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Hoekstra: Stark Reality Will Cause Obama to Reconsider Gitmo and Enhanced Interrogation

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[update: Rep. Hoekstra Won't Seek Reelection: Good News for Intelligence Integrity?]

This week, Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence participated in a global conference call sponsored by The Israel Project.

Rep. Hoekstra, sizing up President-elect Obama’s security team, remarked "[They] are clearly starting to recognize that reality has a way of pushing out campaign rhetoric."

He went on to suggest that Obama, who ran on a platform of change, may come to the sober conclusion that the controversial intelligence programs born of the Bush administration are best kept in place.

Hoekstra conceded that on day one President Obama could decide to "stop the terrorist surveillance program, he can stop the financial tracking program, he can close Gitmo, he can stop [...] our enhanced interrogation methods."

"I really believe," Hoekstra predicted, "that if he goes through that process and contemplates those decisions, he is going to reach the stark reality that ‘wow, these things actually work, they actually have enabled President Bush to keep America safe. That’s now my responsibility and I better be very, very careful because...I better be careful before I decide to terminate any of these programs because on noon of January 20, it’s now my responsibility and the track record is that the programs that have been in place whether rightly or wrongly have kept America’s homeland safe for seven and a half years and that’s now the track record that I have to match because there is no way you can beat zero tolerance.’ "

Additionally, CongressDaily’s Chris Strohm reported on Wednesday that Intelligence chair, Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) "recommended to Obama’s transition team that some parts of the CIA’s controversial alternative interrogation program should be allowed to continue."

Reyes said "We don't want to be known for torturing people. At the same time we don't want to limit our ability to get information that's vital and critical to our national security," he added. "That's where the new administration is going to have to decide what those parameters are, what those limitations are."

Are we to now expect that every four years the world will sit in anxious anticipation while the new administration "decides" the méthodes du jour?

Remarkably, Reyes’ and Hoekstra’s statements coincide with the release of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody.

The report issued jointly by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ) determined that "The abuse of detainees in U.S. custody cannot simply be attributed to the actions of ‘a few bad apples’ acting on their own. The fact is that senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees."

The inquiry concluded that "Those efforts damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority." A far cry from Rep. Hoekstra's claims of a safer America.

Upon being reappointed as ranking member of the Intelligence committee this week, Pete Hoekstra issued a statement stressing "Just as we did for the Bush administration, Republicans on the Intelligence Committee will conduct aggressive oversight of the Obama administration’s intelligence efforts and encourage our Democratic colleagues to do the same."

This begs the question just who will conduct aggressive oversight of them?

_______

For more on this subject see Ray McGovern's recent article, Will Obama Buy Torture-Lite?

 

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Restore the rule of law: Close Gitmo and Stop the Torture

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Cheryl Biren is a Philadelphia-based researcher, writer, editor and photographer with a focus on social justice. From 2007-2011, she served on the editorial board of Opednews.com.

Cheryl has also consulted for the Rob Kall Radio Show with (more...)
 
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Carl Rogers, the humanist, helped create the conce... by John Bessa on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 at 8:59:58 AM
Backing down on another campaign promise. Here we ... by Nick van Nes on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 at 12:01:08 PM
Regarding, Backing down on another campaign promis... by Cheryl Biren on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 at 2:25:49 PM
This piece is absolutely absurd.  First of al... by Woody Smith on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 at 12:30:29 PM
If you don't like what you're reading ... by Cheryl Biren on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 at 1:38:47 PM
Hoekstra is completely wrong about George Bush hav... by John Toradze on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 at 3:50:19 PM
Thanks, John, for taking the time to read and comm... by Cheryl Biren on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 at 4:09:36 PM
John wrote:The real debate here that underlies the... by John Bessa on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 at 4:18:15 PM
"Dershowitz is very cogent on the subject.&qu... by William Whitten on Saturday, Dec 13, 2008 at 1:00:20 AM
"... 9/11 happened because bush was asleep at... by Mr M on Saturday, Dec 13, 2008 at 5:45:41 PM
When you speak of a million Americans dead, are yo... by John Toradze on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 at 5:07:19 PM
That we would fall into a trap of torture being de... by William Whitten on Saturday, Dec 13, 2008 at 1:37:09 AM
Many Americans are going to die for many reasons, ... by John Toradze on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 at 5:25:40 PM
"This is incorrect. Al Qaeda exists because o... by William Whitten on Saturday, Dec 13, 2008 at 1:12:53 AM
I get your angle. It is either jejune, or you are ... by William Whitten on Saturday, Dec 13, 2008 at 11:52:51 AM
"Muddying the waters", incidentally, is ... by William Whitten on Saturday, Dec 13, 2008 at 12:34:08 PM
Hoekstra and his ilk still don't get it. Their... by Archie on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 at 7:14:21 PM
It's really remarkable to me that he could eve... by Cheryl Biren on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 at 7:19:20 PM
Obviously people like Hoekstra actually believe wh... by William Whitten on Saturday, Dec 13, 2008 at 1:28:31 AM
This idea that terrorism is caused by something so... by John Toradze on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 at 7:52:15 PM
The things which Hoekstra says seem to make sense ... by gravity32 on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 at 10:10:42 PM
Terrorist events are much more likely to be planne... by richard on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 at 10:30:33 PM
Al Qaeda was created by the CIA and ISI etc. with ... by John Toradze on Saturday, Dec 13, 2008 at 7:01:56 PM
"This idea that the USA is responsible for cr... by William Whitten on Saturday, Dec 13, 2008 at 8:04:00 PM
Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski about how the U... by William Whitten on Saturday, Dec 13, 2008 at 9:02:29 PM
Other MEF Websites:   Campus Watch   | &... by William Whitten on Sunday, Dec 14, 2008 at 1:50:34 PM
while the argument brews here on this thread, ... by Cheryl Biren on Sunday, Dec 14, 2008 at 2:11:44 PM
"If you don't want the Obama admin to fal... by William Whitten on Sunday, Dec 14, 2008 at 2:33:46 PM
What are you doing? I hear your passion - for argu... by Cheryl Biren on Sunday, Dec 14, 2008 at 2:42:37 PM

 

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