In praise of waterboarding 5

Frankly, the waterboarding, if it was up to me, and if we changed the laws or had the laws, waterboarding would be fine. I would do a lot more than waterboarding. You have to get the information from these people.

So said Donald Trump on NBC’s Today show last Tuesday, March 23.

We agree with him. And, somewhat to our surprise since PowerLine has declared itself to be anti-Trump, Paul Mirengoff of that excellent website does too.

He writes:

According to reports, the terrorists who carried out last week’s attacks in Brussels acted sooner than originally planned because they feared that captured terrorist Salah Abdeslam would inform authorities of the attacks. Apparently, they need not have worried.

Belgian officials questioned Abdeslam only lightly, and not at all about possible new attacks. Instead, using the discredited law enforcement model, they focused on the Paris attacks of last November, presumably hoping to obtain a confession.

Back in the days of the controversy over waterboarding, there was talk about a “ticking time bomb” scenario. The question was: When we know there’s time bomb ready to go off, but don’t know the location, is it okay to waterboard a captured terrorist who likely has knowledge of the impending attack?

Opponents of waterboarding, having no satisfactory answer, tended to pooh-pooh the question. It was based on an unrealistic scenario, they insisted.

Tell that to the victims of the Brussels attacks.

In reality, most captured terrorists present a variation of the ticking time bomb scenario. These days, organizations like ISIS are constantly planning new attacks. A captured terrorist who has been active recently might very well know something about upcoming attacks in his locale.

It’s unlikely that even in the Age of Obama, the U.S. would have handled Abdeslam as ineffectively as the Belgians did. One can imagine our people declining to question the terrorist for 24 hours because he was hospitalized and then questioning him only for a fairly short time because “he seemed very tired” after surgery. But I doubt that we would have failed to ask about future attacks.

But how far would we have gone to obtain answers? … What if Abdeslam proved to be among the one-third of detainees who don’t cooperate without enhanced interrogation?

In that scenario, no one with a decent regard for innocent human life could object to the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on a terrorist like this. Abdeslam was the mastermind behind the Paris attacks. … This was a ticking time bomb scenario.

It’s time to revisit the question of enhanced interrogation, a question that the U.S. answered incorrectly during a lull in the terrorist threat.

The writer, it seems to us, clearly enough implies that the “correct” answer is Donald Trump’s.

It will be interesting to see whether, if Trump is elected to the presidency, the mere fact of his coming to power will deter Muslim terrorism – as the mere fact of Ronald Reagan’s entering the Oval Office on January 20, 1981, persuaded Iran to release the American hostages it was holding, on that very day.

Go tell bin Laden 1

Obama and his leftist administration refuse to accept that war has been declared on America (and the whole non-Muslim world), and is being planned and fought without moral scruple by Muslim terrorists.

Why they refuse to accept this fact one can only surmise. We suspect it is because Obama in particular and the Left in general is irrationally sympathetic to Islam.

What is plain is that confusion has arisen, as it must, from misdiagnosing the cause of the terrorist violence, such as the attempt to blow up a plane over Detroit on Christmas day by an al-Qaeda operative. The Attorney-General, Eric Holder, who worked for a firm (Covington & Burling) with a long record of defending terrorists and their helpers free of charge –  and so patently out of ideological sympathy – is determined to treat terrorists as ordinary law-breakers. Then he is forced by angry criticism to recognize that they might have information useful for defending the nation, and has to allow them to be gently implored to yield up some of it.

If they do, he makes it known to Old Uncle Tom Cobbley and All, including Mohammed Cobbley over at al-Qaeda, that they have spilled the beans, mostly so that he can boast that chatting with these fellows gets as good a result as did the ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ – ie waterboarding – used by the previous administration. Now bin Laden’s planners can make their adjustments accordingly.

The question arises, is this naivety, stupidity, or a conscious and cunning plan to assist the enemy? No motive, however base, discovered in such men as Obama and Holder would surprise us, but we doubt that they are clever enough to form such a plan.  So  it probably comes out of a mixture of blind emotional sympathy with Islamic terrorists, puerile hatred of George W. Bush, and crass stupidity (which last would also account for the first two).

From Investor’s Business Daily:

The administration says the Christmas bomber is now cooperating with authorities. We thought they got all the information he had in a 50-minute chat. So just why are we letting our enemies know he’s talking?

In any war, it’s vitally important that you know what your enemy is planning and doing, just as it’s important that your actions and plans remain secret. And when you know about your enemy’s plans it’s important they don’t know that you know.

We were told not to worry when the Christmas bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was taken into custody and Mirandized almost immediately. We were told we got all the information he had in 50 minutes. Larry King has done longer and better interviews.

Now the story has changed. Apparently we didn’t get all the information he had, for the administration has publicly announced that Mr. Abdulmutallab is now cooperating with authorities, presumably telling us what he really knows about the intentions of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. If so, that is good news.

What’s not so good news is that to score political points, the administration has told the world and al-Qaida that we are learning what Abdulmutallab knows, and now al-Qaida will know we know what he knows. They will change their plans, move their assets and attempt to thwart any U.S. action based on any valuable information he may be providing.

Abdulmutallab has been providing information in recent days, an administration official said last Tuesday on condition of anonymity. This announcement was presumably made to make the point that the administration’s decision to abandon enhanced interrogation techniques was justified.

This announcement made Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., justifiably furious. Bond promptly dashed off a letter of protest to President Barack Obama. In the letter he noted that on Feb. 1 the leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee received notice from the Federal Bureau of Investigation concerning Abdulmutallab’s recent willingness to provide critical information.

The problem, Bond said, was that a short 24 hours later “White House staff assembled members of the media to announce Abdulmutallab’s cooperation and to laud the events that led to his decision to cooperate with law enforcement personnel. This information immediately hit the airwaves globally, and, no doubt, reached the ears of our enemies abroad.”

This is an unconscionable betrayal of the public trust, one that puts American lives and national security at risk,  jeopardizes future American actions and gives our terrorist enemies an unnecessary and dangerous heads-up.

The need to think beyond rhetoric 1

Thomas Sowell writes today in Townhall on  ‘the fatuous, and even childish, controversy about “torturing” captured terrorists’:

People’s actions often make far more sense than their words. Most of the people who are talking lofty talk about how we mustn’t descend to the level of our enemies would themselves behave very differently if presented with a comparable situation, instead of being presented with an opportunity to be morally one up with rhetoric.

What if it was your mother or your child who was tied up somewhere beside a ticking time bomb and you had captured a terrorist who knew where that was? Face it: What you would do to that terrorist to make him talk would make water-boarding look like a picnic.

You wouldn’t care what the New York Times would say or what “world opinion” in the U.N. would say. You would save your loved one’s life and tell those other people what they could do.

But if the United States behaves that way it is called “arrogance”– even by American citizens. Indeed, even by the American president…

For a man whose whole life has been based on style rather than substance, on rhetoric rather than reality, perhaps nothing better could have been expected. But that the media and the public would have become so mesmerized by the Obama cult that they could not see through this to think of their own survival, or that of this nation, is truly a chilling thought…

When historians of the future look back on our era, what will they think of our time? Our media too squeamish to call murderous and sadistic terrorists anything worse than “militants” or “insurgents”? Our president going abroad to denigrate the country that elected him, pandering to feckless allies and outright enemies, and literally bowing to a foreign tyrant ruling a country from which most of the 9/11 terrorists came?…

The left has long confused physical parallels with moral parallels. But when a criminal shoots at a policeman and the policeman shoots back, physical equivalence is not moral equivalence. And what American intelligence agents have done to captured terrorists is not even physical equivalence.

If we have reached the point where we cannot be bothered to think beyond rhetoric or to make moral distinctions, then we have reached the point where our own survival in an increasingly dangerous world of nuclear proliferation can no longer be taken for granted.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, May 12, 2009

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Sssssssss… 0

This delightful display of obfuscation, incoherence, and characteristic slippery-slitheriness on the part of the pythoness, Nancy Pelosi, comes from a report by Politico:

Nancy Pelosi sat down with CNN’s Candy Crowley tonight and gave her most detailed – and passionate – explanation of her muted behavior during an initial classified briefing on enhanced interrogation procedures in 2002.

Crowley kicked it off by asking the Speaker about about a column by former CIA director and ex-House intel chairman Porter Goss accusing Democrats of collective "amnesia" for urging investigations of waterboarding after remaining relatively mute during those first classified briefings.

PELOSI: Well, first of all, let me say that perhaps we do live in an alternate universe, Porter and I.

Porter’s orientation is that he was a member of the CIA before he came to Congress and he speaks now as a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

CROWLEY: Is he wrong?

PELOSI: Perhaps he is seeing it from his perspective. If they say we have a legal opinion, it means we’re going to use it. That’s not how I heard it. They said they had a legal opinion. They said they weren’t going to use and when they did they would come back to Congress to report to us on that. But that’s how I heard that.

Let me say what’s important about how we go forward. Because for some reason the Republicans, while I am barred from talking about what goes on in meetings and I could be charged for revealing classified information, they seem to feel at liberty to talk about everything that went on at every meeting as they saw it.

She went on to make the argument, refuted by the current ranking Republican on the intelligence committee Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), that she didn’t raise objections because they would have served no practical purpose.

So as we go from here, he said-she said, it can go on forever. What we should do is to say more members should have access to this so that there can be accountability and you can talk about it.

You’re really a hostage if you’re notified that something has happened. They’re not asking for your thoughts. They are notifying you that this is their opinion. They later may have notified, I don’t know, because I wasn’t part of any of those briefings, of what they were doing, but they notify you that they have an opinion.

If you want to take it to another place, who do you call, the chief justice of the Supreme Court? The president of the United States whose policies these are? You have no recourse or else you are breaking the law. 

Crowley then asked why she didn’t raise objections to the briefers, which riled up the Speaker.

PELOSI: To what end? To what end? No, we’re not – they didn’t say they were doing it. But you know what, I’m not getting into that. The fact is, is that I know what they told us and I know that they did not share our values.

So any briefing that you would get from the Bush administration on the subject is one that is probably something you’re not going to agree with, and two, maybe not the whole truth anyway.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, April 29, 2009

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Spite 0

 Dick Morris writes (read his whole article here):

 After the National Security Administration picked up mentions of the "Brooklyn Bridge" in its warrantless wiretaps, it alerted New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to the possibility of a terror attack against the bridge. Kelly flooded the bridge with cops and commissioned an engineering study to determine how one could bring down the bridge, plunging ten thousand people into the East River during rush hour.

The study said it was impossible to blow the bridge up – one would have been discovered – but that a terrorist could sever the cable holding it aloft with a torch. It would take weeks, but the terrorists could work, undetected, in a vacant building that housed the cables under the bridge. The traffic noises would mask their efforts, and the building was not patrolled or even visited by anyone.

The terrorist noted the cops on the bridge and sent a message, intercepted by the NSA, that it was "too hot on the Brooklyn Bridge." But it was not until we waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed that we learned the identity of the al-Qaida operative – Lyman Farris. On learning his name, the New York Police raided his Brooklyn apartment. Chillingly, they found the equipment he would need to bring down the bridge and an engineering diagram (akin to that which Kelly had ordered) identifying where they would have to stand to cut the cables.

 Does Obama really want to prosecute the anti-terror investigators who saved thousands by waterboarding Mohammed and learning this information?

Yes, he does. The Democrats want to, because punishing the last administration is (obviously) far more important to them than national security. The true name for their affected moral objection to ‘torturing’ terrorists, is spite. 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, April 27, 2009

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