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May 16, 2009

ON TORTURE

Democrats want to prosecute Bush-era lawyers for aiding and abetting what they call torture. Specifically, they want to prosecute and jail anybody that had anything to do with authorizing or allowing the procedure known as waterboarding. This technique was used to crack key terrorists that resisted other forms of interrogation, and led directly to information that prevented additional terrorist attacks on our country.

Nancy Pelosi got herself trapped in this process because it appears that she knew waterboarding was going on even while repeatedly condemning it in public, since condemnation of "torture" is politically the stance she has to take. She has since tried to spin all kinds of stories about what she knew and when she knew it, looking ever more foolish in the process. The upshot is that if the Democrats want to go ahead with witch-hunting any Bush administration officials, Pelosi will probably have to resign to avoid charges of hypocrisy.

Something very similar happened to the Republicans in 1998, when then-Speaker Designate Bob Livingston had to resign before the impeachment of Clinton, because Livingston had been caught in adultery, eroding whatever moral authority he had over Clinton.

Here is a good rundown of the facts behind the Bush administration authorization of waterboarding, along with a concise analysis of how stupid any attempt by the Democrats to wallow in this pigsty of revenge would be.

As for me, it seems to be clear as glass that what the United States did to these terrorists is in no way torture. Scary, uncomfortable, panic-inducing? Yes, by all means - that's why it works. Besides the "well duh!" legal concept of intent mentioned at the Protein Wisdom post, consider the meticulous and deliberate legal and moral analysis our elected officials performed prior to authorizing the strictly limited and medically supervised application of effective techniques proven time and again to be harmless to the subject. Now compare that with what John McCain went through. The difference is clear.

My question in response to those who feel that waterboarding is torture is this: how disconnected from humanity do you have to be to callously stand there and listen to KSM say "Soon, you will know!" and not use the safe, legal means you have available to you to prevent the certain loss of innocent life?

So, Speaker Pelosi, you want to tell us now that had you known definitively in 2002 that waterboarding was being used to extract information from captured terrorists, you would have prevented its use on KSM, even though we had confirmed information from other sources that he knew details of imminent 9/11-style attacks on America, including the the possibility of a group of terrorists flying a commercial airliner into the Transamerica building in your congressional district?

Who's the inhuman monster now, huh? Connect those dots, Democrats.

These terrorists are ideology-driven stateless fanatics, religious pirates, and suicidal sub-humans. President Obama is routinely exterminating them and nearby innocents with missile fire from Predator drones (continuing the policy of the Bush administration). Is it not torture to have your legs blown off, but torture to harmlessly experience simulated drowning?

Is imprisoning them indefinitely at Gitmo without full American Constitutional legal rights torture? Remember, they are not foot soldiers in uniform following the orders of leaders who have declared war and signed the Geneva Convention, so they have no rights, other than those we feel morally compelled to give them. Historically, we have submitted similar captured madmen to military tribunals at a time and place of our choosing, usually after the end of declared hostilities. Since there are no declared hostilities, and no state authority to surrender to us even if there was, we can morally and legally hold them as long as we want to, and try them at our convenience.

This is what President Obama is now planning to do (restoring the Bush policy he campaigned against). Will Obama also be hauled in front of Congress as a war criminal and torturer?

Terrorists know what they are in for when they take up arms against us. They know they can't fight us directly at a military level, so they run a pirate organization to inflict as much terror and damage as they can. Unfortunately, they also know we often fight with one hand tied behind our backs, and that getting captured by America is tantamount to getting a book deal and a 60 Minutes profile. They use this weakness of ours to their advantage, applying Western public relations techniques to sell their spin - the poor, brave freedom fighters against the evil modern Republican Hitlers.

So as far as I can surmise, the Democrat party's position on torture is - take no prisoners, ever. Either vaporize them on sight, or let our allies capture, hold, and interrogate them for us. Problem is, we ain't got no allies we can trust who will do so (the EU, Canada and Australia are, if anything, more squeamish about waterboarding than we are). So extermination it is, I guess. Right, Nancy?

Actually, I'm fine with that. I'll trade waterboarding for extermination any day of the week.

Posted by: JBD at 05:05 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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