The Senate Intelligence Committee’s partisan “torture report” is a “disgrace” that is putting American lives at risk, Rep. Peter King of New York said Wednesday on Newsmax TV’s “America’s Forum.”
“There are embassies on alert all over the world as a result of this report coming out, but secondly and maybe most importantly, the report is entirely misleading and wrong and it’s a slander among the good men and women of the CIA,” King said.
According to the report released Tuesday by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, the CIA misled Congress and White House officials about interrogation techniques used on al-Qaida terror suspects and engaged in much more brutal enhanced tactics than publicly portrayed.
The report was solely the work of Democrats. Republicans bowed out early on when they concluded it was a partisan witch hunt intended to damage the Bush administration.
Americans had a legitimate fear after 9/11 that another attack was imminent, King said, and the CIA was being heavily criticized for failing to have secured sufficient intelligence prior to 9/11 to thwart the carnage.
“There were all pressures put on them to find where the next attack would be coming from and to find out who that could be behind it and what can be done to stop it, and everything they did was approved by the Justice Department, by the president,” King said.
“It was made known to the key members of the Intelligence Committee, both Democrat and Republican.
“They knew about it and not to over-simplify it, but … [to] put it in the starkest terms: If we had captured Mohamed Atta on Sept. 9 or Sept. 10, 2001, and we knew that somewhere within the next day or two 3,000 Americans were going to be killed in a terrorist attack and they wouldn’t have to jump out windows, they wouldn’t have to be burned to death and we could find [where] that attack was going to be, are you saying that we would not have held Mohamed Atta’s head under water?
“To me, the crime would be if we didn’t do it,” King said. “I don’t consider this torture. And when Dianne Feinstein says we have to have a just society, the fact is we’re talking about enemies here. Enemies of a foreign power who are coming to kill.”
He derided the “moral equivalency” of a few al-Qaida terrorists over the safety and welfare of thousands of Americans.
“We’re talking about three people who were waterboarded who were al-Qaida terrorists,” King said. “We’re worried about them, but we’re not worried about Americans who may be killed?
“Where is the morale equivalency here? What are we talking about? Assuming she was right and assuming that the three people who were waterboarded were treated horribly.
“That’s three al-Qaida terrorists we’ve treated badly. Assuming if the world found out about that, we’re willing to risk the murder of American citizens. This is absolutely disgraceful.”
Read more at NEWSMAX.