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CHRONICLE EDITORIAL: From Jack Bauer to Leon Panetta
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 1/13/8 | Debra J. Saunders

Posted on 01/13/2009 7:49:24 AM PST by SmithL

Sunday's New York Times ran two columns that advocated for investigations into America's use of coercive interrogation techniques - known to editorial writers as "torture" - of enemy combatants, as well as one that opposed a show trial. Also Sunday, television's "24" uber-agent Jack Bauer stood before a U.S. Senate subcommittee investigating intelligence abuses and gave a bombastic Senate inquisitor what-for: "Please do not sit there with that smug look on your face and expect me to regret the decisions that I have made, because, sir, the truth is, I don't."

Asked if he had tortured a suspect, the Kiefer Sutherland character Bauer answered, "According to the Geneva Convention, yes I did." Actually, according to any standard, Bauer tortured people. He shot and killed suspects, choked his brother and shot a suspect's wife in the leg.

The interrogation methods cited in the New York Times exist in a different universe. Yes, the techniques, which some Bush administration critics want to prosecute, were harsh. But there is strong reason to not call them torture. Grabbing, shaking, open-hand slapping, sleep deprivation, exposure to cold, and even the simulated-drowning technique called waterboarding, do not scar. They're not the sort of brutal punishment meted out by Saddam Hussein. To the contrary, CIA agents have subjected themselves to waterboarding. "It wasn't viewed as ipso facto torture," a former CIA official told me, "because we don't torture our own people."

The harshest methods were not used routinely. The military never authorized harsh techniques, while the CIA used waterboarding, according to CIA Director Michael Hayden and news reports, not widely, but on three high-profile detainees.

Former CIA operative John Kiriakou told ABC's Brian Ross that the waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah "disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks." That's a lot of lives.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bds; cia; clintonista; doublestandard; leonpanetta; lyingliars; waronterror; waterboarding; zogbyism

1 posted on 01/13/2009 7:49:25 AM PST by SmithL
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To: SmithL
Underscores what I've been saying all along, not that it gives me great pleasure to say "I told you so." The Dimmies in Congress had nothing against waterboarding etc. The official record shows that they approved it. Yet they acted as if they didn't, so they could use it as a tool to attack GOPers on the campaign trail. And millions took the bait.

And now even the SF Chron is saying what I've been saying for the last four years, while during that time their editorial page did their best to push this Democrat strategy.

2 posted on 01/13/2009 8:02:38 AM PST by squidly
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To: SmithL

American “torture” is lame compared to what the pros do.

Take Stalin’s NKVD for example. They got the Red Army Chief of Staff, Marshal Tukachevsky, to confess to being a member of a Nazi conspiracy to murder Stalin. Of course, later analysis showed the signed confession was stained with Tukachevsky’s own blood, but hey, maybe he got a paper cut handling the documents during one of its painstaking revisions.

Yeah, that outfit made the Torture Hall of Fame. What American intelligence agencies do to get information is so far removed that you can’t call it torture. It barely qualifies as coercion.


3 posted on 01/13/2009 8:06:53 AM PST by henkster (When I was young I was told anyone could be President. Now I believe it.)
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To: squidly

I think only when America is attacked and the invading army has taken over a couple of states will the democrats give up the politics of war.


4 posted on 01/13/2009 8:12:38 AM PST by Blind Eye Jones
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To: Blind Eye Jones
I think only when America is attacked and the invading army has taken over a couple of states will the democrats give up the politics of war.

You, sir, are a starry-eyed optimist.
5 posted on 01/13/2009 8:25:18 AM PST by Cheburashka (Liberalism: a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.)
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To: SmithL

If waterboarding is wrong AND dangerous, I trust that we will no longer be waterboarding our own guys as a part of their training for being able to survive in the field.

After all, if the world is going to universally denounce waterboarding, then no one will ever waterboard an American soldier. Right?


6 posted on 01/13/2009 8:25:28 AM PST by weegee (Obamunism, just another word for the policies of a NeoCom.)
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To: Blind Eye Jones
They will insist its Bush's fault for agitating the Islamists.
7 posted on 01/13/2009 8:26:32 AM PST by weegee (Obamunism, just another word for the policies of a NeoCom.)
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To: SmithL

The FBI tactics on 24 would work well in the real world.
Okay,talk (spoken harshly)


8 posted on 01/13/2009 8:49:26 AM PST by Dr. Ursus
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To: Dr. Ursus

The thing is ... its OK to have limits on interrogation techniques — its just better if the bad guys don’t KNOW you have limits.

My problem with all of this isn’t the limitations themselves ... its the fact that Democrats insist on airing those limitations publically so that terrorists know precisely how far an agent can and will go.

SnakeDoc


9 posted on 01/13/2009 8:56:07 AM PST by SnakeDoctor ("You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas." -- David Crockett)
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To: Blind Eye Jones

Depends on whether the invading army is “progressive” and “diverse”. If that’s the case, don’t hold your breath.


10 posted on 01/13/2009 9:00:03 AM PST by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: SmithL

bttt


11 posted on 01/13/2009 7:18:10 PM PST by SuperLuminal
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