Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Waterboarding, Torture and ‘Not Letting a Good Crisis Go to Waste’.

Okay – this isn’t going to be a long one (by my standards), mostly because I don’t feel it needs to be.

By now, you’ve been hearing the hue & cry over the latest developments in ‘Waterboarding-Gate’.

Last Thursday, President Barack Obama de-classified and released CIA memos detailing the techniques of ‘enhanced interrogation’ used on three captured terrorists, referring to it as “a dark and painful chapter in our history”

On Monday, Rahm Emmanuel said that the people responsible for using ‘enhanced techniques’ to extract information from terrorists (all 3 of them, btw) would not be prosecuted by the Obama Administration.

Asked Sunday on ABC's "This Week" about the fate of those officials, Emanuel said the president believes they "should not be prosecuted either and that's not the place that we go."

On Tuesday, Barack Obama said that he was leaving the possibility of prosecution open – and would be abdicating the actual decision-making to AG Eric “Nation of Cowards” Holder.

"With respect to those who formulate those legal decisions, I would say that that is going to be more of a decision for the attorney general within the parameters of various laws, and I don't want to prejudge that. ... There are a host of very complicated issues involved there."

I’ve already made it pretty clear where I stand on the ‘Selective Transparency’ that Obama is playing at with his last “Look, Pretty-Shiny!” distraction.

In my last post, I stated :

“If the release of this information is so vitally important, then so is the release of an accounting of the terrorist operations that were successfully disrupted as a result of said interrogation.”

Looks like former Vice-President Cheney agrees with me:

DICK CHENEY: “One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure is they put out the legal memos, the memos that the CIA got from the Office of Legal Counsel, but they didn't put out the memos that showed the success of the effort. And there are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity. They have not been declassified.”

“I formally asked that they be declassified now. I haven't announced this up until now, I haven't talked about it, but I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country.”

Today, we learn from Obama’s own National Intelligence Director (despite much initial Whitehouse memo-redaction) that those much-debated ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ were actually very effective, yielding “High Value Information” – information that actually led to authorities thwarting a 9-11-esque attack on Los Angeles ... which is the sort of thing you’ve already heard before.

Now, I’m not even going to get into what an insanely-bad precedent it would set to have a current administration start prosecuting members of a previous administration for things they didn’t agree with – that would be pointless, since punishing the people responsible for protecting us from another terrorist attack would be the perfect capping-off to Obama’s ‘2009 America-Sucks World Tour’ – and nothing I say is going to change his decision regarding that.

I just want to briefly point out that all of the whining, hand-wringing, slippery-slope arguments...
...are Crap.

All over talk radio this morning, the ‘America Sucks’ crowd is suddenly doing an about-face, claiming that we are too ‘morally-advanced’ a nation to resort to “the end justifies the means”.

Of course “The End Justifies The Means” – are these people stupid? "The End Justifies the Means" is exactly how any of us gets through anything we find unpleasant or objectionable.

It’s commonly referred to as “Adult-Judgement-Making” – realizing that something simply must be done; that there can be things and circumstances that are bigger and more important than your pride in your sense of your own inherent ‘goodness’. The only hard part is being sure that the "End" is worth it.

Are you opposed to killing someone?

Are you opposed to committing violence against another person?

Can you imagine a scenario in which a deadly threat to either you or someone you care about could make you set those reservations aside and do it anyway – despite the strong moral conviction you might feel against it?

Now multiply it by thousands of people, in dozens of places across the country – people with parents and wives and husbands and children – people who would die suddenly and horribly while just going about their daily routine… and remember, this isn’t a theoretical or academic argument anymore – we know it’s real.

Could you set aside your moral oppositions to save them, if that were all that was left to you in the time allowed?

I could.

I could do it for any one of you reading this right now – I could knowingly undertake to carry that mark on my soul for the whole-damned-rest of eternity and be content to know that I had done the right thing.

Could you?

Would the "End" result of saving those lives be 'worth it'?

Welcome to “The End Justifies The Means”.

- MuscleDaddy

p.s. – in fairness, I’d be adding that mark to a collection...


  1. Oh, they aren't asking the wrong questions. They are asking exactly the right questions to make sure that President McCheesecake doesn't have his feet held over the fire.

    They don't want facts, they want a fantasy. I heard one of the journalism teachers at my school bemoaning the fact that Fox News even existed because "They are so hateful in their coverage of the president"

    They don't want facts, they want their unicorns

  2. Not to contradict you, MD, but I thought that Bambi was leaving open the possible prosecution of the legal counsel responsible for the "torture," the ones who gave the legal approval to the operatives.

    He's setting a very dangerous precedent here, imo.

  3. Contradict to your heart's content, Skye - if I only wanted to hear my own thoughts, I'd write a blog or someth... no, wait - that didn't come out right....Anyway, I'm pretty sure that Legal Counsel for the Administration is still permanent, dedicated Legal Counsel for the Administration, (they get fired @ each new admin)so I'm considering them 'part' of the past administration - which doesn't necessarily have to mean 'Cabinet'.

    - MD

  4. Either way, MD, I think he's setting a dangerous precedent for his and future administrations. Legal counsel will be afraid to give any sort of advice in the future (except of course, our own BisW, who ain't afraid o' NUTHIN'!) because of the likelihood of being sued.

    And, where does it end? If we can prosecute federal counsel, can it be extended to state and local...we sue whoever disagrees with us?

  5. Skye, The One's not keeping the possibility of 'litigation' open - he's keeping the possibility of 'prosecution' open - how's that for a precedent?

    - MD

  6. The other possiblity he raised was a "bi-partisan commission" to "investigate". Made up, no doubt, of the same congressmen and Senators who were briefed about everything up front but now are "Shocked! Shocked!" to learn that there was gambling (waterboarding) going on.

  7. I think it's time for a total housecleaning of Congress...AND term limits. The president has them; it's time Congress did, too.

    DaddyQuatro, I would suspect that every one of those congress critters on the "investigation" committee has a few skeletons for which he/she could/should/would be prosecuted. We won't hear about it, of course.

    I know, I me cynical.

  8. GreatHairySilverbackApril 22, 2009 at 10:39 PM

    Amazing. Waterboarding -- taken to the extreme necessary only to be USEFUL rather than TERMINAL -- does not injure, scar, cripple, or even HURT its "victims." It just SCARES them... REALLY BAD! The average person typically lasts about 15 to 20 seconds before electing to become more cooperative. The all-time record was a little over two minutes, I believe, held by a particular Islamic gentleman who knew enough about the technique to actually hold his breath for a while. This, as opposed to bone-breaking, shoulder-separating, fingernail-removing... bamboo wedgies, shin log-rolling, multi-day suspensions, starvation, yadi-yada-yada. And in the process of inflicting this twenty-second FRIGHT, we save Los Angeles.

    We've waterboarded our own troops IN TRAINING!

    There's not a breathing meat-unit in this administration that has the brains of toast. Their heads are up their asses all the way to their elbows.

    Oh, and on a semi-related note of revulsion...

    On a recent commercial flight, an unnamed bank VP was overheard pointing out to his neighboring passenger that, once the runaway inflation kicks in in a year or two, EVERYBODY will be making more than $250,000 a year, and EVERYBODY will get to experience the true "patriotism" of Biden's tax platform.


    I need to go vomit now.



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