- - Sunday, December 14, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Remember how Democrats and their media pals told you Benghazi was “old news” five minutes after it happened, and only right-wing Fox News fans still cared about what actually happened? Well, now they’re saying the hottest story in town is a report by Senate Democrats on CIA interrogations that happened over 10 years ago. Some old news is a lot fresher than other old news.

Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking this is a “Senate report.” It’s not. It’s a strictly partisan document cooked up by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, and her cronies. It’s part temper tantrum and part moral posturing, with a big dash of good old-fashioned backstabbing revenge against President Bush and the intelligence community that worked so hard to protect America after Sept. 11, 2001. Democrats like Ms. Feinstein cannot stand the idea that Mr. Bush gets credit for keeping the country safe.

Anyone old enough to remember those days knows that we were worried about another big attack from al Qaeda at any moment. We were sending troops into Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires. Every liberal news analyst in America assured us those brave soldiers were marching into a meat grinder, where they’d be slaughtered by the same invincible Afghan warriors who beat the Russians. Democrats and Republicans agreed: We needed intelligence, fast. They told the military and CIA to do whatever it took to get information from captured terrorist animals.

Ms. Feinstein is one of the people who felt that way. “I have no question in my mind that had it not been for 9/11 — and I’d do anything if it hadn’t happened — that it would have been business as usual,” she said of the ear on terrorism in 2002. “It took that real attack, I think, to kind of shiver our timbers enough to let us know that the threat is profound, that we have to do some things that historically we have not wanted to do to protect ourselves.”

What a fraud. What a gasbag. Every Democrat talked tough back them. Most of them lined up behind the war in Iraq because they were terrified of looking soft on terrorism, and because they accepted the same intelligence reports that led Mr. Bush to authorize the invasion. But then they saw a nice political opportunity in attacking the war and whipping up anger against Mr. Bush.

I guess Ms. Feinstein’s timbers have become unshivered, and she thinks “business as usual” would have been just fine after all. She put together a partisan slam at the intelligence community that even President Obama’s CIA director, John O. Brennan, disputes, saying that intelligence gathered through enhanced interrogation was useful for operations such as the Osama bin Laden kill. He called the report “flawed” and said it was all too easy to second-guess people working against an unknown enemy under enormous pressure in the days after Sept. 11. Former Vice President Dick Cheney was more blunt, saying Ms. Feinstein’s report is “full of crap.”

Ms. Feinstein and her posse of Democrats are bullies, because they know the intelligence community can’t respond to her allegations — a great deal of what they might say in response would expose classified material. That’s why Democrats love to smack around the intelligence community after every conflict — they did it after Vietnam, too. They’ve got an easy target that has to sit quietly while these armchair quarterbacks portray them as monsters.

Keeping America safe from further attacks, overthrowing the Taliban faster than any liberal pundit thought was possible, and neutralizing the threat of Saddam Hussein were huge victories. Democrats like Ms. Feinstein won’t stop trying to rewrite history until all of those victories have asterisks next to them, and the Bush team gets no credit for anything, including developing the intelligence that led to taking out bin Laden. The Democrats want that victory all to themselves. That’s why they produced a report that even Secretary of State John F. Kerry thought could put American lives at risk overseas. They handed al Qaeda and the Islamic State terrorist group a big propaganda victory.

Like many other bullies, Ms. Feinstein seems surprised at how hard the intelligence community and its defenders hit back, and how little the American people care about the terrorist prisoners inconvenienced by enhanced interrogation. A poll from YouGov asked which was more harmful to America’s interests: making public a report on enhanced interrogation techniques, or the use of such techniques against terrorist suspects. By a margin of 52 percent to 29 percent, the respondents thought the report was more harmful than the “torture” itself.

When the chips are down and we’re fighting terrorists on American soil again, Ms. Feinstein will go back to whining that brave men and women need to do whatever it takes to protect her, but for now she richly deserves to win Liberal Bully of the Week.

Rusty Humphries, a nationally syndicated talk radio host, is a contributor to The Washington Times.

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