Skip to comments.CHRONICLE EDITORIAL: From Jack Bauer to Leon Panetta
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
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?
The FBI tactics on 24 would work well in the real world.
Okay,talk (spoken harshly)
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.
Depends on whether the invading army is “progressive” and “diverse”. If that’s the case, don’t hold your breath.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.