Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Reading the "black site" tea leaves

A little over a month ago, Republicans were threatening to track down the person who clued Dana Priest into the existence of our secret prison facilities in Europe. If you'll remember, the official Nitpicker stance was this was an argument that we'd love to have with the Republicans.
This could be an all-out, to-the-mattresses fight over the values that we Americans truly hold dear and, in the process, we might even save our country's soul.
Republicans had made the mistake of thinking all leaks are equal and, therefore, if you're going to look into our man's outing of a CIA agent, we're going to find out who let the "black site" secret out of the bag.

In the month that's passed since then it seems they may have realized that Americans do not share their view and they're scooting away from anything that might look like an endorsement of these sites.
The Senate is poised to approve a measure that would require the Bush administration to provide Congress with its most specific and extensive accounting about the secret prison system established by the Central Intelligence Agency to house terrorism suspects.

The measure includes amendments that would require the director of national intelligence to provide regular, detailed updates about secret detention facilities maintained by the United States overseas, and to account for the treatment and condition of each prisoner. The facilities, established after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, are thought to hold two dozen to three dozen terrorism suspects, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who is said to be the mastermind of the attacks.

An agreement reached Wednesday between Democrats and Republicans called for the measure to be approved by unanimous consent, but it was unclear on Wednesday night when a final vote might occur.
I'd be willing to bet that some senators received some angry calls about this and were put in the position of either saying "I agree with this policy" or saying "we had no idea" and admitting that Bush's "Congress gets the same intelligence we do" WMD defense is bullshit. So, basically, they're splitting the difference--neither defending the policy or explicitly admitting they knew nothing about it--saying that they simply want Bush to keep them in the loop.

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