December 13, 2007

Pain & Congress

If only our politicians spent as much time worrying about our national security as they do playing Pictionary games, then we'd all be better off (see below).

The definition of "torture"? The deliberate infliction of intense pain... or whenever a politician opens his/her mouth. // IBD Editorials  |  December 12, 2007

Would Democrats Waterboard Atta?

War On Terror: The question above, assuming we had 9/11 mastermind Mohammed Atta in custody on 9/10, is what those grilling the director of the CIA on interrogation techniques ought to be required to answer.

One of the ironies of the Senate inquiry into the destruction of the CIA tapes showing the waterboarding of captured jihadists is that the point is essentially moot. Thanks to the enhanced scrutiny of enhanced interrogation techniques, those who'd kill us all know first of all that nobody has died from waterboarding or ever will. And it's unlikely to ever be used again.

Democrats have created a climate where investigators are to follow some kind of Robert's Rules of Order and the interrogators are to be more fearful than those they interrogate. The next Khalid Sheik Mohammed or Abu Zubaydah can rest easy: Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., is looking out for you.

Director Hayden outlawed the technique in 2006. But we didn't necessarily want the terrorists to know that or what other techniques, like being forced to listen to Rosie O'Donnell, might be employed. If we do not torture, we would still want captured jihadists to think we do, that we will do more than read them their Miranda rights and ask if they want an attorney.

The Senate hearings are technically more about the destruction of the tapes than waterboarding itself. Of course, the goal of the Democrats is more to embarrass the Bush administration than to protect the U.S. We do not know how many viewing or reading about these hearings are alive because waterboarding extracted information about post-9/11 attacks.

Despite the brouhaha, waterboarding has been used on exactly three prisoners — Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11; Abu Zubayda, Osama bin Laden's chief of operations; and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who the government says coordinated the attack on the USS Cole. It hasn't been used since 2003 and only because the CIA, and everyone else, expected a second wave of attacks after 9/11.

It was the interrogation of Zubaydah, the first high-value detainee taken by the CIA in 2002, that led us to 9/11 accomplice Ramzi Binalshibh. Interrogations of both terrorists then led us to Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

Former CIA agent John Kiriakou, leader of the team that captured Zubaydah, said waterboarding broke the jihadist in about 35 seconds. Use of the technique gained information that probably disrupted "dozens" of planned al-Qaida attacks, saving countless lives, Kiriakou says.

This destroys the canard that what is defined as torture is useless because terrorists will provide only useless information or tell interrogators what they want to hear.

Is waterboarding in fact torture? Not if torture is defined as the deliberate infliction of intense pain and possible physical harm. Waterboarding instilled fear, and we see no reason terrorists should not be afraid, very afraid, of us.

In a letter to CIA employees acknowledging the existence and destruction of the tapes, Hayden said: "The leaders of our oversight committees in Congress were informed of the videos years ago and of the agency's intention to dispose of the material."

This would presumably include the ranking members of the Senate and House intelligence committees at the time — Democratic Rep. Jane Harman and Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

True or not, we do know, and have reported, that the congressional leaders of both parties were extensively briefed on the techniques used in interrogating captured prisoners. Thanks to Democrats and the mainstream media, so were the terrorists who are trying to kill us.

Original article here.


[Comment Rules]
We welcome your comments, but please comply with our Comment Rules. You must be registered and logged in to leave a comment. Comments will display your Username and location.

Log In »

Not a member? Register here!