Former US Attorney Andrew McCarthy is brilliant as usual in describing the REAL "Interrogation Scandal":
All this folly finds its way back to that simple question: “Does [insert interrogation tactic of choice] shock the conscience?” As Wallace put it to Hayden, and as Obama frames it in policy debates, the question is utterly devoid of context. The “shock the conscience” standard is derived from a 1952 Supreme Court case, Rochin v. California. That, evidently, is enough to qualify it as the high-minded yardstick of permissible government behavior — no need to get into icky complications like circumstances or (dare I say) obligations.Read the whole thing.
We have “waterboarding,” or simulated drowning. Grisly stuff. Tough guys wrestle the subject onto a slab. Another tough guy does the dirty work, rendering the subject unable to breath, creating the fear of imminent death. How could that not be shocking to even a jaded conscience? Next case.
Except what if the next case involves coercing a subject onto a slab for the purpose of administering injections that will kill him? Or what if we shoot a hellfire missile at a house where a subject is meeting with three other subjects and their guests? Or what if we drop a bomb on a densely populated area, knowing full well that many subjects will be killed and others permanently maimed? Doesn’t all that shock the conscience too? Does it not matter that the subject is a convicted rapist-murderer? The emir of a terrorist organization plotting mass murder? A member of an organization with which we are at war?
Law provides guidance for the human condition in all its endless variety. As such, it always accounts for context. It is a favorite talking point of leftists and libertarian extremists that heightened security measures “suspend” the Constitution even though a crisis is when the Constitution is most needed. Never has anything so vapid been repeated with such indignation. The Constitution is never suspended. It anticipates war and peace, insurrection and domestic tranquility, and prescribes adjustments for different conditions. Free speech is guaranteed but treason is proscribed. Privacy is guaranteed but searches are authorized. Liberty is guaranteed but imprisonment is permitted. Life is guaranteed but the death penalty is permitted.
“The great ordinances of the Constitution,” Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. instructed, “do not establish and divide fields of black and white.” Everything is contingent. In peacetime, the rule of law is what the statutes prescribe and the courts ensure. But the Framers also knew it would not always be peacetime. That is why, Holmes elsewhere wrote, “when it comes to a decision by the head of the State upon a matter involving its life, the ordinary rights of individuals must yield to what he deems the necessities of the moment. Public danger warrants the substitution of executive process for judicial process.” Executive process doesn’t suspend the Constitution any more than Congress would be suspending the Constitution if it suspended habeas corpus. Rather, executive, legislative, and judicial processes are all parts of the Constitution, their roles waxing and waning based on “the necessities of the moment.”
Meanwhile, Rich Lowry argues (credibly) that the memos should be a source of pride.
It gets worse: now Obama is reversing-field (isn't that all he ever does?...) by now leaving the door open to prosecute former Bush Admin officials for rendering legal opinions which the current appeaseniks disagree with. Apparently to these slugs, it would have been more "moral" to allow thousands more innocents to die than to pour water up someone's nose.
I defy anyone to justify the morality of allowing mass murder of innocent Americans by our enemies in wartime, all in the guise of a holier-than-thou feigned "horror" about actually allowing the murderers themselves to be made the least bit "uncomfortable" or deprived of a little sleep...
There were 3,000+ families and an entire nation who suffered on 9/11. The CIA itself has stated (even in the released memos) that countless lives were saved because of the methods used.
The sick irony is that Obama only chose to release the methods of interrogation (thus permitting our enemies to understand the "line" beyond which the US will not go--and train accordingly) yet the man sworn to protect the American people has refused to release the end results of those "uncomfortable" interrogations; including a thwarted 9/11 style attack on a Los Angeles skyscraper (from today's Washington Post):
Specifically, interrogation with enhanced techniques "led to the discovery of a KSM plot, the 'Second Wave,' 'to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into' a building in Los Angeles." KSM later acknowledged before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay that the target was the Library Tower, the tallest building on the West Coast. The memo explains that "information obtained from KSM also led to the capture of Riduan bin Isomuddin, better known as Hambali, and the discovery of the Guraba Cell, a 17-member Jemmah Islamiyah cell tasked with executing the 'Second Wave.' " In other words, without enhanced interrogations, there could be a hole in the ground in Los Angeles to match the one in New York.Former Vice President Cheney has read many more of the memos that Obama chose to keep "secret" even as he decided after so much "heavy thought" that it was acceptable to aid and abet fanatics who want us dead; all in the name of preening around like a peacock with some sick notion of his own "moral superiority". In fact the "evil" Cheney made a formal request (back in March) that the CIA declassify the results of the interrogations so that the American people would know the whole story. But that wouldn't fit Obama's "Blame America First" agenda.
How ironic this all is: a few years back many of us were collectively outraged that the New York Times released secrets (over President Bush's protestations) which allowed our enemies to avoid detection via their financial transactions. It is irrefutable that this act of near-treason in wartime allowed our enemies to adapt and evade our efforts to stop their murder. That decision has probably already cost many American servicemen and women--and other innocents--their lives.
But today it is not a dying newspaper revealing these secrets; today it is the President of the United States who is endangering us all by revealing methods which never need have seen the light of day; all the while refusing to acknowledge the countless lives that were saved by the very actions he so loudly and blatantly condemned.
It doesn't stop there: Obama has spent the last three weeks trashing his own country, in Europe, Latin America, and at home. He has coddled and all but kissed the rings of tinpot banana republic mass-murdering dictators--while betraying a former President's attorneys, the CIA, and the very agents in the field who put their own careers on the line in order to do what it takes to keep Americans safe. And it did!
If that weren't enough, today Obama reversed course on previous pronouncements and had the "audacity" to threaten prosecution of a former President's legal advisor for daring to argue that depriving mass murderers of a little sleep and putting them through a "procedure"--the same "procedure" that every American Special Forces member and CIA agent has to undergo as a part of their training--was a small price to pay for saving thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent American lives. Does this man's ego and shame have no boundaries whatsoever?
I have never seen a President of the United States behave in a more disgraceful, blindly partisan and destructive fashion. Many may have disagreed with how President Bush (and an overwhelming majority of Congress...) authorized, funded and conducted the War in Iraq. But I have never seen any President--until now--knowingly put his own country's National Security in jeopardy just to score cheap political points that will only play to the far-Left fringe at home and to our enemies abroad.
I can honestly say that I have never been so ashamed of an American President; and in my lifetime there have been plenty of opportunities: Carter's appeasement, weakness in the face of our enemies and policies that caused economic ruin; Nixon's disgrace and resignation; Clinton's uncontrollable zipper, perjury and definition of "is"--all of these 'scandals' pale in comparison with the damage that may have been done by the release of these classified CIA documents.
As far as I am concerned, it is We, the American people who are being tortured now; and some innocents may yet die at the hands of our enemies because of this despicable partisan decision.
For shame, sir. For shame.