Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Barry to Brits -- Talk and that ends our intelligence relationship

More thuggish behavior from Barry via Eli Lake at the Washington Times courtesy of Captain Ed. At the heart of this is a letter sent by the Obama administration sent to the Brits with regard to the treatment of one Binyam Mohamed. The administration is threatening to sever all intelligence ties to the Brits if they reveal the treatment Mr. Mohamed received while in US custody:

The Obama administration says it may curtail Anglo-American intelligence sharing if the British High Court discloses new details of the treatment of a former Guantanamo detainee.

A court filing from the British Foreign Office released recently includes a letter from the U.S. government, identified as the "Obama administration's communication." Other information identifying the U.S. agency and author of the letter appears to have been redacted.

The letter says:

"If it is determined that [her majesty's government] is unable to protect information we provide to it, even if that inability is caused by your judicial system, we will necessarily have to review with the greatest care the sensitivity of information we can provide in the future."

The letter stands in contrast to President Obama's decision last month to release four memos from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel providing fresh detail on the CIA's enhanced interrogation program.

But, the U.S. letter points out: "Neither in [those four] memoranda, nor in any statements of the administration accompanying their release, was reference made to the identity of any foreign government that might have assisted the United States.

"Given the declassification of the highly sensitive information contained in the memoranda, the fact that the president refrained from providing any information about foreign governments is indicative that the United States continues to preserve the secrecy of such information as critical to our national security."

At issue is whether the British courts will disclose a seven-paragraph summary of the treatment of Binyam Mohamed, a former detainee who was released from Guantanamo Bay prison in February.

The British terrorism suspect was set free after charges that he had collaborated with convicted terrorist Jose Padilla in a plot to set off a "dirty bomb" in the United States fell apart. Mr. Mohamed says he was tortured while in U.S., Pakistani and Moroccan custody.

In February, the British Foreign Office claimed that the U.S. government had threatened to reduce intelligence cooperation if details of the interrogations and treatment of Mr. Mohamed were disclosed.

This is an unprecedented move by Barry. To threaten to curtail or sever intelligence ties to our number one ally is preposterous. We have always worked hand-in-hand with MI-5 and MI-6. We have saved their bacon, and vice versa. The Brits believed with the release of the OLC memos that is was cool to reveal other information regarding former detainees. The secrecy, the Brits believed, was a holdover position from the Bush administration, and that things had changed. Oh, they changed. they went from having a willing and able ally to a thug in the white House who uses threats and coercion to get what he wants. In fact, Captain Ed adds something that has seemingly been removed from the Lake piece:

“Public disclosure of this information, reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the United Kingdom’s national security. Specifically, disclosure of this information may result in a constriction of the U.S.-U.K. relationship, as well as U.K. relationships with other countries.”

Get that, folks? Not only will we curtail our sharing of intelligence wit Britain the administration just might tell other countries not to work with the Brits. Can you believe this? So, hypothetically speaking, let's say the Brits thumb their nose at Barry, and release the information anyway. Let's say that oh, maybe six months down the road we learn from sources in Pakistan (through our CIA officers there) that the Taliban is about to launch a devastating attack on London. Let's say the Afghanis know this, too. But we don't give the information to the Brits, and Barry leans on the Afghanis to keep their yaps shut. An extreme situation, you say? No way in Hell Barry would let them get hit without warning them? Riiiiight. This is Barry's show, and you keep telling yourselves he wouldn't do that if the Brits release that information. Remember Chrysler? Remember AIG? We have a thug-in-chief, folks. He'll do what he has to to show the nation and the world he means business.

But, as Captain Ed points out, wasn't the release of the OLC memos a danger to national security? After all, they detailed the methods we used in interrogation. Our enemies now know what we did do, and what we're unwilling to do now. So who's really hurting national security here? Seems to me that it's the Obama administration doing the most damage. He released the OLC memos. He has thrown the lawyers defending the techniques we used to protect this nation under the bus. He's dispatched a troop surge to Afghanistan without any clear-cut strategy. The same day that North Korea conducts it's latest long-range missile test, Barry announces that missile defense is under the bus.

This is an appalling decision by the Obama administration. The cat's already out of the bag, thanks to the president himself. The Brits just want to release what happened to this one particular individual, and Barry's throwing a tizzy. The man needs to grow up, and if he's not comfortable with others expanding on secrets revealed, maybe he ought to think twice before he flaps his yap.

Publius II


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