Torture politics makes for strange bedfellows. For those of you who think the Obama Administration doesn’t know how to work with Republicans, think again. North Carolina’s Republican Senator, Richard Burr, may soon be one of the Obama Administration’s best friends.
Burr, now a member of the Chairman of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, is the presumptive Chairman of the Committee, if as predicted the Republicans take control of the Senate.
Why will they be friends? It’s simple. The Administration’s stall ball, its protracted review of the Committee’s long-anticipated report on the nation’s torture program, has taken us to late October. Just in time to see the Senate flip to a Republican majority that will almost certainly spike release of the report, say Senate staffers. After all Burr, the Chairman in waiting, is the guy who jested with a witness during a hearing: “I see you’re on your fourth glass of water and I don’t want to be accused of waterboarding you.”
The clock is ticking down on the Committee’s effort to release a public accounting of our nation’s failed and repugnant torture program.
Six months have passed since the Intelligence Committee voted to release its 480-page executive summary of its review of our nation’s “enhanced interrogation” program. By all accounts the report is shocking. It “exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation. It chronicles a stain on our history that must never again be allowed to happen,” the Committee’s leader, California’s Dianne Feinstein, said in April.