Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Slow Roll" or "Obama Muddle": Which Is Worse?

Yesterday, the WaPo printed a column about "slow rolling" at the CIA following the Obama arabesque (walk forth, walk back, toss the ball to an inferior, shrug and skedaddle) on the torture question.'s known as "slow rolling." That's what agency officers sometimes do on politically sensitive assignments. They go through the motions; they pass cables back and forth; they take other jobs out of the danger zone; they cover their backsides

President Obama promised CIA officers that they won't be prosecuted for carrying out lawful orders, but the people on the firing line don't believe him. They think the memos have opened a new season of investigation and retribution.

The lesson for younger officers is obvious: Keep your head down. Duck the assignments that carry political risk. Stay away from a counterterrorism program that has become a career hazard

It's not just our guys, either.

Agency officials also worry about the effect on foreign intelligence services that share secrets with the United States in a process politely known as "liaison." A former official who remains in close touch with key Arab allies such as Egypt and Jordan warns: "There is a growing concern that the risk is too high to do the things with America they've done in the past."

On the other hand, since the Obama Administration has scrubbed "terrorism" from the lexicon (except for US citizens who are pro-life, military veterans, believing and practicing Christians, or Constitutionalists)--who cares?

Well, actually, the Administration spinners care. Here we have Politico:

President Barack Obama’s attempt to project legal and moral clarity on coercive CIA interrogation methods has instead done the opposite — creating confusion and political vulnerability over an issue that has inflamed both the left and right.

...The public distance between Obama and Emanuel over prosecutions set off a frenzy in the White House briefing room, where reporters pushed press secretary Robert Gibbs to acknowledge that the administration had reversed itself on the prosecution issue. Gibbs, who had endorsed Emanuel’s position on Monday, awkwardly declined to address the discrepancy on Tuesday, which seemed only to intensify reporters’ insistence that he do so

So the spinners are behind the 8-ball.

A Democratic strategist close to the White House said: “The president looked resolute, and like he had threaded the needle perfectly on the substance: The heat from the right was preposterous, and the heat from the left was manageable. But now they look like the scarecrow, pointing in both directions. They got the policy right, but they look confused and beaten down by critics."

Obviously, the heat from the Left was not-so-manageable.

Want a clue as to what happens next? Politico has a big fat hint for you.

A non-profit think tank, the U.S. Naval Institute, also noted that the press release omitted a line claiming that Congressional leaders and executive branch officials were "repeatedly" briefed on the interrogation program and allowed it to continue.

...which is to say that NOTHING will happen on this matter unless Pelosi and Reid can exculpate themselves in advance.

But that won't make the Slow Roll reverse, folks.

Here's how it works: if you actually want to demolish our foreign intel programs, elect a Democrat. Carter, Clinton, and Obama all screwed intel to a fare-thee-well.

It's a pattern worth remembering.


Shoebox said...

You clearly don't understand the larger picture. Now that President Obama has made friends with Iran, Ortega, Chavez, Russia, Castro and others, there is no need for "politically risky" tasks to be done....
"We are the world, we are the people...." (sarc)

GOR said...

"It's a pattern worth remembering"Yes, especially if, God forbid, there is another 9/11. Then there will be howls of "Why didn't we know about this?" "Why didn't we foresee and prevent this?"

Because Democrat administrations and their Congressional colleagues hog-tied our intelligence agencies. That's why!