Republican Rep. Scott Perry says the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the CIA's interrogation and detention techniques nearly qualifies as treason. Speaking with WPHT radio Friday, the Pennsylvania Republican added the Obama administration seems to care more about the rights of terrorists than those of United States citizens.
In the week since the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on Bush-era torture policies, we've seen more than a few unnerving responses from Republicans. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, of course, has offered Cheney-esque condemnations of the findings. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) was eager to argue that torture isn't torture.
Jon Chait flagged an especially interesting pair of tweets from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who, in rapid succession, thanked those who carried out the torture policies, and then condemned "human-rights violators" in Venezuela. Chait added, "The cognitive dissonance surely whooshed right over Rubio's elegantly coiffed head."
But if there's a race among Republicans to see who can go the furthest in this debate, Andrew Kaczynski reports that Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) is arguably near the front of the pack.
The far-right congressman said those responsible for releasing the report decided to "empower and embolden our enemies." He added, "This is completely regrettable. I think it, for me, as a military guy, it's almost treasonous, and it borders on treasonous. And it vexes me that this president, this administration, and some of his cohort are happier to be concerned about the rights of savages that will kill every American they can get their hands on, while there seem to be disconcerned [sic] about our rights, and the transparency."
Scott Perry then compared this to the grand jury process in Ferguson, Missouri, for reasons that no doubt make sense to Scott Perry.
Regardless, it's hard to know what possesses congressional Republicans to make comments like these in public.
As far as the Pennsylvania congressman is concerned, torturing detainees is acceptable, but publishing a report on U.S. policies "borders on treasonous."
Treason, by the way, is a capital crime.
Remember, Perry's over-the-top rhetoric is focused solely on condemning accuracy and transparency. The GOP lawmaker isn't outraged by what Americans did; he's outraged by the bipartisan effort to document what Americans did. His moral compass is pointing Perry in a specific direction: torture "savages," pay no attention to the fact that some of those "savages" were innocent, and condemn those defending American principles as actively trying to undermine the United States.
It's as if in contemporary Republican politics, with limited exceptions, to take national security seriously, is to embrace torture without shame or apology.
Put it in a time capsule. Future generations won't believe it.