Thu, 14 May 2009 12:54:31 +0000 – By Andrea TantarosRepublican Political Commentator
Barack Obama can't seem to get his story straight when it comes to what he thinks will jeopardize the safety and security of our country and our troops, and what will prove most fruitful when it comes to political expedience. Just weeks ago Obama sanctioned the release of classified memos that provided graphic detail on how CIA interrogations were conducted despite repeatedly insisting that "we should be looking forward and not backwards." (Loosely translated: we'll look back as often when we need to deflect political heat away from me and onto my predecessor).
Just this week President Obama has pivoted yet again, this time with photos that the Pentagon had planned to release by May 28 in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. Yes, it's an odd, dysfunctional world when the ACLU is calling the shots. (Who needs the Taliban when you have them trying to destroy the country in house?) In a sharp about face, the White House announced on Wednesday that it will not release hundreds of photos potentially showing U.S. military personnel abusing prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
According to FOX News, President Obama told his legal advisers last week that he did not feel comfortable with the release of the photos because he believes they would endanger U.S. troops, and that the national security implications of such a release have not been fully presented in federal court. While I applaud his decision and his kneecapping of the ACLU, it's frankly too little too late.
The previous and selective release of the interrogation memos, the photo kabuki dance, and vacillation on whether or not Americans - Bush officials intelligence or otherwise - will be prosecuted, have arguably made us less safe and have our allies scratching their heads and our enemies laughing or steaming mad.
In fairness to the president, he's not the only the Democrat that can't seem to stick to a story. For weeks, the No. 1 Democrat on Capitol Hill and the third in line to the presidency, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has told multiple and conflicting tall tales regarding her knowledge of what she knew about the Bush administration's information gathering tactics, when we know she was told about waterboarding in 2002, did nothing, and now has mislead the American people about it.
Many Democrats, including Pelosi, are calling for hearings about prisoner abuse on Capitol Hill that would create a circus -- and distract us from what our representatives in Congress are really up to these days -- all in an effort to appease the far-left. To them I say be careful what you wish for. Every day we learn of a new way Speaker Nancy Pinocchio has contradicted herself. It's time her colleagues join the chorus in pursuit of the truth, and for her to step down as Speaker. She is a liability to her caucus and a liar.
Meanwhile, other Democrats on Capitol Hill like Dick Durbin, Carl Levin and Dianne Feinstein are crying that the CIA is "out to get them" because of the additional memos that were released this week. (Pssst! Senators:people have been put on medication for saying paranoid, crazy things like this.) Democrats have been trying to persecute Republicans on the interrogation issue for years. Now, when it appears to be backfiring due to their leader's litany of lies, they decide to pull the victim card?
To summarize: in a post 9/11 world our classified intelligence and intelligence gathering community has been marginalized, publicized, politicized and compromised all because the Democrats want to score political points. Obama's consistent inconsistency has sent a shaky and unreliable message to the country, the military, and the world.
Let me be clear: none of these memos should have ever been released, but now that the selective transparency of the Obama administration has opened Pandora's box, he and the rest of his party owe us some answers. Will he release the rest of the memos that Dick Cheney is pushing to have made public? Or is his latest move a calculated maneuver to stop further memos from seeing the light of day? If he was going to obstruct the progressives like the ACLU, Soros, Moveon and others, he should have done it from the start.
Twisting and turning the truth has put our safety in a knot -- one I'm not sure we can untie.
Andrea Tantaros is the former Press Secretary to the House Republican Conference and Communications Director to Massachusetts Governor William Weld. Her commentary can be found at www.andreatantaros.comand www.foxnews.com/opinion.