Sen. Bond: Obama Actions Turning Country into ‘Banana Republic’

By Lindsey Ellerson

Apr 22, 2009 3:00pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: The top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee today blasted President Obama for his willingness to consider prosecuting the architects of interrogation policies, likening the notion to the actions of a “banana republic” and saying that the discussion over interrogation tactics is “making our country less safe.” Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., said on ABCNews.com’s “Top Line” Wednesday that the policies now being scrutinized have been and will continue to be reviewed by the appropriate congressional committees, and shouldn’t be probed anew by the Justice Department. “We have been monitoring this. The leaders of the House and Senate and the intelligence committees at the time were briefed on these techniques. Now, to go back and start penalizing or punishing a previous administration is what a banana republic does,” Bond said. “Our country has never done that, and I think this is a terrible step in the wrong direction.” Asked whether Obama administration policies are harming national security, Bond said:  “I think the whole operation is making our country less safe.  When it comes to national security, the difference between President Obama’s campaign rhetoric and campaign security could not be more stark.  I think it was a very bad idea to release the memos.  The flip-flops now on whether he’s going to prosecute people create further chaos and uncertainty in the intelligence community and the other national security areas.” Releasing the memos describing the interrogation practices, he said, “cuts the feet out from our interrogators. Number two, it tells Al Qaeda and other terrorists that you have absolutely nothing to worry about from enhanced interrogation techniques. So, we are much less likely to get information.” Watch our interview with Sen. Bond HERE. Also on Wednesday’s program, Ana Marie Cox of Air America and The Daily Beast weighed in on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s foray into politics today — and on former Vice President Dick Cheney’s enhanced public profile. “He is now more fully involved in the national conversation that he ever was as vice president,” she said of Cheney. “I imagine him sort of sitting around at home in sort of his little pretend office with like his grandchildren’s teddy bears lined up for a fake Cabinet meeting.” Watch our interview with Ana Marie Cox HERE.

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