Please, Mr. President – Let Them Work

In Politics, The Pastor's Blog on April 23, 2009 at 4:37 PM

It can’t be much of a surprise to those of you who stop by my blog that I am not President Obama’s biggest fan. He does hold the highest political office in America, and for that, he deserves respect. It is painfully obvious the majority of Americans wanted to break away from the ideals and ideas of the Republican party. Who could blame them after a nearly constant barrage of left-leaning media coverage and obvious hatred spewing from many in the house and senate?

When four Bush-era Justice Department memos were recently released by the Obama administration, I was appalled, to say the least. These memos detailed legal guidelines to the executive branch on “enhanced interrogation techniques.” In my humble opinion, those memos should never have been released to the public; there are some things we citizens have no buisness knowing about.

One thing is certain, the fact we haven’t been attacked by terrorists in over 2,780 days says a lot about the incredible job our federal agencies have done. It has not been by accident, nor has it been a fluke. This enormous task has been accomplished by hard working men and women assigned to carry out extraordinary tasks in the defense of our nation and citizens. Hats off to all concerned.

Normally, I don’t watch CNN or read anything that appears on their media sites. While browsing through some news articles this morning, however, I came across an article by Ed Rollins in which he described how President Obama looks weak after waffling on the subject of toruture. As it so happens, I agree with Mr. Rollins on this one.

According to a Reuters article, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters there is a fear of potential backlash in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places our U. S. troops and civilian government officials are exposed to Islamist militants. He also said releasing the memos was inevitable due to a new Senate Armed Services Committee report dealing with detainee treatment at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Please, Mr. President, let our CIA operatives do their job and keep us safe. Don’t tie their hands to the point they have no way to interrogate terrorists and the unrelenting thugs of this world. In case you haven’t noticed, there are scores of people who are not our friends and want to do irreparable damage to our nation.

What do you think on the subject? Do you believe the president is doing a good job? A bad job?

  1. It’s worth noting that the Army and the CIA have been in conflict on this issue.

    For my own part, I side with the Army and what I see as the ethical high road. I don’t think that the US Army is known for its pie-in-the-sky touchy-feely reputation, or for neglecting national security interests.

    The CIA has a job to do, but they still work for us and we, the people who are supposed to hold power in the Republic do need to know what is going on.

    To be honest, this is something on which Obama ran — that he was going to reverse Bush administration policy regarding interrogations. In that respect, and on this issue, I give him credit for keeping his promise.

    • Wickle,
      Thanks so much for giving your thoughts on a very hot topic. Your response is well-taken; I do have a question about your comment regarding our Army and the ethical high road. Are you saying the Army does not use, as the post referred to “enhanced interrogation techniques?” If they don’t, I was not aware of it. If they do, I don’t believe, according to the definition of torture, they engage in it. What the CIA agents were doing wasn’t torture either, according to definition.

      I am a retired military man who believes the American public does not need to know every detail about our government. Some would say “that leaves an awful lot to chance.” Yes, it does. Military personnel are highly trained people who, for the most part, carry out their duties in a highly professional manner. Why do you feel we need to know everything that goes on in respect to the CIA? I don’t want to know about their operations in a certain place at a certain time, and having read some of your thoughtful comments and posts, don’t believe you do, either.

      As more information is disclosed, honest people will begin to see the Bush administration had an monumental task ahead of them as they did all in their power to keep this great nation safe. We have benefited on more than one occasion from those “enhanced interrogation techniques” Bush lawyers approved of. Personally, I’m glad several attacks were thwarted because we got invaluable information from known terrorists.

      Wickle, even though we may not see eye-to-eye on this issue, you are always welcome here.

  2. Personally, I do not like the fact that these tactics had to be used, but I recognize that the Bush administration may have very well felt like it was fighting an uphill battle against the terrorists. I can well understand how they may have felt they had to use any means necessary to prevent another attack.

    As Wickle stated, President Obama campaigned on this very thing, that he would reverse the Bush policies on things like this. It should come as no surprise that he is keeping his promise. As for him doing a good job, that remains to be seen. It does seem like he is overly apologetic for all things American and is willing to let our country take the blame for a lot of things that were out of our control.

    One thing you pointed out is very relevant. With some of his actions, Obama runs the risk of putting so many restrictions on our military and intelligence agencies that their hands will be shackled and they will be prevented from doing their jobs effectively. We need to remember one thing. Although they certainly need to take the moral high road on a lot of issues, they are charged with defending the Constitution and with keeping our country safe from harm. We need not to make it a harder job than it already is.

    • Larry, what you said in your first paragraph is exactly right. I would rather the Bush administration had not been faced with such decisions, but they were and did what they though was in the country’s best interest. I’m thankful so many hard decisions were made on our behalf, but I wish it weren’t so.

      Again, it is no surprise the president is keeping his campaign promises regarding so many Bush policies. One thing that might “make the medicine go down” a little smoother would be for Mr. Obama to quit harping on the idea the only bad policies our country has seen started when Bush #2 got into office. Personally, I’m sick of the back-stabbing nature of his remarks. Changing policies is certainly within a president’s purview, but does he have to constantly criticize the former administration?

      Larry, I’m all for governance being in place over our CIA and military, but I do not think it needs to interfere with these two entities doing their assigned tasks. When I was on active duty, I would often give my people a task or tasks to do and would let them take care of the situation. I would not arbitrarily tell them how to do it, but was there in case they needed my help. The point is, my people didn’t need me to hold their hands; they did their jobs well.

      How must the military personnel and CIA operatives feel and think when they are so maligned by the very people who should be giving them support? Just a thought. BTW, I like what you wrote in your last paragraph: “We need to remember one thing. Although they certainly need to take the moral high road on a lot of issues, they are charged with defending the Constitution and with keeping our country safe from harm. We need not to make it a harder job than it already is.” Good points.

  3. I totally agree with you. I really wish the President would get off his high horse and stop his continually jabs at George W. Bush. I have said it time after time on my own blog. Bush was not a perfect President, but then who has been? Contrary to popular belief among Democrats and liberals, the blame for all that is wrong in our country does not lie at the feet of Bush alone.

  4. Hi. Sorry, I kind of took the weekend off from blogging.

    Yes, the Army has had a lot of conflict with the CIA over interrogation methods. I’ll see if I can find some articles to link.

    As to secrecy … I agree in part. I don’t want, for example, the plans for the B-2 posted online. I don’t want to see the wiring diagram for an Aegis radar system.

    But I do think that we need to watch secrecy very carefully. That’s a power which would be easily abused — and has been.

    However, I absolutely agree with you and Larry — it’s long since time for Pres. Obama to run his own administration, not prance around just saying he’s not Pres. Bush.

    • @wickle: Your points are taken regarding the Army and CIA relative to interrogation methods. I recall some stink being raised about Abu Ghraib. Mind you, that whole affair should have been handled internally instead of being paraded all over the world for terrorists and everyone else to see. No need to add more fuel to an already combustible situation.

      As to secrecy, who would be, in your opinion, the best ones to keep track of secrecy? This is a touchy subject and has been debated for decades. I don’t know if there is an easy solution. We citizens should be informed about the affairs of our government.

      I suppose it all boils down to the need for those charged with the defense of our nation to be allowed to act accordingly. There must be oversight, but every citizen doesn’t need to know every detail. I like what you wrote about the wiring diagrams – that’s exactly what I’m talking about.

      Let these men and women do their jobs and let there be integrity enough for those entrusted with oversight to handle the task.

      Again, thanks for your comments.

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