Today’s announcement that Attorney General Holder has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate alleged anti torture law violations by the CIA is a monumental blunder by the Obama administration. As the cynical among us (including me) point to the obvious distraction value that this special prosecutor appointment will provide for a vacationing president during a failed healthcare debate, real proponents of national security see a President hoisting himself on a political petard that could ruin his presidency. In short, there is no political traction to be gained by prosecuting individuals that were told their actions were protected by carefully considered legal opinions from the White House Office of Legal Counsel.
The cynicism of this decision by the Obama White House is breathtaking in its timing and obtuseness. This administration truly believes it can walk this announcement by an unsuspecting electorate in the midst of the most contentious political debate in fifteen years and yet avoid the obvious comparisons to “Wagging the Dog”. As I’ve said before, the ruling elites in Washington think voters are stupid not just some of the time, but all of the time. The blatant transparency of the prosecutor appointment is a bone that may well satisfy the rabid Left’s base but it will infuriate a far bigger constituency that values national security more than any other issue. In his attempt to escape the uncomfortable frying pan of a robust health care debate the President has jumped, along with many far Left Congressmen, straight into the fire. So be it. Let the subpoenas fly. The public needs to know the facts about what men like Vice President Dick Cheney have been unable to say for years.
Another element of this story is that President Obama has done untold damage to the power of the Office of the President. Since the demise of the Nixon administration there has been a power struggle of literally constitutional proportions waged between the Executive and the Legislative Branch. In a single stroke, by allowing the appointment of this Special prosecutor, President Obama has forfeited years of mandates and precedents that protected his Office from the encroachments of Congress. God help him if he ever faces a real crisis that requires decisive Executive action.
Cue the music. What a fool believes….