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This week on The Journal Editorial Report Nancy Pelosi in enhanced interrogations what does she know and when will look at her latest attempt at.
Clear the air plus.
Obama and the rule of law have corporate contracts and states -- be taken a backseat.
And gates fires his top general in Afghanistan has the left.
Begins to question the administration's strategy there is our world -- Brewing the journal yeah.
Editorial report begins right now.
Welcome to The Journal Editorial Report I'm Paul if you go well after weeks of denials and changing stories over what she knew about so called enhanced interrogation techniques and when she knew it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to set the record straight Thursday.
-- -- contentious press press briefing that raised more questions than any answer take a look.
Briefly only wants.
On enhanced interrogation techniques in September 2002.
In my capacity as ranking member of the intelligence committee.
The only mention of waterboarding at that briefing was that it was not being employed.
Five months later in February 2003.
Member of my staff informed me that the Republican chairman and the democratic ranking member of the intelligence committee.
Had been briefed about the use of certain techniques which had been the subject of earlier legal.
I was not.
Briefed on what was in that -- I was just informed that the briefing has taken place.
He said that gave -- that committee -- chair and ranking member.
And appropriate staff had been brief that -- -- techniques we're now being used.
That's all I was informed that they were being used -- that a letter was sent.
-- know I -- and -- I was informed that day at briefing had taken place.
Now you have to look at what they breached those members I was not briefed that I was -- informed that they were breached but I did not get -- -- Joining the panel this week Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor Dan -- her foreign affairs columnist Bret Stephens and Washington columnist Kim -- -- -- -- on this this whole investigation Democrats were saying it's about the bush administration's.
Enhanced interrogation techniques how does -- speaker of the house now getting gulf.
In this whole issue well -- The answer is what goes around comes around.
Because you're right for at least five years the Democrats and Nancy Pelosi -- use this -- to scream torture torture torture.
At the Bush Administration the point of what purpose of which was to undermine the bush presidency.
Now it turns out the Nancy Pelosi Democrats were present at the creation of -- of this issue.
What was the creation it was in early 2002.
Just months after September 11 when the government was in a state of high anxiety.
Didn't know whether more attacks were coming and the CIA asked the Justice Department how far they can go to interrogate the suspects they had in hand.
Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats were themselves living in that environment and then and then in retrospect for them to attacked the Bush Administration.
For having tried protecting the country at that time it was preposterous then and it was for possibly it was a.
Inevitable that if we're going to have this big truth commission investigation of what the Bush Administration that you were going to have to have members of congress who were briefed.
Brought into this because they were briefed at the -- under law this is according to law that the an executive branch when it has these.
These covert operations or secret operations must under a -- -- the senior members of the intelligence -- well but this gets to the set that -- the second point that needs to be made here that the democratic attack on the Bush Administration wasn't only torture torture torture was also lies lies lies.
They didn't tell us they did inform us.
Last week the CIA released eight to dossier of -- forty meetings.
That the CI a briefings the CI -- offered senior members of congress increasingly a larger and larger number of them both parties of both parties part of a bipartisan briefings beginning in September of 2000 and -- the September of 2002 in which they go into exactly what it is they were doing.
And while those those getting that information was secret.
The Democrats knew full well about it and and and we're not and we're not protesting precisely for the same reason because we were -- post September 11.
Period and people understood the threat was real and there was a real possibility the second -- Dianne Feinstein said made a very -- senator democratic senator from California defended the speaker this week saying look you have to think about this environment back in 2002 and 2003 we worried about a second attack the CIA director at the time George Tenet -- a couple years ago.
-- we get I was terribly worried about such an attack.
But if you're going to apply that standard to basically -- Nancy Pelosi don't you have to apply that precisely absolve everyone in the administration who was trying to protect the country all the more so because -- -- because they were in the executive and it was -- direct responsibility to prevent.
A second attack and it wasn't just a kind of climate of fear that had been created by the September 11 attacks there was real actionable intelligence that was obtained through these enhanced interrogations which prevented those second attacks from happening at -- potential attacks on the Brooklyn Bridge.
On and on towers and in in Los Angeles and other installations throughout the American installations throughout the world this wasn't just a witch -- -- Kim let me get you in here because the politics of this now the Democrats have been pushing John Conyers Carl -- many others for this so called truth commission investigation into.
-- -- interrogations.
What does the speakers now involvement in this do politically are we still going to get that truth commission.
Well -- -- herself called again for another one yesterday but.
A more more members of her party really don't want to go down that road not just because the focus is now all while congress knew and as you said that was always going -- man and -- inevitable.
But also the speaker herself raised the stakes yesterday.
Are you raise the stakes -- -- when she came out and said that the CIA had missed what her now this is an accusation that our intelligence agency was deliberately misleading congress.
That is coming -- going to have to be part of an investigation if there is one and that's not something they want to deal with.
-- the other speakers going to have to be under -- here at some point if this is if this go ahead and bought the Obama administration doesn't want to go with absolutely not they've got an entire Jenna got -- health care bill to pass and you're not more than a hundred days into the administration.
The stature of the speaker of the house is being significantly.
Damaged this is kind of a circus that's going on.
But that's a political figure she is being diminished here and that's a big problem for the Democrat Kim briefly is there are some tension between the speaker and her number two Steny hoyer on this -- -- there is.
Yet there's and garlic and there's never been a lot of love lost between the two of them she did not support he when he ran for his position.
He wanted anyway but he came out this weekend said look he thinks it was important that that that record be made of who said what and -- and what people knew.
By the next day he clearly had got to talking to from the speaker's office he came back out and so while I was only talking about the Republicans we -- a record of what the Republicans did during that period of time.
But you know this is the certainly -- look -- -- -- the party more to is some people may try to distance themselves from her and and try to.
Come out and be on the side.
If we're gonna go down this we need to know what everybody there.
All right Kim all right a good move this week by the administration in a reversal President Obama said he would fight the release of dozens of photographs showing the abuse of detainees.
In Afghanistan and Iraq citing concern that the images could ignite a backlash.
Against US troops stand what's behind this.
Well I think you might call -- the real world undoubtedly.
Everybody involved the Pentagon.
General Petraeus came in to him the CIA said you cannot.
Do this it will put our people at risk -- -- trying to carry out.
Your policies and Afghanistan and harder to win the cooperation of moderate Muslims that we need from Pakistan and and and Iraq and elsewhere to cooperate with us as we fight these radicals are against thank you still ahead the Obama.
Administration and the rule of law first they trampled on -- contracts a priceless creditors now they're threatening California.
Over that states plans to close a 42 billion dollar budget gap what's behind.
Does the Obama administration have a problem with the rule of law to recent incidents might make you think so first -- trampled all over the contracts of Chrysler's creditors and now there.
Threatening the state of California over its efforts to close a 42 billion dollar budget gap in February the democratic controlled legislature -- trim 74 million dollars.
For a program that provides home health care for the elderly but bowing to pressure from the SE IU -- powerful union representing health care workers.
The Obama administration recently warned Governor Schwarzenegger -- unless the cuts are restored.
It may deny the states six point eight billion dollars in stimulus money we're back with -- here.
And -- distrustful and also joining us is.
James Freeman so that's assistant editorial page editor of the journal James can they get away with what they're trying to do in California from a legal.
They shouldn't be able to but the Obama administration is pretty brazen on this -- California officials got on a conference call to discuss this with the officials in Washington.
Part of our government and Health and Human Services Department.
There was -- -- of of people on the call lobbyist for a larger union in California several other officials from this union.
Bizarre to say the least highly unusual -- Schwarzenegger was struck and one of our writers Steve -- this week the governor.
About the budget in California he said.
It's extraordinary he couldn't quite believe it it is astounding and you cannot possibly think that California is not being bad fiscal shape you can't think that they don't.
Need the seven billion right now they are looking at a 21 billion dollar deficit.
In the upcoming fiscal year if voters there is expected to vote down a bunch of tax increase was actually but the union would say look there's a stipulation in the stimulus bill.
That you that you cannot use this money and lay off workers that's that's that's what this thing -- I put the money on local governments but it doesn't think the state Californian and this plane is bipartisan.
This is not just Arnold this is not just -- Republicans in the legislature bipartisan says it took several months for them to hash -- that's right that's right very very painstaking and painful it doesn't force the -- on local government what the plan doesn't it forces the cuts on the unions and that's what the environment restoration seems unwilling to tolerate and the unions the SE and you -- and very very powerful game one of the biggest fundraisers for President Obama during the campaign I think to the tune of about 33 million.
Dollars so this is a little -- basically.
Well it looks like payback but it also looks like they're trampling the idea of federalism I mean we had segments on this program about California on the brink of bankruptcy.
Better have another one -- -- I got out unhappiness when I thought I thought you know they've worked this deal out it was legislate built elected -- -- the people California came to disagreement and now Washington comes in on behalf of the union and says sweep debt off the table given their money.
Back what kind of system to -- home.
All right Kim let's talk a little bit about Chrysler and what happened to its unsecured creditors were supposed to have priority under the bankruptcy code you pay a premium to be a secured creditor that's why they're called secure do you go to the front of the Q.
And in this case they to seem not to have done as well in the Obama administration's proposal to the bankruptcy court.
As the union does thirty cents or so on the dollar versus fifty cents for the UAW.
What's going on here.
-- -- the exact same thing a different union this time the United Auto Workers and America but.
But this is the exact same idea years and years of bankruptcy laws say -- if you are secured creditor you come personal line.
And said that the secured creditors were told to take a -- so that.
The UAW could who emerged from all of this with not only the majority ownership of a company but you know their own -- pay back in terms of what was gonna come back to take equity older people in the in the and the company so.
This is the exact same thing -- isn't about why it's about the political objectives of the Obama administration in particular the very special interest by the way that they -- that they weren't going to -- to Ron Washington.
Now treasury says and its defense that they have to keep the union happy.
Because obviously know this is a serious -- -- have -- chaos at a record and they will tell you.
We have to keep you happy because we gotta make Chrysler going concern that taxpayers are implicated -- James Freeman are paying your money to keep that good company going.
You -- -- got to make sure that the health care benefits of the employees are taking care of you got to make sure that the union are going to cooperate going.
Forward so look the secured creditors aren't that vital we had to take care and Margaret.
What -- -- got to save Chrysler is is exactly -- an enormous toll on our whole economy and I think what this is saying investors around the world no matter what the terms are if you lend money to a -- company a company that's heavily unionized in the United States.
Doesn't matter what the contract says the government may intervene I mean this is.
This is used to be in that there's a reason nobody else wants to give Chrysler debtor in possession financing other than the federal government.
So basically they're saying with this -- your property right can be shredded.
In the name of higher or stronger political -- exactly and there's another way to put this and every -- familiar with the end justifies the means under this administration I think he had the rule of law is simply one issue on the table equal to.
Social justice the public good and in their mind.
The rule of -- simply has to take a backseat -- there and they regard that as a legitimate and clearly what operating you know what happens if they're vindicated in the bankruptcy -- the bankruptcy -- says look we agree with what the administration proposed and we're living under new system -- great this is this is so fundamental -- article one of the constitution and uniform laws on bankruptcy this is sending a message around the world that politicians are gonna rewrite -- it's it's horrendous.
All right James thanks still ahead is Afghanistan.
Obama is Vietnam.
-- his own party seem to think so.
Then there may be a revolt brewing.
Well Afghanistan as president Obama's -- now -- his decision this week to replace the top general -- makes it official but some on the left are beginning to question his strategy even going so far as to compared to.
Democrat David -- who chairs the House Appropriations Committee said last week that he was very dubious.
About a positive outcome in Afghanistan and -- felt the same way about Vietnam when he first came to congress in 1969.
But he said quote.
If I could get Richard Nixon a year I don't see why I can't give Barack Obama a year to see what he can do and quote.
Pretty amazing -- -- Hudson win -- of people covered the Vietnam syndrome typically they mean it metaphorically but here you have a case where this is the Vietnam generation are right in front of you.
What's going on here.
Well basically what we're learning is just how dishonest much of the liberal critique of Bush's war in Iraq was because if you remember people said.
It was a mistake for -- admitted the Bush Administration to -- to correct because it was a distraction from the war that we absolutely have to win the good war the good war that was the war in Afghanistan that's what the war where our NATO partners were were involved that's where Osama bin Laden.
Plotted the attacks against us.
All valid arguments by the way so long -- then you're you're -- prepared to actually support and fight the war in Afghanistan now President Obama to his credit is searching troops into Afghanistan.
He's just a point today a -- a new a new top commander for a four for that theater.
And what is the liberal wing of the party what they're proving is not that there were against the war in Iraq.
There against any war period no matter what the stakes are I -- let me ask you Robert Menendez -- New Jersey democratic senator Russ Feingold Wisconsin this week raising real doubts about whether or not they're gonna give President Obama the seven and a half billion dollars he's asked for.
And for that theater -- and -- being an utterly crucial ally and to be able to prevail in Afghanistan how much jeopardy is this money yet.
Look he's likely to get this money that the appropriations bill for the wars in the past -- of the house this -- it's headed -- -- the Senate but.
What they're doing is putting him on notice -- and they made this clear during a hearing that they -- with the president's envoy to the region Richard Holbrooke.
They they grilled him they suggested that in some way actually going after that the Taliban in Afghanistan might actually hurting things in Pakistan because of the pressure is putting on.
They're throwing up every reason that they can to to hope to set the groundwork for possibly not providing more money in the future.
Way down on us when President Obama is at 66% in the polls approval and -- raising these doubts what happens if he falls to fifty and or a year into this war well that's a big problem for the Democrats menace look at the raw politics of this fall.
They did anything during the presidential campaign.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and sought to convince the American people the day as Democrats were not soft on national security.
By and large they're pretty successful of that effort.
Look at this they're doing it again it's like genetic and the Democratic Party all of that effort to prove their credibility on national security.
Could be rolling downhill here there's a danger I think -- I am a little worried about this that you the president script going to get caught in a political crossfire the left wing of his own party wants the money.
They want that a 150 billion or so whenever we spent on Afghanistan a year.
And and the right wing of the Republican Party there's some you know isolationist elements in that party they may end up.
Opposing it as well.
Yeah and wolf we'll have to see what kind of know what kind of metal those metal the president husband -- an argument that he -- of the campaign and the argument that he's making now pisses.
Not a war we can abandon as the right one and if you look at it.
Even though the war in Afghanistan is quote not going well it's not going badly either casualties there remain a fraction of what they were in Iraq just as the casualties in Iraq -- fraction what they weren't in Vietnam.
And people have to think about the consequence of allowing Afghanistan.
To fall into the hands of the Taliban to become a sanctuary for Al cadence quickly is the move to -- general -- crystal replacing general -- and a good one.
It is I think -- -- god was with shabbily treated to be fired so puzzle publicity was he was a talented he's -- -- to jet general.
We Kristol is a -- he was responsible for the capture of Saddam Hussein and in the killing of the arch terrorist Abu Musab -- -- as our colleagues.
He spends career in special operations and that's.
But that that is the kind of skill set that you need for of these operations in the countryside -- thanks Fred we have to take one more break when we come back cheerios they drug.
And our other hits and misses of the week.
Time now for our hits and misses of the week Dan first -- you.
Health care reform is the centerpiece of the Obama agenda estimated to cost one and a half trillion dollars over ten years unfortunately they -- one thing out and that's how to.
-- -- -- Well the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing today and they tried to talk about probably would do this and on the table is -- tax on bad behavior cigarettes alcohol junk food.
Soda pop filled with sugar so bad behavior is going to pay for health care.
Big Brother Andy's Brett.
Well this is a missed it Hillary Clinton for the comments she left on the voice mail of in her indicted fund raiser Norman to roll the tape.
Call me if I get.
Any easy I've.
Ever -- anybody at.
-- -- I can't it.
-- on it you know every account you're not you're thinking he might act.
Aren't you can't beat it may happen here -- that he can't -- -- yeah elite.
You can't cut it -- Well I hope it's not lots of love by -- to have Vladimir Putin and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the next voicemail -- -- -- it's hard for him atop that.
Oh easy yeah and chairman of the board Frank Sinatra this is a big hit two Martin Scorsese the film director who's going to make a film about Frank Sinatra and his life and it's about time columnist Hollywood darling this legend.
-- -- -- -- miss the Food and Drug Administration which has sent a letter to food company General Mills saying.
Cheerios and because it contains a label saying that the product might help lower cholesterol.
Is a drug.
This means that if cheerios wants to continue can either take that label -- or as the FDA helpfully explains it can apply to become a for a new drug -- from the FDA a new blood drive and applications so.
We always worry about why the FDA doesn't have enough manpower or people out there to protect the United States from all of these food borne illnesses -- -- -- and so on.
Now we know why it's because entire departments are apparently.
Working to make sure that America's favorite breakfast food is something that needs to be prescribed by a doctor.
All right Kim looks like I'm going to have to find new breakfast food all right that's it for this week's edition of The Journal Editorial Report thanks to my panel and all of you for watching I'm apology -- we hope to see right here.
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