White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was grilled Wednesday by a reporter over the fact that while Obama has denounced the details revealed in the Senate CIA torture report, two of the architects of the policy are still on his national security team.
Earnest was given the third degree by Fox News’ Ed Henry, who demanded to know why both current CIA head John Brennan and FBI head James Comey, who were instrumental in the development of enhanced interrogation techniques policy under George W. Bush, still hold prominent roles under the Obama administration.
“Following up on Jon’s questioning about John Brennan, you also have as the FBI Chief, James Comey, who served in the Bush Justice Department and helped endorse the legal memo, the legal memo blessing waterboarding and other enhanced techniques.” Henry noted.
“How could the President appoint John Brennan and James Comey to two of the most sensitive jobs in the administration CIA and FBI if he believes they endorsed un-American tactics?” Henry asked.
Earnest gave a stock reply saying that both Brennan and Comey are reliable and have strong records when it comes to keeping the country safe.
Henry pressed on with his line of questioning, asking “But you don’t see any contradictions that you’re attacking Bush administration policies but you have two of the architects of those policies serving?”
Again, Earnest gave a stock answer, avoiding the question and saying the President has confidence in both men.
Henry then caught Earnest out again, drawing him into an admission that the current administration fundamentally disagrees with former vice president Dick Cheney, who has said that the torture policy makes America safer.
“Why does this President’s CIA. director basically agree with Dick Cheney that these tactics saved lives? Your CIA director agrees with him.” Henry said.
“For questions about Mr. Brennan’s position on these issues I would direct you to the CIA” Earnest said, again avoiding the question.
Henry then interrogated Earnest over the Obama drone policy, noting “You have repeatedly talked about moral authority. So can you explain how the President believes that it’s un-American to use these techniques, but it was okay to ramp up the drone policy?”
“Basically thousands of people around the world, innocent civilians, were killed. What’s the moral equivalency there? How do you have moral authority when innocent civilians are killed by drones?” Henry urged.
Once again, Earnest gave a stock answer, saying that the Obama administration goes “to great lengths to protect the lives of innocent civilians,” and that “there are significant checks and balances included in the system.”
As we have previously noted, the Obama White House has merely sought to protect Bush administration officials and CIA agents from prosecution for torture and sexual abuse. Obama and Holder signed off on granting final immunity to the CIA torturers. As we have discovered, this is because top Democrats like Nancy Pelosi are complicit in the illegal torture program because they gave their approval for it to be instituted in the first place.
The media has not even broached the fact that this information has been public for five years now. Indeed, at the beginning of 2010, government accountability group Judicial Watch obtained and released a CIA report via a FIOA lawsuit, that revealed leading members of Congress were briefed specifically on the torture program between 2002 and 2007, and signed off their approval on it.
The report (embedded below) reveals that at least 68 members of Congress were briefed by the CIA regarding the interrogation program, including specific “enhanced interrogation techniques” (EITs). The report shows that by the end of 2002, one year after the 9/11 attacks, most senior members of the House and Senate committees, including Diane Feinstein, were engaged in meetings solely focused on EITs.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.