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January 23, 2009

Continuing to Not Get it on Torture
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

The Wall Street Journal has an odd and incoherent (Dare I say tortured) editorial on torture today.  It basically argues that Obama split the baby with the executive order on interrogation and as a result left us less secure.

The unfine print of Mr. Obama's order is that he's allowed room for what might be called a Jack Bauer exception. It creates a committee to study whether the Field Manual techniques are too limiting "when employed by departments or agencies outside the military." The Attorney General, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Director of National Intelligence-designate Dennis Blair will report back and offer "additional or different guidance for other departments or agencies."

In other words, Mr. Obama's Inaugural line that "we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals" was itself misrepresenting the choices his predecessor was forced to make. At least President Bush was candid about the practical realities of preventing mass casualties in the U.S.

This is pure silliness.  Here is a much more rational way to look at what Obama did.  On day one he wasn't ready to make a final assessment of everything having to do with interrogation.  His people haven't had access to all the information yet.  There is a lot to go through and review. 

In the meantime, it's not as though the Army Field Manual is infallible.  However, it is the best standard to employ today across the U.S. government, while a the full review is going on.  This isn't seem unreasonable in anyway and it provides a clear standard while the review is ongoing. 

And if you've been paying attention to Holder or Blair's testimony it looks like there is pretty broad agreement on what is and isn't torture.  It's not as though we're going to see an Obama administration condoning waterboarding or violating the Geneva Conventions.  So, they'll work the details over time and in the mean time there are clear standards and guidance in place.

This is what basic pragmatism and responsible government looks like.  I guess the WSJ editorial board would instead prefer a "decisive" executive who would just make an ideological decision without having all the facts.  But that hasn't seem to have worked out too well over the past eight years.


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There is not "broad agreement on what is and isn't torture." If there was, there would be no need to review what's being done. Rules prohibiting torture could be quickly issued. Holder himself would not say whether "mock executions" were torture or not, although it would seem obvious from the CAT that it is. What does he need to "study" to make that decision? It appears that the Obama admin. is trying to keep a space to maintain abusive methods that the Bush admin. used.

DURBIN: ...Do you agree with the Judge Advocates Generals? Would it be illegal for enemy forces to subject an American detainee to painful stress positions, threatening detainees with dogs, forced nudity or mock execution? HOLDER: I am not as conversant with those techniques as I am with waterboarding as something I really kind of focused my attention on. And so, I would not go so far as to say that those constitute torture. I don't know enough about them.

The Geneva Convention and the Military Field Manual were not written to deal with towel-heads who send their people (people, not army) into crowded cafes and blow themselves up along with hundreds of innocent civilians. They were also not written to deal with, oh gosh, let me see, oh yea, nut jobs who fly planes into buildings and behead people. These psychos are so brain-washed that the only effective way of getting them to spill their guts is through unconventional means. Anyone who thinks differently is an out and out traitor to this great country.

And that this issue is even at the top of B. Hussien Obama's agenda shows that he is doing it purely for politics and doesn't give a crap about the people of the United states. Pathetic!!

Imagine this scenario ..

you capture a known terrorist in Miami who has kidnapped your young child and has placed a bomb with a timer by the child's head. He refuses to say where the child is, so you begin to search the Miami area for the child. During this time, you decide it may be a good idea to torture the known terrorist to get him to cough up the info. You begin to administer waterboarding techniques, nudity, standing on one leg for 45 hours, loud music etc... In retaliation, he says the child is in a warehouse in Seattle, but the child is really still in Miami. you send ALL your resources to Seattle thinking the known terrorist is of course, telling the truth. While you're on a wild goose chase in Seattle, the bomb goes off in Miami and your child is killed because you took ALL the resources away and sent them to the wrong place.

taht would suck wouldn't it ?

taht would suck wouldn't it

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