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Democrat Plan to Jail Interrogators for Being Mean to Terrorists Stopped by Hoekstra

Posted on February 26 2010 11:47 am
David Forsmark is the owner and president of Winning Strategies, a full service political consulting firm in Michigan. David has been a regular columnist for Frontpage Magazine since 2006. For 20 years before that, he wrote book, movie and concert reviews as a stringer for the Flint Journal, a midsize daily newspaper.
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Baghdad Jim’s attack on the CIA was smacked down by Pete Hoekstra yesterday.

While most of the politically aware public, and all of the news organizations, were focused on the Obama/Republican Health Care Summit, radicals in the House of Representatives tried to push an amendment that banned such “degrading” procedures as “threatening” a terrorist detainee, or, causing a detainee’s to “blaspheme” (not kidding) in an interrogation.

Congressman Pete Hoekstra, despite the huge disadvantage his party holds in Congress was able to embarrass the Democrats into stopping the vote with stinging arguments like these:

HOEKSTRA: “If a woman interviews a Muslim without a head covering, is that blasphemy?”

“In the intelligence community today, these folks already believe they are under attack by this administration, and this just reinforces this. This is outrageous. There has not been one minute of hearings or debates on this amendment, and you are putting something in … that could put officers in jail for life. What are you thinking?”

The amendment was written by “Baghdad Jim” McDermott, who went on a propaganda tour of Saddam’s Iraq in 2002 sponsored by a terrorist financier, and who has taken the position that it is okay to wiretap John Boehner and Republican leadership, but not al Qaeda on American soil.

House Intelligence Committee Chair Sylvestre Reyes counter-argued that the amendment only codified what President Obama has already enforced by Executive Order.  Reyes apparently is applying for the job of writing campaign commercials for the Republican National Committee.

Yesterday, the invaluable Andy McCarthy, the federal prosecutor who convicted the “Blind Sheikh and other terrorists from the first World Trade Center bombing (which the Democrats dishonestly use as proof that the federal system works for terrorism cases, without mentioning that the prosecutor from that case says that it is a disaster for national security to do so) summarized the McDermott Amendment at National Review’s The Corner.

– “Exploiting the phobias of the individual”

– Stress positions and the threatened use of force to maintain stress positions

– “Depriving the individual of necessary food, water, sleep, or medical care”

– Forced nudity

– Using military working dogs (i.e., any use of them – not having them attack or menace the individual; just the mere presence of the dog if it might unnerve the detainee and, of course, “exploit his phobias”)

– Coercing the individual to blaspheme or violate his religious beliefs (I wonder if Democrats understand the breadth of seemingly innocuous matters that jihadists take to be violations of their religious beliefs)

– Exposure to “excessive” cold, heat or “cramped confinement” (excessive and cramped are not defined)

– “Prolonged isolation”

– “Placing hoods or sacks over the head of the individual”

Naturally, all of these tactics are interspersed with such acts as forcing the performance of sexual acts, beatings, electric shock, burns, inducing hypothermia or heat injury – as if all these acts were functionally equivalent… Here is the fact:  Democrats are saying they would prefer to see tens of thousands of Americans die than to see a KSM subjected to sleep-deprivation or to have his “phobias exploited.”  I doubt that this reflects the values of most Americans.

Hmmm.  I have a “phobia” about being locked up for the rest of my life, and would find it “degrading” as an adult to have someone else in charge of my daily schedule….

After the Administration’s disastrous handling of the Christmas Day Underwear Bomber, even the radical House Leadership yesterday decided this was just too much to ram through and stopped the vote before they suffered yet another self-inflicted wound to their jeopardized majority.

The Amendment also contained a ban on “waterboarding,” which Obama has already banned through Executive Order.  However, like everything else in the bill, there was no definition of what was being banned.

Ironically, the Democrats have been screaming for years that waterboarding is a “war crime.”  If so, why the need to add it to this amendment?  Is this an admission that waterboarding is not torture and not illegal under U.S. law?

The McDermott Amendment was so broad and so vague that is basically outlawed the interrogation of terrorists.  American shoplifters can be threatened by prosecutors with their phobias in order to get a plea deal.

Radical House members tried to slip this through while everyone was focuses on the Health Care Summit.  This won’t be their last attempt.  Look for a narrower bill or amendment soon, particularly on waterboarding.

After all, what’s a few thousand dead Americans compared to the horror of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed suffering from sore sinuses for the afternoon?

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