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Old 27 April 2009, 10:26
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Americans and "torture"...what if it is Osama Bin Ladin?

Michael Scheuer raises a good point in the article below.

What if it is Osama? What if we catch him...what then? Is waterboarding ok if it is OBL?

I say ok regardless, as I do not think wb is torture when used against terrorists.

---------------------------------


Michael Scheuer, the chief of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit from 1996 to
1999, is the author of "Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq."

Say It's Osama. What If He Won't Talk?

By Michael Scheuer
Sunday, April 26, 2009

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/24/AR2009042403459.html

In surprisingly good English, the captive quietly answers: 'Yes, all thanks
to God, I do know when the mujaheddin will, with God's permission, detonate
a nuclear weapon in the United States, and I also know how many and in which
cities." Startled, the CIA interrogators quickly demand more detail. Smiling
his trademark shy smile, the captive says nothing. Reporting the
interrogation' s results to the White House, the CIA director can only shrug
when the president asks: "What can we do to make Osama bin Laden talk?"

Americans should keep this worst-case scenario in mind as they watch the
tragicomic spectacle taking place in the wake of the publication of the
Justice Department's interrogation memos. It will help them recognize this
episode of political theater as another major step in the bipartisan
dismantling of America's defenses based on the requirements of presidential
ideology. George W. Bush's democracy-spreading philosophy yielded the
invasion of Iraq and set the United States at war with much of the Muslim
world. Bush's worldview thereby produced an enemy that quickly outpaced the
limited but proven threat-containing capacities of the major U.S.
counterterrorism programs -- rendition, interrogation and unmanned aerial
vehicle attacks.

Now, in a single week, President Obama has eliminated two-thirds of that
successful-but- not-sufficient national defense troika because his personal
ideology -- a fair gist of which is "If the world likes us more we are more
secure" -- cannot tolerate harsh interrogation techniques, torture or
coercive interviews, call them what you will. Surprisingly, Obama now stands
alongside Bush as a genuine American Jacobin, both of them seeing the world
as they want it to be, not as it is. Whereas Bush saw a world of Muslims
yearning to betray their God for Western secularism, Obama gazes upon a
globe that he regards as largely carnivore-free and believes that remaining
threats can be defused by semantic warfare; just stop saying "War on Terror"
and give talks in Turkey and on al-Arabiyah television, for example.

Americans should be clear on what Obama has done. In a breathtaking display
of self-righteousness and intellectual arrogance, the president told
Americans that his personal beliefs are more important than protecting their
country, their homes and their families. The interrogation techniques in
question, the president asserted, are a sign that Americans have lost their
"moral compass," a compliment similar to Attorney General Eric Holder's
identifying them as "moral cowards." Mulling Obama's claim, one can wonder
what could be more moral for a president than doing all that is needed to
defend America and its citizens? Or, asked another way, is it moral for the
president of the United States to abandon intelligence tools that have saved
the lives and property of Americans and their allies in favor of his own
ideological beliefs?

Before enthroning Obama's personal morality as U.S. defense policy, of
course, some dirty work had to be done. Last Sunday, Obama's hit man and
White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel led the charge by telling the
American people that the interrogation techniques are a major recruiting
tool for al-Qaeda and its Islamist partners. Well, no, Mr. Emanuel, that is
not at all the case. The techniques surely are not popular with our foes and
their supporters -- should that be a concern in any event? -- but they do
not even make the Islamists' hit parade of anti-U.S. recruiting tools. That
list is headed by Washington's support for Arab tyrannies in Saudi Arabia
and Egypt, its presence on the Arabian Peninsula and its unqualified support
for Israel. Still, Emanuel's statement surely sounded plausible to Americans
who have received no education about our Islamist enemy's true motivation
from Obama, George W. Bush, Clinton or George H.W. Bush.

Next, the president used his personal popularity and the stature of his
office to implicitly identify as liars those former senior U.S. officials
who know -- not "argue" or "contend" or "assert" but know -- that the
interrogation techniques have yielded intelligence essential to the nation's
defense. The integrity, intellect and reputations of Judge Michael Mukasey,
Gen. Michael V. Hayden and others have now been besmirched by Obama because
their realistic worldview and firsthand experience do not mesh with the
president's desire to install his personal "moral compass" as the core of
U.S. foreign and defense policy. And after visiting CIA headquarters last
week, the president made it clear that he rejected statements surely made by
CIA officers who risked their careers to tell him how many successful covert
operations against al-Qaeda have flowed from interrogation information. As
with all Jacobins, Obama cannot allow a hard and often brutal reality --
call it an inconvenient truth -- to impinge on his view of how the world
should and must be made to work.

And so as the Justice Department memos farce plays out over the coming
weeks, Americans can be confident that both parties will play politics to
the hilt while letting the nation's safety take the hindmost. Obama and his
team will "reluctantly" agree to a congressional investigation of former
Bush officials and serving CIA officers, politically targeted indictments
from Holder's minions and perhaps even a truth commission to prove that even
the United States can aspire to be a half-baked Third World country.

Republicans will welcome the Democrats' actions as a chance to reclaim their
mantle as the most reliable protectors of U.S. national security. They will
seek to prove that Obama and his party are eager to persecute the men and
women who defend America and will denounce Democratic actions as a "witch
hunt." Those words were used last week by Sen. John McCain, a man who seems
to have forgotten that as a presidential candidate he, more than anyone,
persuaded Americans that the interrogation techniques amounted to torture
and gloried in calling the CIA and its officers a "rogue institution. "

Americans and their country's security will be the losers. The Republicans
do not have the votes to stop Obama, and the world will not be safer for
America because the president abandons interrogations to please his party's
left wing and the European pacifists it so admires. Both are incorrigibly
anti-American, oppose the use of force in America's defense and -- like
Obama -- naively believe that the West's Islamist foes can be sweet-talked
into a future alive with the sound of kumbaya.

So if the above worst-case scenario ever comes to pass, Americans will have
at least two things from which to take solace, even after the loss of major
cities and tens of thousands of countrymen. First, they will know that their
president believes that those losses are a small price to pay for stopping
interrogations and making foreign peoples like us more. And second, they
will see Osama bin Laden's shy smile turn into a calm and beautiful
God-is-Great grin.
  #2  
Old 27 April 2009, 11:35
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Waterboarding is not torture. It's that simple. Waterboarding scares the shit out of you. It doesn't hurt you. As far as sleep/sensory/food deprivation, well...hell...people in the States pay to put themselves through worse.

I don't think we should go pulling thumbnails off with pliars, no matter who it is...but waterboarding is just to scare the hell out of you...no different than the "good cop, bad cop," routine. It's all a mindfuck. I say waterboard 'em all. As for real torture, though, I don't think it should be used on anyone. At least not until AFTER they are convicted.
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Old 27 April 2009, 12:53
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We don't need 2 threads talking about the same thing except now we are naming specific people.

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