:
I have perfect respect for the view that we should never do anything beyond what is permitted in a typical U.S. police precinct, but I think we also need to acknowledge that, in some instances, we will pay a price as a result, and it is absolutely not true that we didn’t gain useful and critical information as a result of these interrogations.
To say that we should never use harsh interrogation means that we need to accept a certain additional risk, which is very difficult for us to quantify, certainly before the fact. And I have yet to hear anyone say, “As a matter of principle, the United States should never use harsh interrogation, and I’m willing to see Americans potentially die in order to uphold that principle.”
Dianne Feinstein doesn’t do that, and that’s why I think she mendaciously tries to make the case that not only is it wrong, but also that it never works.The idea that it never works, frankly, is ridiculous.
(Emphasis added)
Of course it is. Only someone with a personal or a political ax to grind could assert, for example, that interrogators will always get as much useful information from a rested detainee as from a sleep-deprived one.
Unfortunately, Dianne Feinstein has both a personal and a political ax to grind. Grenier has Feinstein’s number. She is, as he says, mendacious. Considering the stakes, she’s also a disgrace.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Vision of the Founding Fathers

The Vision of the Founding Fathers
What kind of nation did the Founders aim to create?
By Myron Magnet 

Obama forcing military to measure Arctic ice levels

Obama forcing military to measure Arctic ice levels

 - The Washington Times 
Even as the U.S. military struggles to contain the Islamic State and deals with other terrorist threats across the globe, President Obama increasingly is recruiting the Pentagon to advance his sweeping climate change agenda.
Mr. Obama's Defense Department calls global warming a true national security threat and has begun instituting a host of environmental measures, ranging from building clean energy projects at military installations to the use of expensive green fuels in planes.
A recent report from the Government Accountability Office highlighted yet another example — the commitment of U.S. military forces to monitor sea ice levels in the Arctic, with the administration arguing that decreasing ice could force the Pentagon to institute a "military and homeland security presence in the region."
Critics charge the president is distracting the military from its true mission of protecting America by turning the Department of Defense into yet another weapon in his fight against climate change. But Mr. Obama has made no apologies for his environmental philosophy and has cast global warming as one of the top problems facing the Pentagon in the 21st century, a position many top Defense Department officials seem to agree with.
"I am here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security and, make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country. And so we need to act — and we need to act now," the president told U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduates last month, laying out his vision for a military that focuses as much on climate change as it does on virtually any other threat.
Making the military greener is just one piece of Mr. Obama's broader environmental agenda. In perhaps the most vital piece of the plan, the Environmental Protection Agency will, by the end of summer, release final carbon regulations for existing power plants — a proposal that will drive up electricity prices, government data show.
The White House on Monday tried once again to justify its climate change goals by unveiling a new report claiming tens of thousands of lives will be saved through carbon restrictions and other policies. The report comes as Republicans on Capitol Hill take aim at the EPA budget and look to restrict the president's global warming agenda through funding cuts.
So far the administration has been undaunted by complaints from Congress, legal challenges, reports of economic harm from climate policies and other obstacles.
Even before the president warned graduating Coast Guard officers about climate change, the Pentagon last fall released the "Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap," a sweeping document that said global warming will affect military weapons systems, maintenance plans, transportation routes, stormwater management facilities, drinking water resources and a host of other military components.
Meanwhile, American forces also are being used to conduct research into the effects of climate change.
A recent Government Accountability Office report examined the Defense Department's role in the Arctic, which increasingly will include "monitoring the changing Arctic conditions," such as ice levels.
The administration contends that changing ice levels in the Arctic could require additional U.S. military presence in the region, justifying the need for the Pentagon to commit significant time and resources to monitoring the effects of climate change.
"Difficulty in developing accurate sea ice models, variability in the Arctic's climate, and the uncertain rate of activity in the region create challenges for DOD to balance the risk of having inadequate capabilities or insufficient capacity when required to operate in the region with the cost of making premature or unnecessary investments," reads a portion of the study, which was released Friday. "DOD plans to mitigate this risk by monitoring the changing Arctic conditions to determine the appropriate timing for capability investments."
Other examples of the military embracing Mr. Obama's climate goals include the construction of a massive solar power project at Fort Benning, Georgia, and the Navy's move toward a "green fleet" that is far less reliant on fossil fuels.
Opponents say the administration, under the guise of protecting the environment for future generations, is saddling the military with unnecessary work and potentially putting at risk U.S. national security.
"It's kind of a sad commentary that the military is going along with it without any pushback. And it's ridiculous that the secretary of the Navy is running around talking about the great 'green fleet' while the Chinese are basically building artificial islands in the Pacific so they can launch invasions against the Philippines, Japan and Korea," said Michael McKenna, president of the lobbying firm MWR Strategies and a former Energy Department official. "Considering global warming as an important national security threat is just laughable."
Many lawmakers on Capitol Hill have voiced similar criticism and say Mr. Obama is foolish to equate climate change with the Islamic State and other true threats to American interests.
"The president's speech ... is a severe disconnect from reality," Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican and chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, said last month after the president's Coast Guard address.
But barring a major course correction by the next administration, the Pentagon will make climate change a central part of all future planning.
"Politics or ideology must not get in the way of sound planning," then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wrote in the Pentagon's climate road map. "By taking a proactive, flexible approach to assessment, analysis and adaptation, the Defense Department will keep pace with a changing climate."

Liberals Now Think It’s ‘Predatory’ to Expect Borrowers to Repay Taxpayers

Liberals Now Think It’s ‘Predatory’ to Expect Borrowers to Repay Taxpayers
The attack on personal responsibility in college loans
By Frederick M. Hess 

Hillary’s Abysmal Record as Secretary of State Alone Should Disqualify Her from the Presidency

Hillary’s Abysmal Record as Secretary of State Alone Should Disqualify Her from the Presidency
By Thomas Sowell

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Rick Santorum and Justice Roberts — Our Moral Champions

Rick Santorum and Justice Roberts — Our Moral Champions
By Maggie Gallagher 

What’s Got into Rick Perry?

What’s Got into Rick Perry?
Governor Jobs-Jobs-Jobs takes up civil rights.
By Kevin D. Williamson

America: One Nation, Indivisible (DP: Well worth the read on Independence Day)

America: One Nation, Indivisible
The Confederate battle flag is far from the only worrisome symbol in America today.
By Victor Davis Hanson
Everyone is weighing in on the horrific murders in Charleston and blaming the mindset of the mass murderer on wider social pathologies. After the airing of the racist crackpot ideas of the unhinged Dylann Roof, calls have gone out to ban the public flying of the battle flag of the Old Confederacy, which has also been incorporated in various forms in four state flags. Perhaps we should step back and eschew symbolism that separates us by race rather than unites us as fellow citizens.