Posted by Wordsmith on 1 December, 2015 at 6:06 am. 1 comment.


Daily Caller, via Marc Thiessen:

Imagine if your favorite NFL team was told that they could no longer use some of their most effective plays. Not only are they prohibited from using those plays, but they would be permanently limited to a more basic playbook, which they would have to make available to the general public. You’d probably be outraged, and want to know who the architect of such an unbelievably stupid approach was.

Well, believe it or not, as a result of the National Defense Authorization Act signed by Barack Obama, a limited playbook that has been made public is all that the CIA (or whatever other government agency) can use interrogations of high-value terrorists it captures. This time, we know who the architects of this eventually lethal folly are – thanks to a boastful press release from the Minnesota Peace Project.

As has been previously reported by the Daily Caller, the McCain-Feinstein Amendment that passed in June, and was signed into law the day before Thanksgiving limits all interrogators to using only those techniques described in the Army Field Manual. In short, techniques that broke high-ranking al-Qaeda members like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah are now off the table indefinitely (until Congress can repeal that provision, which may take until 2017 at the earliest). That’s a bad enough blow to our efforts to prevent the next 9/11.


The restrictions on interrogations might have been mitigated by signals intelligence (SIGINT), but America’s capabilities on that front have also been compromised, thanks to the leaks by Edward Snowden, and legislation passed in response to that controversy. While much of the focus was on the NSA’s domestic metadata collection, Snowden also compromised a number of operations abroad. A few months ago, the United Kingdom had to pull spies out of Russia and China as a result of Snowden’s disclosures, and in November, the Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point revealed that an ISIS manual cited Snowden’s revelations as it instructed members on how to maintain a low profile.

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