© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bond asserts that in dealing with CIA, Obama worse than Cheney

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 24, 2009 -  U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond,R-Mo., reported this morning that he recently returned from a week-long overseas trip "where he met with important European allies in Denmark and Greece about national security and defense issues and to promote the sale of St. Louis-made fighter planes.

“Boeing-St. Louis produces the finest military products in the world and I am proud to promote the outstanding engineering, superb innovation and high quality production that Boeing workers put into fighter planes,” said Bond in a statement.

Bond added that his aim, in part, is "to keep manufacturing lines open here at home and in promoting foreign sales to our close friends and allies abroad. Both Greece and Denmark are looking to upgrade their fighter aircraft inventories..."

Bond particularly talked up the St. Louis-built F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter/attack plane.

As we reported earlier --

Updated 4:20 p.m. Mon., Aug. 24: U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo. and Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is slamming President Barack Obama's administration over its plans "to take over the interrogation of terrorists." Bond calls the White House action "a bizarre vote of no confidence" in new CIA Director Leon Panetta.

Bond has come out sharply opposed to the White House plan, announced today, which calls for an elite group of FBI interrogators who, among other things, are well-versed in foreign languages and non-violent interrogation techniques. The program would be under the oversight of the White House, with no direct involvement of the CIA.

Bond called it "a bizarre vote of no confidence in the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the CIA, and the dedicated intelligence professionals who have worked to keep America safe from another attack on our soil since 9-11."

“What does the White House have against Leon Panetta?” asked Bond in a statement sent out today. “This bizarre move is a vote of no confidence in not only the terror-fighters who have kept us safe since 9-11 but their very own CIA Director.”<

Bond also asserted that "the Administration’s takeover of terrorist interrogations is an unprecedented and dangerous power grab over our nation’s intelligence community."

“Chrysler and Citigroup apparently weren’t enough; now the White House is taking over the CIA and how we interrogate Osama bin Laden,” said Bond. “Even the Democrats’ favorite boogeyman Dick Cheney did not take over terrorist interrogations.”

Bond said the idea of "moving decisions on terrorist interrogations into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is a blatant injection of politics into our intelligence operations – a claim Democrats have repeatedly launched against former Vice President Dick Cheney...(and) a dangerous return to a pre-9-11 mindset."


Later Monday, Bond joined several top Senate Republicans in sending a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, to protest his decision to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the CIA interrogations of suspected terrorists.

Said the letter, in part:

“We are deeply disappointed by today’s announcement that you have chosen to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate CIA officials who interrogated al Qaeda terrorists. As we explained to you in a letter dated August 19, 2009, reopening those cases—which career prosecutors have already determined do not warrant criminal prosecution—could, among other things, have a chilling effect on the work of the intelligence community. 

“We believe that the concerns raised in our letter warranted, at a minimum, careful consideration and a reasoned response. Instead, you moved forward without responding to our concerns or discussing with a coordinate branch of government the potential national security consequences that may result if the intelligence community is operating against a backdrop of prosecutions.  The handling of this important issue calls into question your confirmation hearing commitments that you would establish a ‘full partnership’ with Congress and that you ‘recognize that congressional oversight and judicial review are necessary, beneficial attributes of our system of government...." 

"...Moreover, history has shown that special prosecutors, who lack the accountability of career prosecutors to Justice Department management, often take an expansive view of their investigative authority.  Thus, despite your assurances that this investigation will be narrow and focused, there is a real risk that today’s announcement portends a long, arduous, and unpredictable process for the intelligence community. By delegating the prosecutorial function to a largely unchecked special prosecutor, you are responsible for having set a course that may diminish our intelligence efforts, which fundamentally rely on forward-leaning responses to national security concerns...." 

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.