Tags: Al-Qaida | Exclusive Interviews | Steve Malzberg Show | War on Terrorism | MaryMatalin | DianneFeinstein | interrogation

Mary Matalin: Feinstein's Report Goes 'Way Beyond Hypocrisy'

By Aaron Stern   |   Tuesday, 08 Apr 2014 06:27 PM

Sen. Dianne Feinstein wants to declassify the Senate Intelligence Committee's scathing report on Bush-era interrogation tactics. Political strategist Mary Matalin thinks Feinstein has lost her way.

Last month, Feinstein, a California Democrat and chairwoman of the committee, said it was critical to declassify the report to "ensure that an un-American, brutal program of detention and interrogation will never again be considered or permitted."

Politico has reported that she is still adamant about making public the details of the 6,300-page document.

That puzzles Matalin, a former adviser to the George W. Bush administration, because she says Feinstein was fully aware and used to be fully supportive of the tactics of which the committee's report is so critical.

"It would be laughable if it wasn't so despicable," Matalin told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"This is way beyond hypocrisy. This is blatant, overt fabrication. She was there, everybody approved of it, everybody knew of it," Matalin said Tuesday.

Story continues below video.

Matalin said Feinstein was the Bush administration's go-to contact in the Senate for coordinating Homeland Security information before and after 9/11.

"She knows the information, she knows the lives that were saved, she knows the plots that have been thwarted," Matalin said.

The report is expected to show that no meaningful information was revealed through enhanced interrogation techniques, but Matalin said such tactics were critical in gathering information from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, that led to the successful 2011 raid on Osama Bin Laden's hideout.

"We got to Osama bin Laden through [Mohammed's] resistance of admitting that he knew the courier. I mean, that's how you piece it together. It's an art form; it's not a specific science. These guys are highly trained to do it," Matalin said.

Matalin said she thinks the report is part of a Democratic strategy to rally the Democratic base in a midterm election year.

To combat what is expected to be an uphill political battle against voter disappointment with Obamacare and Obama's low approval ratings, Democrats are trying to "pull out the old bogeymen" of Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, she said.

"What's super-despicable about this is these Democrats, for their own political purposes, for this midterm, are attacking the very public servants, our security professionals, who cannot defend themselves or will not defend themselves because they fear declassifying their rebuttal would compromise sources and methods," Matalin said.

What's worse, she said, is that abandoning the very tactics that have kept the U.S. largely safe from terrorist attacks over the last decade has "really serious security consequences."

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden has been criticized by Democrats for telling Fox News last weekend that Feinstein was too emotional to lead an objective report, but Matalin said it isn't emotion that has clouded Feinstein's judgment – though Matalin said she doesn't know what made Feinstein change her view of the CIA's post-9/11 interrogation methods.

"I don't know what's got into Dianne Feinstein," she said. "I'd say it's worse than emotion, it's something inexplicable and does not comport with her known reputation. It's really sad."

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