The leftist cable programs have been, for some time now, completely fixated upon the idea of prosecuting members of the administration of former President George Bush–especially former Vice-President Dick Cheney–for their role in the enhanced interrogation techniques (or, â€œtorture,â€ in the leftist lexicon) of captured Islamist terrorists. From far-left Rachel Maddow to ultra-left Amy Goodman and her Marxist Democracy Now! network, there has been a concerted effort to link Cheneyâ€™s name with the â€œtortureâ€ of prisonersâ€™ accused of being al-Qaeda operatives and sympathizers.
Goodmanâ€™s Democracy Now!, for example, reported last week that a recently released 2004 CIA report on prisoner interrogations, has given President Barack Obamaâ€™s Attorney General Eric Holder enough reason to open an inquiry into â€œCIA torture.â€ Holder has now appointed a federal prosecutor to look into whether CIA interrogators and contractors should be charged for the alleged torture and abuse of foreign prisoners.
So what did the released memos show?
In the case of the CIAâ€™s most high-profile prisoner, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM)–the mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States–the memos demonstrate that the enhanced interrogation techniques worked very well, thank you.
Mohammed, an uncooperative prisoner with a deep and avowed hatred of the United States who was trained to endure harsh interrogation techniques, went on to become the CIAâ€™s “preeminent source” on al-Qaeda, only after he was subjected to these techniques.
After he was forced to endure waterboarding and prolonged sleep deprivation,Â Mohammed began to cooperate and apparently even enjoy revealing al-Qaedaâ€™s secrets. A person familiar with the sessions told the Washington Post:
KSM seemed to relish the opportunity, sometimes for hours on end, to discuss the inner workings of Al Qaeda and the group’s plans, ideology and operatives. He’d even use a chalkboard at times.
And what was the end result of Mohammedâ€™s post-waterboarding disclosures?
Officials were able, with information gleaned from those interrogations, to thwart al-Qaeda plans to strike at additional targets in the United States, Saudi Arabia and East Asia. In one instance, officials broke up a network of Pakistanis recruited “to target gas stations, railroad tracks, and the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.” The CIA and law-enforcement officials were able to round up operatives both in the United States and abroad before they were able to strike, based solely upon the information gleaned from Mohammed after he was waterboarded.
Apparently, this wasnâ€™t good enough.
Holderâ€™s pending inquiry has made it quite clear that to the Obama administration, the successful thwarting of numerous terrorist attacks and the saving of countless American lives will be met not with praise and gratitude, but with scorn and the threat of prosecution! Efforts to demonize the Bush administration will thus continue unabated. As Cheney explains:
We had a track record of eight years defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda, the approach of the Obama administration should be to come to those people who were involved in that policy and say, ‘How did you do it? What were the keys to keeping this country safe over that period of time?’
Instead they are out there threatening to disbar the lawyers who gave us the legal opinions — threatening contrary to what the president originally said. They’re going to go out and investigate the CIA personnel who carried out those investigations.