Saturday, April 25, 2009

F.I.R.E. (I am adding a FIRE link in my right-hand column)

If you are not familiar with FIRE, I first heard of them in the must see documentary, Indoctrinate U

Liberal Egalitarianism

It seems we are coming to a point in our country where you must "tow-the-party-line" or you cannot find a career. From Miss America to counselors... if you do not adhere to the idea that a "family" is simply any unit of people (hetero or homo marriages/families), then you are "assed out." (Pun not intended, but it can be taken.) The only problem is... that Obama believes the same thing:

DETROIT — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom filed a lawsuit against Eastern Michigan University Thursday after school officials dismissed a student from the school’s counseling program for not affirming homosexual behavior as morally acceptable. The school dismissed Julea Ward from the program because she would not agree prior to a counseling session to affirm a client’s homosexual behavior and would not retract her stance in subsequent disciplinary proceedings.

"Christian students shouldn’t be penalized for holding to their beliefs," said ADF Senior Counsel David French. "When a public university has a prerequisite of affirming homosexual behavior as morally good in order to obtain a degree, the school is stepping over the legal line. Julea did the responsible thing and followed her supervising professor’s advice to have the client referred to a counselor who did not have a conscience issue with the very matter to be discussed in counseling. She would have gladly counseled the client if the subject had been nearly any other matter."

EMU requires students in its program to affirm or validate homosexual behavior within the context of a counseling relationship and prohibits students from advising clients that they can change their homosexual behavior. Ward has never addressed homosexual behavior in any form during counseling sessions with clients.

EMU initiated its disciplinary process against Ward and informed her that the only way she could stay in the graduate school counseling program would be if she agreed to undergo a "remediation" program. Its purpose would be to help Ward "see the error of her ways" and change her "belief system" as it relates to counseling about homosexual relationships, conforming her beliefs to be consistent with the university’s views. When Ward did not agree with the conditions, she was given the options of either voluntarily leaving the program or asking for a formal review hearing.

Ward chose the hearing, during which EMU faculty denigrated her Christian views and asked several inappropriate and intrusive questions about her religious beliefs. The hearing committee dismissed her from the counseling program on March 12. Ward appealed the decision to the dean of the College of Education, who upheld the dismissal on March 26.

"Julea has a constitutional right not to be compelled to speak a message she disagrees with. She acted as a professional counselor should--with great concern both for her beliefs and the client," ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco explained. "The two are not incompatible, but EMU’s policies are incompatible with the Constitution."

ADF-allied attorney Steven Jentzen of Ypsilanti is serving as local counsel in the case.
  • Complaint in Ward v. Eastern Michigan University filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Dem Congressman: "Nobody in This Country Realizes That Cap-and-Trade is a Tax"

Gore v Gingrich before Congress on Cap and Trade

Newt Rips Gore's 'Facts' To Pieces

A Letter To My Son's [then] 5th-Grade Teacher

Democracy or Republic

Dear Mrs. Jackson,

Question #4 on the “Thinking About Our Government” Q & A homework for Dominic is confusing, as is question #5. As the included paper shows that the Founders wrote about why we were not to be a democracy? Take note that as well Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution reads:

“The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government…”

I told Dominic to hold off on the above-mentioned questions until this apparent discrepancy is resolved. I am telling him that we do not have a democracy but a republic, and I am basing these on the Constitution and the authors (and signers) understanding of it (commonly referred to as “original intent”). Also note that I realize that California is becoming a real democracy, which may explain some of our “woes” (as I see it) in this progressive state.

Our Founders had an opportunity to establish a democracy in America but chose not to. In fact, they made very clear that we were not – and never to become – a democracy:

  • James Madison (fourth President, co-author of the Federalist Papers and the “father” of the Constitution) -- “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general; been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”
  • John Adams (American political philosopher, first vice President and second President) – “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
  • Benjamin Rush (signer of the Declaration) -- “A simple democracy… is one of the greatest of evils.”
  • Fisher Ames (American political thinker and leader of the federalists [he entered Harvard at twelve and graduated by sixteen], author of the House language for the First Amendment) --“A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will provide an eruption and carry desolation in their way.´ / “The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness [excessive license] which the ambitious call, and the ignorant believe to be liberty.”
  • Governor Morris (signer and penman of the Constitution) -- “We have seen the tumult of democracy terminate… as [it has] everywhere terminated, in despotism…. Democracy! Savage and wild. Thou who wouldst bring down the virtuous and wise to thy level of folly and guilt.”
  • John Quincy Adams (sixth President, son of John Adams [see above]) -- “The experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.”
  • Noah Webster (American educator and journalist as well as publishing the first dictionary) -- “In democracy… there are commonly tumults and disorders….. therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth.”
  • John Witherspoon (signer of the Declaration of Independence) -- “Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state -- it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.”
  • Zephaniah Swift (author of America’s first legal text) -- “It may generally be remarked that the more a government [or state] resembles a pure democracy the more they abound with disorder and confusion.”

An Important Distinction: Democracy versus Republic

It is important to keep in mind the difference between a Democracy and a Republic, as dissimilar forms of government. Understanding the difference is essential to comprehension of the fundamentals involved. It should be noted, in passing, that use of the word Democracy as meaning merely the popular type of government--that is, featuring genuinely free elections by the people periodically--is not helpful in discussing, as here, the difference between alternative and dissimilar forms of a popular government: a Democracy versus a Republic. This double meaning of Democracy--a popular-type government in general, as well as a specific form of popular government--needs to be made clear in any discussion, or writing, regarding this subject, for the sake of sound understanding.

These two forms of government: Democracy and Republic, are not only dissimilar but antithetical, reflecting the sharp contrast between (a) The Majority Unlimited, in a Democracy, lacking any legal safeguard of the rights of The Individual and The Minority, and (b) The Majority Limited, in a Republic under a written Constitution safeguarding the rights of The Individual and The Minority; as we shall now see.

A Democracy

The chief characteristic and distinguishing feature of a Democracy is: Rule by Omnipotent Majority. In a Democracy, The Individual, and any group of Individuals composing any Minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of The Majority. It is a case of Majority-over-Man.

This is true whether it be a Direct Democracy, or a Representative Democracy. In the direct type, applicable only to a small number of people as in the little city-states of ancient Greece, or in a New England town-meeting, all of the electorate assemble to debate and decide all government questions, and all decisions are reached by a majority vote (of at least half-plus-one). Decisions of The Majority in a New England town-meeting are, of course, subject to the Constitutions of the State and of the United States which protect The Individual’s rights; so, in this case, The Majority is not omnipotent and such a town-meeting is, therefore, not an example of a true Direct Democracy. Under a Representative Democracy like Britain’s parliamentary form of government, the people elect representatives to the national legislature--the elective body there being the House of Commons--and it functions by a similar vote of at least half-plus-one in making all legislative decisions.

In both the Direct type and the Representative type of Democracy, The Majority’s power is absolute and unlimited; its decisions are unappealable under the legal system established to give effect to this form of government. This opens the door to unlimited Tyranny-by-Majority. This was what The Framers of the United States Constitution meant in 1787, in debates in the Federal (framing) Convention, when they condemned the "excesses of democracy" and abuses under any Democracy of the unalienable rights of The Individual by The Majority. Examples were provided in the immediate post-1776 years by the legislatures of some of the States. In reaction against earlier royal tyranny, which had been exercised through oppressions by royal governors and judges of the new State governments, while the legislatures acted as if they were virtually omnipotent. There were no effective State Constitutions to limit the legislatures because most State governments were operating under mere Acts of their respective legislatures which were mislabelled "Constitutions." Neither the governors not the courts of the offending States were able to exercise any substantial and effective restraining influence upon the legislatures in defense of The Individual’s unalienable rights, when violated by legislative infringements. (Connecticut and Rhode Island continued under their old Charters for many years.) It was not until 1780 that the first genuine Republic through constitutionally limited government, was adopted by Massachusetts--next New Hampshire in 1784, other States later.

It was in this connection that Jefferson, in his "Notes On The State of Virginia" written in 1781-1782, protected against such excesses by the Virginia Legislature in the years following the Declaration of Independence, saying: "An elective despotism was not the government we fought for . . ." (Emphasis Jefferson’s.) He also denounced the despotic concentration of power in the Virginia Legislature, under the so-called "Constitution"--in reality a mere Act of that body:

"All the powers of government, legislative, executive, judiciary, result to the legislative body. The concentrating these in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one. 173 despots would surely be as oppressive as one. Let those who doubt it turn their eyes on the republic of Venice."

This topic--the danger to the people’s liberties due to the turbulence of democracies and omnipotent, legislative majority--is discussed in The Federalist, for example in numbers 10 and 48 by Madison (in the latter noting Jefferson’s above-quoted comments).

The Framing Convention’s records prove that by decrying the "excesses of democracy" The Framers were, of course, not opposing a popular type of government for the United States; their whole aim and effort was to create a sound system of this type. To contend to the contrary is to falsify history. Such a falsification not only maligns the high purpose and good character of The Framers but belittles the spirit of the truly Free Man in America--the people at large of that period--who happily accepted and lived with gratification under the Constitution as their own fundamental law and under the Republic which it created, especially because they felt confident for the first time of the security of their liberties thereby protected against abuse by all possible violators, including The Majority momentarily in control of government. The truth is that The Framers, by their protests against the "excesses of democracy," were merely making clear their sound reasons for preferring a Republic as the proper form of government. They well knew, in light of history, that nothing but a Republic can provide the best safeguards--in truth in the long run the only effective safeguards (if enforced in practice)--for the people’s liberties which are inescapably victimized by Democracy’s form and system of unlimited Government-over-Man featuring The Majority Omnipotent. They also knew that the American people would not consent to any form of government but that of a Republic. It is of special interest to note that Jefferson, who had been in Paris as the American Minister for several years, wrote Madison from there in March 1789 that:

"The tyranny of the legislatures is the most formidable dread at present, and will be for long years. That of the executive will come it’s turn, but it will be at a remote period." (Text per original.)

Somewhat earlier, Madison had written Jefferson about violation of the Bill of Rights by State legislatures, stating:

"Repeated violations of those parchment barriers have been committed by overbearing majorities in every State. In Virginia I have seen the bill of rights violated in every instance where it has been opposed to a popular current."

It is correct to say that in any Democracy--either a Direct or a Representative type--as a form of government, there can be no legal system which protects The Individual or The Minority (any or all minorities) against unlimited tyranny by The Majority. The undependable sense of self-restraint of the persons making up The Majority at any particular time offers, of course, no protection whatever. Such a form of government is characterized by The Majority Omnipotent and Unlimited. This is true, for example, of the Representative Democracy of Great Britain; because unlimited government power is possessed by the House of Lords, under an Act of Parliament of 1949--indeed, it has power to abolish anything and everything governmental in Great Britain.

For a period of some centuries ago, some English judges did argue that their decisions could restrain Parliament; but this theory had to be abandoned because it was found to be untenable in the light of sound political theory and governmental realities in a Representative Democracy. Under this form of government, neither the courts not any other part of the government can effectively challenge, much less block, any action by The Majority in the legislative body, no matter how arbitrary, tyrannous, or totalitarian they might become in practice. The parliamentary system of Great Britain is a perfect example of Representative Democracy and of the potential tyranny inherent in its system of Unlimited Rule by Omnipotent Majority. This pertains only to the potential, to the theory, involved; governmental practices there are irrelevant to this discussion.

Madison’s observations in The Federalist number 10 are noteworthy at this point because they highlight a grave error made through the centuries regarding Democracy as a form of government. He commented as follows:

"Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed, that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions."

Democracy, as a form of government, is utterly repugnant to--is the very antithesis of--the traditional American system: that of a Republic, and its underlying philosophy, as expressed in essence in the Declaration of Independence with primary emphasis upon the people’s forming their government so as to permit them to possess only "just powers" (limited powers) in order to make and keep secure the God-given, unalienable rights of each and every Individual and therefore of all groups of Individuals.

A Republic

A Republic, on the other hand, has a very different purpose and an entirely different form, or system, of government. Its purpose is to control The Majority strictly, as well as all others among the people, primarily to protect The Individual’s God-given, unalienable rights and therefore for the protection of the rights of The Minority, of all minorities, and the liberties of people in general. The definition of a Republic is: a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution--adopted by the people and changeable (from its original meaning) by them only by its amendment--with its powers divided between three separate Branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Here the term "the people" means, of course, the electorate.

The people adopt the Constitution as their fundamental law by utilizing a Constitutional Convention--especially chosen by them for this express and sole purpose--to frame it for consideration and approval by them either directly or by their representatives in a Ratifying Convention, similarly chosen. Such a Constitutional Convention, for either framing or ratification, is one of America’s greatest contributions, if not her greatest contribution, to the mechanics of government--of self-government through constitutionally limited government, comparable in importance to America’s greatest contribution to the science of government: the formation and adoption by the sovereign people of a written Constitution as the basis for self-government. One of the earliest, if not the first, specific discussions of this new American development (a Constitutional Convention) in the historical records is an entry in June 1775 in John Adams’ "Autobiography" commenting on the framing by a convention and ratification by the people as follows:

"By conventions of representatives, freely, fairly, and proportionately chosen . . . the convention may send out their project of a constitution, to the people in their several towns, counties, or districts, and the people may make the acceptance of it their own act."

Yet the first proposal in 1778 of a Constitution for Massachusetts was rejected for the reason, in part, as stated in the "Essex Result" (the result, or report, of the Convention of towns of Essex County), that it had been framed and proposed not by a specially chosen convention but by members of the legislature who were involved in general legislative duties, including those pertaining to the conduct of the war.

The first genuine and soundly founded Republic in all history was the one created by the first genuine Constitution, which was adopted by the people of Massachusetts in 1780 after being framed for their consideration by a specially chosen Constitutional Convention. (As previously noted, the so-called "Constitutions" adopted by some States in 1776 were mere Acts of Legislatures, not genuine Constitutions.) That Constitutional Convention of Massachusetts was the first successful one ever held in the world; although New Hampshire had earlier held one unsuccessfully - it took several years and several successive conventions to produce the New Hampshire Constitution of 1784. Next, in 1787-1788, the United States Constitution was framed by the Federal Convention for the people’s consideration and then ratified by the people of the several States through a Ratifying Convention in each State specially chosen by them for this sole purpose. Thereafter the other States gradually followed in general the Massachusetts pattern of Constitution-making in adoption of genuine Constitutions; but there was a delay of a number of years in this regard as to some of them, several decades as to a few.

This system of Constitution-making, for the purpose of establishing constitutionally limited government, is designed to put into practice the principle of the Declaration of Independence: that the people form their governments and grant to them only "just powers," limited powers, in order primarily to secure (to make and keep secure) their God-given, unalienable rights. The American philosophy and system of government thus bar equally the "snob-rule" of a governing Elite and the "mob-rule" of an Omnipotent Majority. This is designed, above all else, to preclude the existence in America of any governmental power capable of being misused so as to violate The Individual’s rights--to endanger the people’s liberties.

With regard to the republican form of government (that of a republic), Madison made an observation in The Federalist (no. 55) which merits quoting here--as follows:

"As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust: So there are other qualities in human nature, which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican government (that of a Republic) presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form. Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us, faithful likenesses of the human character, the inference would be that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another." (Emphasis added.)

It is noteworthy here that the above discussion, though brief, is sufficient to indicate the reasons why the label "Republic" has been misapplied in other countries to other and different forms of government throughout history. It has been greatly misunderstood and widely misused--for example as long ago as the time of Plato, when he wrote his celebrated volume, The Republic; in which he did not discuss anything governmental even remotely resembling--having essential characteristics of--a genuine Republic. Frequent reference is to be found, in the writings of the period of the framing of the Constitution for instance, to "the ancient republics," but in any such connection the term was used loosely--by way of contrast to a monarchy or to a Direct Democracy--often using the term in the sense merely of a system of Rule-by-Law featuring Representative government; as indicated, for example, by John Adams in his "Thoughts on Government" and by Madison in The Federalist numbers 10 and 39. But this is an incomplete definition because it can include a Representative Democracy, lacking a written Constitution limiting The Majority.

From The American Ideal of 1776: The Twelve Basic American Principles.

Give Me A Break! Obama Jewelry?!

The audacity of JC-Penny! (HotAir h/t)

Real Clear Politics Is "Crackling" w/Information -- Lots O' Reading

Real Clear Politics Saturday

Security Before Politics - Porter Goss, Washington Post
Why Obama's Right on Torture - Chris Smith, New York Magazine
Honest Debate Shows Obama's Decision Comes at Cost - Stuart Taylor, NJ
The Debate Over Interrogations is Joined - Stephen Hayes, Wkly Standard
The Halo Holds for Obama - Eleanor Clift, Newsweek
Judd Gregg: 'Elections Have Consequences' - Brian Carney, Wall St. Journal
The Holy War Over Kathleen Sebelius - Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times
Giving Back Cold War Gains - Jonah Goldberg, National Review
Why Obama Shook Chávez's Hand - James Rubin, Wall Street Journal
Kim's Nuclear Reaction - Greg Sheridan, The Australian
Gingrich, Provocateur, Returns - Andy Barr, Politico
Can GOP Win Back the House in 2010? - Stuart Rothenberg, Roll Call
Obama's Sins of Omission - Andrew Bacevich, Boston Globe
Roll Back Presidential Power Grabs - Sen. Arlen Specter, NY Review of Books
J.P. Morgan is the King of Finance - Duff McDonald, Portfolio
Don’t Waste Time Cutting Emissions - Bjorn Lomborg, New York Times
No Honor Among Pirates - Christopher Caldwell, Financial Times


Eyes Wide Shut - Washington Post
Mornings After: Obama's Rx - New Hampshire Union Leader
Obama Right on Credit Card Reform - Austin American-Statesman
An Attack on the Iraqi Way of Life - Kansas City Star

Friday, April 24, 2009

Global Warming or Cooling Killed the Dinosaurs

One of my favorite books I have read about the many theories of Dino's throughout the years detailing how the dinosaurs died off, is:

"Sorry" Cartoons

Glenn Beck Takes On 9/11 Truthers, and, Ron Paul's Conspiratorial (John Birch Society) Views

Glenn Beck on the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (10/22/07)

Glenn Beck & Popular Mechanics "Debunk" FEMA Camps (I use t think these were real... FYI

Ron Paul on Bilderbergers
(Ron Paul believes that they want control of banks and natural resources)

Ron Paul and his New World Order Q&A (Ron Paul is a Nut)

Ron Paul, a Frequent Guest on Alex Jones Radio Show, Talks About Control of Election -- (when he says, "McCain was there back-up candidate," he is saying what I use to believe, that the elections are completely controlled by a conspiratorial cabal)

Obama's Missteps, Our Future Reward... Unfortunately (Lives Lost Most Probably)

The Obama administration is backtracking on its statement that some may be open to legal prosecution for their involvement in the "torturing" three members of Al Qaeda. The problem of the Democrats is moral equivalency. While they say Republican see thing in black-and-white, and they see things in shades of grey (with thanks to Dennis Prager), they in fact see all torture techniques -- putting a guy in a small cell with bugs -- as morally wrong. They do not see gradations of "torture" like they do not see gradations between cultures and social-issues (moral equivalency of marriage, for instance).

See for instance Democrats calling our military Nazi's and Terrorists:

I can here recommend a book by Michelle Malkin entitled, "Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild"; and another book by an ex-dem entitled, "Leaving the Left: Moments in the News That Made Me Ashamed to Be a Liberal."

One reason Obama is backtracking is that his own leadership may be in jeapordy as well. Even though Nancy Pelosi may have been "dozing off when the briefers described waterboarding. Such excuses, if the expression can be excused, hold little water" (more from this article at end of blog). For instance:

Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Nancy Pelosi denies knowing U.S. officials used waterboarding — but GOP operatives are pointing to a 2007 Washington Post story which describes an hour-long 2002 briefing in which Pelosi was told about enhanced interrogation techniques in graphic detail.
Two unnamed officials told the paper that Pelosi, then a member of the Democratic minority, didn't raise substantial objections.
Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen wrote:
In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

So it seems that Democratic leadership knew well what was going on... I wonder how that sits with Code Pink. One section from the memos mention the wall that these few (handful) of terrorists were pushed up against (roughed up), let's read from it:

The memos also give the lie to a leaked 2007 report from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), based exclusively on the say-so of KSM and other "high-value" detainees, that "an improvised thick collar . . . was placed around their necks and used by their interrogators to slam them against the walls."
As the Bybee memo notes, the "wall" was a "flexible false wall . . . constructed to create a loud sound"; that "it is the individual's shoulder blades that hit the wall"; and that the purpose of the collar was "to help prevent whiplash." If this is torture, the word has lost all meaning.
I am a 3-time convicted felon, and during my interrogation I wish I had a WWF wrestling floor that moved and made loud noise and a color to prevent whiplash. The summation of this line of thought at a great (must read) article from the Wall Street Journal is this:
All of this might appease the President's base, but he can't expect to satisfy them without also weakening American intelligence capabilities. The risk-averse CIA that so grievously failed in the run-up to 9/11 was a product of a spy culture that still remembered the Church Committee of the 1970s and the Iran-Contra recriminations of the 1980s. Mr. Obama needs to stop this score-settling now, and he can start by promptly releasing the documents that reveal what the CIA learned from its interrogations.
These lawyers, CIA investigators, covert military personnel, and the like have changed immediately after they were effectively told that they can be charged (if not by our government, at least civilly) for trying to gain information in the process of saving American (and others) lives -- they have cut back on what they are doing in order to gain this life saving information. Obama has immediately made this country more apt for attack by a single sentence. An editorial makes this point... focus in on the last paragraph:
Unfortunately, on April 21, Mr. Obama backtracked and opened the door to possible prosecution of Justice Department attorneys who provided legal advice with respect to the enhanced interrogations program. The president also signaled that he may support some kind of independent inquiry into the program. It seems that he has capitulated to left-wing groups and some in Congress who are demanding show trials over this program.
Members of Congress calling for an investigation of the enhanced interrogation program should remember that such an investigation can't be a selective review of information, or solely focus on the lawyers who wrote the memos, or the low-level employees who carried out this program. I have asked Mr. Blair to provide me with a list of the dates, locations and names of all members of Congress who attended briefings on enhanced interrogation techniques.
Any investigation must include this information as part of a review of those in Congress and the Bush administration who reviewed and supported this program. To get a complete picture of the enhanced interrogation program, a fair investigation will also require that the Obama administration release the memos requested by former Vice President Dick Cheney on the successes of this program.
An honest and thorough review of the enhanced interrogation program must also assess the likely damage done to U.S. national security by Mr. Obama's decision to release the memos over the objections of Mr. Panetta and four of his predecessors. Such a review should assess what this decision communicated to our enemies, and also whether it will discourage intelligence professionals from offering their frank opinions in sensitive counterterrorist cases for fear that they will be prosecuted by a future administration.
Perhaps we need an investigation not of the enhanced interrogation program, but of what the Obama administration may be doing to endanger the security our nation has enjoyed because of interrogations and other antiterrorism measures implemented since Sept. 12, 2001. (emphasis added)

Slate Magazine has a decent article on the situation as well, however, I want to focus in on why Obaman waffled back-and-forth on this issue. I will comment shortly and then post in its entirety the IBD Editorial, which is (as usual), top-notch. I think that Obama didn't think through this debacle far-enough to realize that if another attack happens, people will point to this period as a "Church Hearing" moment where the CIA "doesn't need to be handcuffed again or demoralized," again... by Democrats (referring also to the "wall" built by Democrats between the CIA and the rest of law inforcement). I will surely point to the Democrats threatning those involved in this immature release of classified documents if attacked. Now the IBD Editorial:

Fair-Weather Hawks By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, April 23, 2009

National Security: It was easy for key liberal Democrats to be tough on terrorist prisoners when 9/11 was fresh in the public's mind. Why is it so easy for them to condemn that stance today? Democrats who now itch to see Bush administration officials convicted for providing legal justification for waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques are chained at the ankle to those they want prosecuted.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, then on the House Intelligence Committee, and others knew of the tough methods as long ago as 2002. A December 2007 Washington Post story revealed that in September of that year, Pelosi attended an hour-long meeting in which she "was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk."

Then-Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller was there too, and top Republicans. According to the Post, "on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said."

In fact, top Democrats like Pelosi and Rockefeller sat in on about 30 such bipartisan private briefings. One of those in attendance, former House Intelligence Committee Chairman and former CIA Director Porter Goss, remembered: "Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing." According to the onetime Florida GOP congressman, "the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement."

Another official present at the early briefings told the Post, "there was no objecting, no hand-wringing. The attitude was, 'We don't care what you do to those guys as long as you get the information you need to protect the American people.'"

Only the moderate former House Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Jane Harman, D-Calif., objected, in the form of a classified letter. She would later garner Pelosi's ire for defending the Bush administration's terrorist surveillance program.

The Washington Times further reported this week that the Intelligence Committee's top Democrats and Republicans "each got complete, benchmark briefings on the program" and "if Congress wanted to kill this program, all it had to do was withhold funding."

Statements from Pelosi and other Democrats suggest maybe they were dozing off when the briefers described waterboarding. Such excuses, if the expression can be excused, hold little water.

The fact is clear: Top Democrats in Congress chose not to object to getting tough with terrorist prisoners because the poll ratings told them it was politically dangerous not to be an anti-terrorist hawk in 2002 and 2003.

Today is different. These hypocrites now smell a huge political opportunity. But if the legal architects of enhanced interrogation — and, logically, former President Bush himself and his top national security staff — are on the hook for prosecution, so are Pelosi and others who knew of the harsh techniques and never raised a peep.