GOP Senator Lindsey Graham Thinks Release Of CIA Torture Report “Politically Motivated”

On Tuesday, after Senate Democrats released detailed report showing the CIA’s use of torture was both ineffective and far more expansive than previously acknowledged, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) released statement where he said that the release of the report was “politically motivated.” He didn’t go into details about what the political motivation was for the report, but one can assume he was discussing the appearance of so-called Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber on Tuesday before a House committee.

“The timing of the release is problematic given the growing threats we face. Terrorism is on the rise, and our enemies will seize upon this report at a critical time. Simply put, this is not the time to release the report.

“I believe its release at this time is politically motivated. I have no doubts that it will create problems for our country and the men and women serving our nation around the globe.”

Elsewhere in his statement, Graham not only claimed that there were ulterior motives for releasing the report, he also found a way to paint the Obama Administration as soft on terror. While claiming he doesn’t condone the use of terror, Graham attacked President Obama for providing basic civil and human rights to suspected terrorists and supposed “enemy combatants.”

“We have now gone from one extreme to the other. We’ve gone from waterboarding to reading Miranda Rights and providing taxpayer funded lawyers to foreign terror suspects within days of capture. In addition, we no longer hold and lawfully interrogate High Value Targets who can provide valuable intelligence to prevent future attacks.

“The policies the Obama Administration has employed treats terrorists as common criminals, not enemy combatants. I’m convinced their criminalization of the war is causing our nation to lose valued intelligence which can help protect our nation.”

First off, when dealing with the “politically motivated” timing of the report’s release, Democrats have been wanting more detailed information about the CIA’s use of torture for at least a decade now. Once the report was complete, Senate Democrats were going to release it, no matter what was going on that particular day on Capitol Hill. Considering that Republicans have one made-up scandal after another that they’re chasing, they can pretty much claim any release of important and vital information is a distraction to the Republican scandal du jour. In this instance, conservatives are trying to make hay out of an economist’s inelegant comments and are upset that real news is trumping another witch hunt.

As far as whining about Obama being soft on terrorists, it seems Graham and other Republicans want to find a way to distance themselves from the CIA’s inhumane tactics while still endorsing them. Notice how Graham carefully uses his words in his statement to demonize Obama while suggesting that we should still, you know, maybe kind of torture the bad guys.

Graham wasn’t the only one who was upset by the release of the report. Soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) co-released a statement with outgoing Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) criticizing the public release. They complained that our national security would somehow be harmed by the report’s release.

The following is from their statement, courtesy of Talking Points Memo:

“As we have both stated before, we are opposed to this study and believe it will present serious consequences for U.S. national security. Regardless of what one’s opinions may be on these issues, the study by Senate Democrats is an ideologically motivated and distorted recounting of historical events. The fact that the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation program developed significant intelligence that helped us identify and capture important al-Qa’ida terrorists, disrupt their ongoing plotting, and take down Usama Bin Ladin is incontrovertible. Claims included in this report that assert the contrary are simply wrong.”

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