Loose lips

The Hill reports this morning that Republicans are telling tales out of school regarding information from a closed, and ostensibly secret, House intelligence committee briefing.

“Based on what I heard and the documents I have seen, I came away with a very clear impression that we did gather information that did disrupt terrorist plots,” [Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.)] said.

Sounds like a clear, unequivocal declaration, no? Or maybe more like a carefully parsed, cya muddle of weasel words…?

I don’t know much about Kline, but he was backing up Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who, along with most Republicans, doesn’t have much credibility on the matter of criticizing the veracity of the CIA.

The Republicans in congress also include members who claim — including Hoekstra — we found wmd in Iraq, that evolution is suspect and that climate change due to global warming is a vast left wing scientific community anti capitalist scam.

As The Hill article makes clear, this ties back to the flap over Nancy Pelosi’s claim that the CIA misled her regarding the use of waterboarding as well as former president vice president Dick Cheney’s claim that there are documents proving that torture yielded evidence that foiled terrorist plots.

Of course, senator Carl Levin (D-Mich) strongly disputed that claim. This is of course subjective, but, as far as I’m concerned, Levin beats Cheney hands down in a contest over credibility any day of the week.

The Democrats in congress should open everything up for review, including what the CIA said to who and when. The fact that they’re not doing so could indicate some complicity in the torture question.

But even if some, uh, past flexibility, on the issue would come to light a a result of full disclosure, they would still be better served by that tack than they are by keeping mum on the issue and letting the Republicans make claims they are unwilling to refute.

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