It’s probably a good thing the Cromnibus saga blew that stupid hyper-partisan Democrat report on CIA interrogations off the front pages, because it wasn’t working out at all the way Senator Dianne Feinstein and her crew expected it to.
Everything damaging to Democrats instantly becomes “old news,” but somehow the enhanced interrogation techniques used against terrorist detainees in 2004 was supposed to be the biggest, freshest story in the land. The final draft of history on President Bush’s achievements in national security would be discredited, while all credit due to the Bush Administration for developing the intelligence that led to the slaying of Osama bin Laden would be erased. The kook anti-war base of the Democrat Party would feel a surge of vindication, a moment of partisan elation, after which they would go back to not giving half a damn about Barack Obama blowing people to shreds with drone strikes.
Instead, Feinstein got to watch even Obama’s CIA chief, John Brennan, dispute her “report” and its conclusions, including the attempt to claim that the intelligence obtained through enhanced interrogation was useless. Former veep Dick Cheney went much further, saying the Senate Democrat report was “full of crap.” An American public numb from six years of Obama and Joe Biden was thus reminded of how awesome Dick Cheney is, and how much you want a guy like him on your side when the real crap hits the fan.
The point Cheney makes in this clip about how “the men and women of the CIA did exactly what we wanted to have them do,” in the fearsome days after 9/11, is going to resonate with normal people a lot more than whatever Dianne Feinstein is shrieking about. Nobody outside the left-wing fever swamp is really all that concerned about frightening and inconveniencing a bunch of mass-murdering scumbags anyway. They know Democrats would be first in line to scream for the heads of CIA officers that didn’t get the intel necessary to keep Americans safe. And if there’s any great unease in the general public about what the media insists on calling “torture,” it is greatly leavened by the reasonable understanding that mistakes could be made in the early, scary days of the War on Terror.
The more Senate Democrats and their media pals tried to make this interrogation report into a big deal, the more Americans were reminded that they were all singing very different tunes back in the day. It also became increasingly clear that the Democrat report was absurdly one-sided, ignoring every scrap of testimony that got in the way of the story it wanted to tell – heck, they didn’t even bother to interview anyone who didn’t support their narrative.
A YouGov poll released on Friday puts the cherry of abject defeat atop Feinstein’s hot fudge sundae of failure, revealing that only 24 percent of the public thinks “torture” is never justified against suspected terrorists “who may know details about future attacks against the U.S.”
Even more remarkably, a strong majority of the poll respondents thought reports like Feinstein’s were more harmful to America’s interests than “torture” itself. 52 percent of them thought “making public a report that details the use of torture against terrorist suspects by the American government” was more harmful, while a mere 29 percent thought “the use of torture against terrorist suspects by the American government” was. And this poll obtained such results while repeatedly using the loaded phrase “torture” in the questions, a term that is not reasonably applied to most enhanced interrogation techniques, and which some argue should not be used for any of them. (I tend to think anything grandstanding journalists and activists are willing to do to themselves to prove a point is not “torture.” I notice none of them are racing to self-demonstrate ISIS torture techniques, the way they were willing to waterboard themselves.)
This little ploy by Senate Democrats has got to be one of the most comprehensively disastrous political stunts ever attempted. If the news cycle hadn’t rescued them from themselves, they’d be looking at a melancholy stretch of Sunday shows this weekend.