Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Torture or Necessary Coercion?

I often do not agree with Bill O'Reilly but occasionally he makes sense. But the liberals and John McCains position on terrorist interrogation is utter nonsense. McCain was tortured by the Vietnamese who had signed the Geneva convention but failed to abide by it, as have none of the countries we have ever gone to war with. So his position that it will endanger US troops in future wars by interrogating terrorists is misguided. Thus I am posting this editorial in full.
Tough Terror Talk

Tuesday, September 19, 2006
By Bill O'Reilly

Now, I've got a question for you tonight: If terrorists captured your child, what kind of action would you support? That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

Let's stop all the nonsense, shall we? A month ago, two FOX News journalists were captured by terrorists in Gaza. Their lives obviously were in danger. Thank God they were released.

But if some terrorist was captured, and had information about where these guys were being held, are you telling me the authorities can only ask them name, rank, and jihad number? Is that what you're telling me John McCain, Colin Powell, and other senators who oppose coerced interrogation?

Thanks to Newsweek magazine, we now know what we're talking about. As you may know, the military, thanks to the McCain bill, can now not do anything to coerce information out of suspected terrorists -- nothing at all. In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal, American police have more latitude in interrogating criminals than the military has in questioning detainees captured on the battlefield.

Now there's a debate over what the CIA can do. The president wants the agency to be able to use the following techniques: cold rooms, forced standing for a long period of time, sleep deprivation, grabbing a suspect's shirt, slapping a suspect's belly, and using loud noise and bright lights. That's it. That is the torture nation.

In an unbelievably foolish display, far-left [New York Times columnist and] Princeton Professor Paul Krugman poses this question. "Why is Mr. Bush so determined to engage in torture?"

Well, here's your answer, professor, not that you'd ever consider anybody else's point of view but your own. The president's trying to stop attacks on Americans. Get it, sir?

We tried to get some of the senators opposed to coerced interrogation on “The Factor” this evening. Most of them are hiding under their desks. That's because they know the American people realize this whole debate is absolutely ridiculous.

Breaking it down, when lives are at stake, name, rank and jihad number doesn't cut it. And I believe there will be a compromise on the Senate floor. And President Bush will get the power to order the CIA to use tough interrogation methods.

I also believe the debate has hurt Senator McCain, and Colin Powell, and others who put a torture label on things that are obviously not torture.

Causing a suspected terrorist discomfort is necessary at times to get information. Those techniques have to be closely monitored and used only with presidential approval. But enough is enough with this baloney. We're fighting a war here. All the theory in the world is not going to defeat the enemy -- who is laughing at us as this debate takes the Senate floor this week. They're laughing at us.
And that's "The Memo."


Blogger Repack Rider said...

Causing a suspected terrorist discomfort is necessary at times to get information.

Please. Once you head in that direction, where do you stop? If there were a single example of these "techniques," a euphemism for torture, extracting life-saving information in a fashion more timely than any other method could have, I would like to hear it. Anyone claiming it to be an effective technique should be required to show examples that were not ridiculous, hypothetical thought experiments. "What if a terrorist had a nuke? And we could only save New York if we had the authority to give him a belly-slap?" So far we haven't seen any successes that were not written in Hollywood.

This idea that you can subject someone else to treatment that you yourself would avoid at all costs reveals what it is, a sick revenge fantasy by sociopathic leaders. If we start beating up prisoners, how MUCH beating is permitted, how many punches or slaps or pushes or head-noogies?

What if the guy is innocent, like the poor guy we had tortured in Syria for a year or so? Would telling the truth, that he is innocent of everything charged, stop the abuse? Can you torture a guy enough to make him admit he's innocent?

Here's my test of the appropriateness of any physical "technique." Ask the heads of the DoD or the CIA to have them performed on themselves. If it's okay for them, I have no problem with it being used on others.

Anyone who thinks torture, or "harsh interrogation techniques" as some would like us to call them, is an American value, or that we are somehow entitled to use them because we are "better" than those "barbarians" or "terrorists" who don't fight "fair" with uniforms and armies and national anthems and they behead people and use IEDs, is not an American. We are no better than we act, and if we also act like barbarians, that's what we are.

If we do everything Saddam did, what was our excuse again for toppling him?

5:03 PM, September 19, 2006  

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