- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 14, 2014

Much like the terrorists held in CIA captivity after 9/11, the White House is in an uncomfortable position.

On Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released the long-awaited “SSCI Study on the Former Detention and Interrogation Program,” dubbed in the media and among Democrats as the much scarier sounding “Torture Report.” Notice how their use of the word “torture” turns a brutal terrorist into a victim worthy of empathy and compassion?

“Torture” elicits a visceral response that elevates the depraved terrorists above their innocent victims. (Four children savagely beheaded come to mind.)

Let’s face it. No one is pro-torture. Yet, the harsh reality is that Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EIT) do prevent future acts of terrorism. They do save lives, despite what the SSCI Study claims. John Brennan, current director of the CIA who also served under President George W. Bush as the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made a statement along these lines.

Mr. Brennan publicly disagreed with one of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s more controversial conclusions, the misguided notion that enhanced interrogation techniques ultimately proved fruitless. 

“Interrogations of detainees on whom EITs were used did produce intelligence that helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists, and save lives,” Mr. Brennan said in a statement.

When grilled about Mr. Brennan’s statement in the days following the release of the report, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest dubiously refused to address the discrepancy between the CIA and the administration-touted “torture” report. 

Time and time again, reporters asked Mr. Earnest if the Brennan statement, which was released on the official CIA website, was a reflection of the administration’s view.

And unlike the CIA’s detainees, Mr. Earnest remained tight lipped, dodging the questions and twisting the reporter’s words.

This means that there are two possibilities.

The first is that the CIA has gone rogue, and that Mr. Brennan, a career public servant who proudly served his country, decided to go over the White House’s head and weigh in on a highly controversial topic without their permission or acknowledgement.

Considering how hands-on this administration has been with talking points, as the Benghazi debacle shows, this is laughable. 

The second, and much more likely scenario, is that the White House is clearly and cowardly trying to have it both ways on enhanced interrogation. 

The White House wants to appease its liberal supporters with plenty of warm, fuzzy talk about the necessity of maintaining the so-called moral high ground in a war against extremists who have no qualms about flying airplanes into building, savagely beheading women and children and trying to, well, terrorize us and our allies.

By confirming that a bold, pro-defense statement from a senior administration official is indeed a reflection of this administration’s position on EITs, the White House quickly would lose support from the loyal remnant who are grasping for any reason to still support the man they voted for twice. 

However, if they were to condemn their top national security figure, there’d certainly be hell to pay from the intelligence community, a crowd that no president should tick off. 

So once again we see the Obama administration in a stress position, one that, much like the detainees, they put themselves in through their own spineless actions.

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