Oconee County Democratic Party

NovemberDecember 2014January


Letter to the Editor: CIA report dealt in cold, hard facts

 In 12/17 Seneca Journal:


The Senate’s report on the CIA’s use of torture is incomplete, the critics charge, because not one CIA officer was interviewed. Former CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden is particularly incensed: He is named more than 200 times and wasn’t even in the agency when the abuses occurred!

But Hayden is not charged with authorizing extreme measures; he is charged with deceiving Congress by dealing in half-truths: Useful information may have been gleaned from CIA questioning — in most cases avoiding extreme measures — but there is little documentary evidence that torture elicited reliable responses. Quite the opposite: Subjects will say anything to stop the agony.

It is the torture that has sullied America’s standing in the world, not the questioning. It is the reason why the FBI — which has had much more interrogation experience than the CIA — shuns the use of strong-arm tactics, and backed out of working with the CIA when its field officers were ordered to turn up the heat.

Post-event testimonies are carefully scripted. Like comb-overs and push-up bras, they enhance the positives while hiding the negatives. Instead, the Senate report dealt solely with cold, unvarnished facts, gleaned from the CIA’s own e-mails, reports and memos. The post-event testimonies of officers involved would have shed little useful light; the documents speak for themselves. Like Hayden’s statements, they would only have muddied the waters.

Carlos Luria, Salem

Letter to the Editor: Republicans -- the party of spend, spend, spend

In Seneca Journal, November 25


Thank you for publishing the Associated Press article Nov. 21 “House intel panel debunks Benghazi theories.” That’s right: Benghazi — no wrongdoing! Sen. Graham, you owe South Carolinians an apology for wasting our money and time. Two years and seven investigations: all for politics. For your career. Nothing else.

The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee released report results on Friday afternoon — practically in secret — which found:

CIA and military acted properly.

No wrongdoing by President Obama or appointees.

No intelligence failure.

No delay in CIA response.

No missed opportunity for military rescue.

No government office (not Rice, not Clinton) acted in bad faith.

No government office (not Rice, not Clinton) intentionally misled the American people.

Again — from the Republican-led committee. Not my words.

Sen. Graham, you owe the American people, President Obama, ambassador Rice and secretary Clinton apologies for wasting two years and damaging honest people’s careers.

Sen. Graham, you also owe your constituents, in S.C. and the U.S., an invoice detailing the cost of two years of Benghazi investigations in the House and Senate — seven investigations! How much money (How many government employees worked? What was their payroll? How much paper Xeroxed? How much electricity used in Congress?) did Congress spend on political games?

Republicans, please stop wasting and spending our money. We need higher wages, healthcare and better quality of life. Please focus on serious issues and not your political futures. Please serve the people.

Paulette Keffas-Chassin, Seneca

NOV. 22 Breakfast: Focus on Affordable Health Care

Our regular monthly breakfasts will resume at 9 am, Saturday, November 22 with our featured speaker Dr. Peter Sparks, Clemson Free Clinic.  He will be speaking about the Affordable Care Act ... and other things.  Dr. Sparks is always informative ... and entertaining. Please come with questions for him!  Location: Our HQ -- 121 N. Townville St., Seneca.  

Also, let's talk about expanded usage of our OCDP headquarters.  It's a great space and location ... and newly painted by Bruce Marshall and Paulette Keffas-Chassin.   Please bring a breakfast goody to share, too


Bruce showing off one of his many talents!

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