May 16, 2009

A Major Truther is Missing from Senator Whitehouse's Truth Commission

Monique Chartier

For the record, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's subcommittee hearing on the use of torture and harsh interrogation techniques following the 2001 terror attacks has been chugging along this week. This is necessary to note because one of its potential star witnesses has sucked much of the p.r. oxygen out of the hearing room with her energetic and ineffective attempts to convince the world that she should not, in fact, be considered a star witness in this or any inquiry.

Substantive changes to Speaker Nancy Pelosi's ... recollections have done the most damage to her credibility on this subject, though disorganized press appearances have not helped.

"My statement is clear, and let me read it again. Let me read it again. I'm sorry. I have to find the page," said a flustered Mrs. Pelosi, shuffling through papers, her hands quivering a bit, as she sought to stick to her prepared text.

"When -- when -- when my staff person -- I'm sorry, the page is out of order -- five months later, my staff person told me that there had been a briefing -- informing that there had been a briefing and that a letter had been sent. I was not briefed on what was in that briefing; I was just informed that the briefing had taken place," she said.

Nothing sharpens the mind like testifying in front of a Congressional committee. Notes, not to mention recollections, can be sorted out with some finality. For your own peace of mind, for the sake of the country and, perhaps most importantly, for the sake of the truth, Madam Speaker, you may wish to consider appearing in front of Senator Whitehouse's hearing.

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As Newt Gingrich said:

"I think she has lied to the House, and I think that the House has an absolute obligation to open an inquiry, and I hope there will be a resolution to investigate her. And I think this is a big deal. I don't think the Speaker of the House can lie to the country on national security matters,” Gingrich said.

He continued: "I think this is the most despicable, dishonest and vicious political effort I've seen in my lifetime."

"She is a trivial politician, viciously using partisanship for the narrowist of purposes, and she dishonors the Congress by her behavior."

"Speaker Pelosi's the big loser, because she either comes across as incompetent, or dishonest. Those are the only two defenses,” Gingrich said. “The fact is she either didn't do her job, or she did do her job and she's now afraid to tell the truth.”

If Sheldon Whitehouse really cared about the truth, he would have Nancy Pelosi testify, and he would invite Dick Cheney to testify about the benefits. These hearings are nothing but a political stunt.

Posted by: Damien Baldino at May 16, 2009 1:14 PM

I wonder if this could turn out bad for Shelden. Is he astute enough to read the tea leaves and cut his loses. On the other hand maybe he is (astute) and this is a winner.

My gut says it is a loser.

Posted by: Garacka at May 16, 2009 8:37 PM

Sheldon astute?Sheldon is a blivet.He stumbles through life and falls in sh*t,then comes up smelling like roses because of his money and "superior"family lineage.
He is an upwardly mobile failure.
The good thing is that he has opened a can of worms that are getting ready to go right up Pelosi's colon.
I don't care about Cheney-it'll be a great trade-a has-been for a vile,dangerous snake.
Sheldon ought to consider bobbing for french fries.

Posted by: joe bernstein at May 16, 2009 10:30 PM

Consider this:

Assume that the country is facing a major external threat from committed terrorists.

Assume that they are, or may be, planning an imminent attack that could result in the deaths of thousands of Americans.

Whom do you want making decisions about the best way to prevent that attack?

Dick Cheney on the one hand, or Sheldon Whitehouse on the other?

If you say "Sheldon Whitehouse," you're not being honest with yourself . . .

Posted by: brassband at May 16, 2009 11:05 PM

If you say "Sheldon Whitehouse," you're not being honest with yourself . . .

No, I think someone answering that way is quite honest actually. To a liberal, 3,000 dead Americans is the morally superior position if the question is dumping some water on one person, in a similar way that a raped and strangled woman is a morally superior outcome to a rapist with a bullet hole in his chest and a woman holding a smoking gun.

Posted by: EMT at May 17, 2009 7:41 AM

As Bismarck once noted, the public should not see the making of sausage. While most, if not all, would agree that torture (and we are not talking about match sticks in the eyes, pulling finger nails, or the "death of a thousand cuts" here) may be necessary in some extreme, the political reality is that it must sometimes be denied. Perhaps simply not spoken of in public.

I favor this lack of "transparency" because I would not want it to become acceptable, or widespread. In short I don't want to see the police waterboarding car thiefs. This begs the question "when would I find it acceptable?" That is difficult. I certainly do not see it as acceptable for punishment. It would certainly require that there be some definite link to preventing the loss of human life.

Perhaps there is no answer. I am reflecting on Churchill's decision to allow the bombing of Coventry to conceal the knowledge that the German code had been broken. This caused the death of thousands. While this may not have resulted in eulogies for his "courage" he has not, to my knowledge, been hanged in effigy. He is regularly acknowledged as a "Great Statesman". I think this illustrates that we are prepared to make great sacrifices if we believe the goal is worthy.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at May 17, 2009 9:31 AM

Sheldon Whitehouse finished off his 10-News Conference interview this morning with what has to be one of his all-time asinine remarks.He stated that he didn't want "yet another White male" appointed to replace Souter.How about applying that standard to his job?Oh,no-wouldn't do for the aristocrat Sheldon to be displaced,he's so essential dontch'a know.
I have a great candidate for the US Supreme Court-Judge Janice Rogers Brown,a Black female Federal judge who believes in private property rights..."whoa,there",Sheldon would state-wouldn't do to have a champion of private property rights on the highest court.Of course Sheldon's private property rights are different-he's the proper sort to own things,because he does the common man such a service out of noblesse oblige.
The voters of Rhode Island never stooped lower than in electing this loser,except very possibly in the case of Patrick Kennedy,but Kennedy is legitimately mentally disabled and he gets a big sympathy vote.(Think about that for a minute)
Sheldon needs to be a one termer-a US Senate with him and Al Franken in it has lost any veneer of serious governmental responsibility.

Posted by: joe bernstein at May 17, 2009 9:47 AM

He is regularly acknowledged as a "Great Statesman".

Not too many people in the US outside of history aficionados know about Coventry. If it happened today, here, he'd be impeached.

That said, there's a world of difference between allowing Coventry to be bombed to maintain secrecy and allowing part of LA to be flattened or irradiated to maintain one terrorist's "dignity."

Posted by: EMT at May 18, 2009 1:02 AM

Sheldon Whitehouse is just a better looking Patrick Kennedy. They share the same mind set.

Posted by: RiverFox at May 20, 2009 8:28 AM
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