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Picturing The Enemy

August 25, 2009

Picturing The Enemy

Investors Business Daily 22 Aug. 09

Security: The ACLU sneakily photographing CIA officers near their homes, then showing the shots to the imprisoned planners of the 9/11 attacks. A fruitcake fantasy? The government is looking into exactly this.

When the Washington Post three and a half years ago uncovered the CIA’s “black prisons” program, in which enhanced interrogation was used against terrorist detainees to foil future atrocities, we forcefully argued that such secret wartime operations ought never be outed.

The Post may have won a Pulitzer for its revelation, but we feel more strongly than ever today. And a new story in that same newspaper gives new facts about the harm it did, and continues to do.

A Justice Department investigation is now apparently investigating whether photos of covert CIA officials surreptitiously taken by the American Civil Liberties Union’s “John Adams Project” were unlawfully shown to terrorist detainees charged with organizing the attacks of 9/11.

It’s all supposedly part of military lawyers’ aggressive defense of their terrorist defendants, on whom enhanced interrogation may have been used. But the Justice probe seems to have given quite a scare to ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero. Refusing to comment on the specifics of his organization’s photo activities on behalf of “our clients,” Romero complained that the government was not investigating “the CIA officials who undertook the torture.”

Has there ever been a more outrageous trading of places? Those behind the attacks that murdered thousands are now the victims? And the courageous U.S. government officials who grilled them for the purpose of preventing further terrorist attacks are now the villains?

Instead of receiving the protection they deserve, they and their family members have apparently been spied on by the ACLU and have had their likenesses displayed to al-Qaida members!

What if these detainees get released — which the ACLU obviously wouldn’t mind seeing happen? Will descriptions of those CIA officers be relayed up the al-Qaida food chain? Will there be “future ops” files on these interrogators and their families somewhere in the mountainous caves of Afghanistan and Pakistan?

The Post story notes that leftist groups here and abroad, European investigators and others “have compiled lists of people thought to have been involved in the CIA’s program, including CIA station chiefs, agency interrogators and medical personnel who accompanied detainees on planes as they were moved from one secret location to another.”

It says that “working from these lists, some of which include up to 45 names, researchers photographed agency workers and obtained other photos from public records.” The ACLU’s Romero shrugs his shoulders and calls all that “normal” lawyerly research.

It may be normal for a group that throughout its history has provided aid and comfort to America’s adversaries, but compiling a long enemies list and attaching pictures to go with the names should be the least-normal thing imaginable in a free society.

To al-Qaida, such a list of names-paired-with-faces might as well be Stalin’s list of those targeted for Communist Party purges in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s — in other words, a collective death warrant.

This shows just how foolish it is to treat the POWs of the global war on terror as if they were American citizens protected by our laws and Constitution. Morale is already poor within the agency because the heroes within their ranks have been depicted as little better than the Marquis de Sade.

Who in the CIA will be willing to stick their necks out in the future, with prosecutions hanging over their heads, the blowing of their covers by the ACLU, and the physical endangerment of themselves and their families as their thanks? On top of it all, who really believes the Obama Justice Department will at the end of the day do anything to punish those guilty of aiding the enemy?

It’s a smutty business from top to bottom, but the most despicable of this sorry cast of characters have to be those who physically snapped the shots. How depraved must you be to violate and endanger the families of those who saved so many American lives?

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