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If Even One Innocent American Life Can Be Saved by Rough Interrogation of Terrorist Suspects, That's a Good Thing

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Posted on August 25 2009 6:05 am
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I realize that it is politically incorrect to say so, but I could not care less how imprisoned al Qaeda leaders have been treated by the CIA if there was any chance that tough interrogation would yield life-saving information.  That is the bottom line — not whether some pathological Islamic fanatic who would like to see us all dead thought he was drowning while being water-boarded, was in despair while being kept in solitary confinement, or was frightened while being told that his family might be in danger if he did not cooperate. 

That’s just too darned bad. 

This needs to be repeated by Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and every other commentator on cable TV and talk radio who cares about American lives and is dismayed by the hard left sympathy for terrorist suspects that permeates Obama administration policies today.

First, it was the executive order calling for the closure of the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay by early 2010, which the administration still cannot figure out how to implement safely.  We may see either release of some remaining detainees, or their trial under the full constitutional protections afforded to criminal defendants in American courts.

Then there was the decision to end the enhanced interrogation techniques that have helped keep us safe since 9/11.  Instead, all interrogators have to abide by the Army Field Manual for Human Intelligence Collector Operations, a publicly available document posted on the Internet.  It provides the terrorists with a roadmap as to how they are likely to be interrogated and the expected psychological outcomes.

And in the latest outrage, Attorney General Eric Holder has decided to appoint a prosecutor to investigate alleged CIA interrogation abuses during the Bush administration. It is arguably one of the worst decisions to date of an already disastrous Obama administration. It chills effective intelligence-gathering as long as interrogators have to worry that everything they say and do may end up being used against them in a criminal trial.  And this puts all of our lives in jeopardy as al Qaeda and its allies continue to plot horrific attacks on our homeland that will make 9/11 look like child’s play.

Said Holder:

“I fully realize that my decision to commence this preliminary review will be controversial. As attorney general, my duty is to examine the facts and to follow the law.  In this case, given all of the information currently available, it is clear to me that this review is the only responsible course of action for me to take.”

This self-righteous talk ignores both the facts and the law.  Holder is re-opening cases that other prosecutors have already looked into and have determined did not warrant further action.  There was insufficient evidence of a prosecutable crime. 

As for the law,  when the U.S. Senate ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture in 1994, it defined torture as an act “specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering,” which is the definition of torture in the UN Convention itself.  The Senate went on to define mental pain and suffering as “prolonged mental harm” resulting from such causes as “the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering or the threat of imminent death”.

I italicized the key words for Holder and his appointed prosecutor, John H. Durham, to read carefully.  Even water-boarding, which was done for two minutes or less, never exposed the few al Qaeda leaders subjected to it to any physical harm at all, or to any threat of actual drowning. 

Stop the witch hunt and go after the real enemy who wants us all dead!

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