Since that initial news broke, the Wall Street Journal has reported more details about what was going on. It now appears that the program Cheney did not want Congress to know about, was a program aimed at capturing or killing Al Queda operatives. The New York Times shed even more light onto the matter when their article documented the "myriad logistical, legal and diplomatic obstacles" CIA officials ran into in trying to implement the program.
How could the role of the United States be masked? Should allies be informed and
might they block the access of the C.I.A. teams to their targets? What if
American officers or their foreign surrogates were caught in the midst of an
operation? Would such activities violate international law or American
restrictions on assassinations overseas?
Read those "problems" folks. Now read daddy's little girl defending her father on this issue:
"There's this big piece in the Wall Street Journal this morning that says
that it was a number of different concepts for ways that we could capture or
kill al Qaeda leaders in the days after 9/11. I am really surprised that the
Democrats decide that that's what they want to fight over. I mean, if they want
to go to the American people and say that they disagree with the notion that we
ought to be capturing and killing al Qaeda leaders, I think it's just going to
prove to the American people one more time why they can't trust the Democrats
with our national security."
The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree does it? See how easily Liz ignores the real issue and makes it all about how Democrats won't keep you safe? Dad sure must be proud of you, sweetie. First off, who said we should not be going after Al Queda? No one. But Liz has to frame the argument like that, because if she doesn't, she can't win. Because she can read those "problems" the agency encountered and know what the CIA was looking at, was a program to have assassin or snatch teams that could go into any country and assassinate or snatch someone. That's serious shit. We could potentially being rolling into our allies backyards and breaking their laws. People tend to get a little pissed about that.
How big of a deal are those "problems?" Uh...pretty big deal. It's why Congressional Democrats are so pissed. As the Times' article notes:
The Senate and House oversight committees were created by law in the 1970s as a
direct response to disclosures of C.I.A. abuses, notably including assassination
plots against Patrice Lumumba of Congo, Fidel Castro in Cuba and other foreign
So you see...this is exactly the type of crap that took place that led to the law being changed so that the Executive branch and the intelligence agencies had to keep Congress informed. It's the whole point of oversight. Why is it so important? Because it was shit like this that led to us propping up a regime like the Shah of Iran (which has led to many of the ill-will towards the US in the middle east), to knocking off Allende (fueling anti-American resentment in Latin America) and making a hero out of someone like Castro. Richard Clarke was right when he talked about the idea of "blowback." This kind of cowboy diplomacy may seem great in the short run, but in the long run, it costs us dearly. (I think cowboy diplomacy is exactly what the Bush-Cheney WH gave us for the previous 8 years. All I can think of in summing them up is Sean Connery's classic line in "The Hunt for Red October:" "But if we get some kind of...buckaroo...").
But Liz can't say that. She knows if she tells the truth here, her dad's ass is going to be prosecuted. So she disingenuously frames the discussion just like dear old dad used to: Democrats are unpatriotic wimps who are putting your lives in danger. Classy, Liz. Real classy.
Oh yeah...just in case you were saying, "At least we're rid of Cheney..." don't count on it. Daddy's little girl is making noise about continuing the family business.