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CIA: We stand behind our actions and the results
Hot Air ^ | 2:45 pm on April 21, 2009 | Ed Morrissey

Posted on 04/22/2009 5:59:47 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

With Barack Obama releasing the OLC memos and branding them as all but criminal and leaving the door open to prosecutions connected to the interrogation of Al-Qaeda terrorists, one might expect the CIA to retreat from its earlier defense of its actions.  So far, though, the agency remains tenacious in insisting that waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh, and Abu Zubaydah saved American lives.  CNS News reports that the CIA stands by its 2005 memo describing how those interrogations stopped another 9/11-scale attack:

The Central Intelligence Agency told CNSNews.com today that it stands by the assertion made in a May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that the use of “enhanced techniques” of interrogation on al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) — including the use of waterboarding — caused KSM to reveal information that allowed the U.S. government to thwart a planned attack on Los Angeles.

Before he was waterboarded, when KSM was asked about planned attacks on the United States, he ominously told his CIA interrogators, “Soon, you will know.”

According to the previously classified May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that was released by President Barack Obama last week, the thwarted attack — which KSM called the “Second Wave”– planned “ ‘to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into’ a building in Los Angeles.”

KSM initially resisted all other interrogation procedures, right up to the waterboard.  He insisted that Americans did not have the necessary resolve to get information out of him, and that we would only know about the next plot when it killed hundreds, if not thousands again.  Only after the waterboard did KSM cough up the information on the “second wave” attacks, and the CIA and other national-security agencies stopped it.

Does this answer whether waterboarding is torture?  Not really.  Does it negate the canard that “torture never works”?  Yes.  Torture works in getting people to talk, and sometimes they tell the truth.  The CIA got what it wanted — the information it needed to save lives — but it doesn’t prove or disprove whether a mock-execution procedure like waterboarding is torture or not.

It does, however, pose a difficult question for Americans, especially since the CIA even under Leon Panetta seems determined to get an answer to it.  What price do we want to pay for a pristine conscience in combating terrorism?  Do you mind if it costs thousands of American lives in plots we can’t discover because a terrorist suspect captured in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, or somewhere else has lawyered up?  Are there times when we can appropriately use a non-lethal technique without letting the target know that it’s non-lethal, in order to save American lives?

Both sides need to quit pretending on this issue.  Mock executions fit the definition of torture, and they also saved a lot of American lives.  If we can admit to reality, then we can have an honest debate about how far we should go to protect ourselves, and what price might be too high for our public image internationally.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bhocia; cia; ciainterrogation; ciainterrogationmemo; interrogation; obama
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1 posted on 04/22/2009 5:59:47 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

It must suck to be in the CIA. You either are serving a president you hate and try to tar with a scandal or a president you love who suddenly turns on you. Oh well, under the bus.


2 posted on 04/22/2009 6:02:04 PM PDT by saganite (What would Sully do?)
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To: NormsRevenge; pissant; Perdogg; Grampa Dave; SierraWasp; blam; SunkenCiv; Marine_Uncle; ...
For those that can still catch the Foxnews O'Reilly show today...watch the First 30 minutes for some great stuff on this interrogation issue and the show trials...and the selective release of the memo with important parts blanked out.

Very heated debate with an A**Hat Newsday columnist that refused to accept that it was a good thing to avert the possible tragedies by using harsh interrogation...very heated discussion...followed by Dick Morris describing how the plot on the Brooklyn Bridge was broken using wiretaps and interrogation...

3 posted on 04/22/2009 6:05:59 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
They want to get Gonzales so they can compel testimony against Bush and Cheney -- Privilaged communications? Not if they establish a conspiracy to knowingly break the law.

What Bush did was the right thing and hopefully the American people will see it that way but we elected Obama.

4 posted on 04/22/2009 6:06:14 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: saganite; joygrace; TigerLikesRooster; rabscuttle385; abb; yankeedame; jpsb; dennisw; dfwgator; ...

See #3....trying to get the word out ...worth watching.


5 posted on 04/22/2009 6:07:13 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Support Geert Wilders)
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To: JimSEA; SandRat; NormsRevenge; Grampa Dave; SierraWasp; SunkenCiv; blam; Marine_Uncle; ...

See #3.....trying to get the word out.


6 posted on 04/22/2009 6:08:18 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Waterboarding is torture.

However.

“We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” - George Orwell


7 posted on 04/22/2009 6:08:24 PM PDT by angkor
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To: angkor
At VMI ( I think ) it is considered hazing...mentioned on the Foxnews O’Reilly segment...see above.
8 posted on 04/22/2009 6:10:40 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I disagree with initiating torture as a policy. But after the enemy captures and tortures our military personnel, that practice sometimes tends to be answered in kind anyway.


9 posted on 04/22/2009 6:12:34 PM PDT by familyop (combat engineer (combat), National Guard, '89-'96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote, http://falconparty.com/)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

10 posted on 04/22/2009 6:13:03 PM PDT by Dallas59 ("You know the one with the big ears? He might be yours, but he ain't my president.")
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To: familyop

I think in special cases it is very productive.....


11 posted on 04/22/2009 6:13:47 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

And BTW, Obama has not proven any competence in warfighting knowledge or experience with which to criticize others.


12 posted on 04/22/2009 6:14:13 PM PDT by familyop (combat engineer (combat), National Guard, '89-'96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote, http://falconparty.com/)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Thanks E for the heads up.


13 posted on 04/22/2009 6:15:25 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (I still believe Duncan Hunter would have been the best solution... during this interim in time....)
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To: familyop

I think we should build something like the TOWER of London...but not get as harsh as events there were....just do stuff that works....


14 posted on 04/22/2009 6:15:27 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I saw most of that, but thankfully missed that royal puke ellis pemmican. Can’t stand him.


15 posted on 04/22/2009 6:16:03 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (the obamination will ruin this nation)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"I think in special cases it is very productive....."

I do agree with mock executions and telling PWs that a polygraph cuff will blow their arm off (when it won't). Only scaring them is not really torture.


16 posted on 04/22/2009 6:16:32 PM PDT by familyop (combat engineer (combat), National Guard, '89-'96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote, http://falconparty.com/)
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To: Marine_Uncle
Can you still catch it...?

He had someone on before the Newsday clown...that talked about the selective release of the memo...I missed most of that.

17 posted on 04/22/2009 6:17:35 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

yo spooks! Release the info on wikkileaks.


18 posted on 04/22/2009 6:17:39 PM PDT by Darwin Fish
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To: BOBTHENAILER

Watch the replay if you can....it was HEATED.


19 posted on 04/22/2009 6:18:38 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Support Geert Wilders)
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To: All
Related thread:

Eric Holder Says "No One Is Above The Law" As MoveOn Releases Ad Calling For Prosecutor (Video)

20 posted on 04/22/2009 6:22:32 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Support Geert Wilders)
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To: angkor

“Waterboarding is torture.”

No it isn’t; not by any standard. It is even applied to our own CIA and military special forces personnel as part of their training.

It is affective because the person it is being applied against believes they are being tortured (fear of drowning), while the fear they think is taking place (drowning) is, in fact NOT taking place.

It is a mind game executed by physical means. It has no lasting physical side affects and the only mental side affect is the knowledge that one does not want to have
that experience again.


21 posted on 04/22/2009 6:23:34 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: BOBTHENAILER
I wondered what that clown's name was....

Can you add anything regarding the discussion with the guest prior to the segment with A**HAT...?

22 posted on 04/22/2009 6:25:00 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Support Geert Wilders)
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To: angkor

tagable


23 posted on 04/22/2009 6:26:43 PM PDT by GOPJ (We sleep safe..because rough men stand ready..to visit violence on those who would do us harm-Orwell)
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To: angkor
Waterboarding is torture.

Unpleasant, yes. Torture, no.

No physical injury results -- neither temporary nor permanent.

24 posted on 04/22/2009 6:31:04 PM PDT by okie01 (THE MAItNSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: Wuli; okie01

You guys are so busy undefining torture that you miss the larger point, so I’ll state it again.

“We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

It was torture. It was used on KSM. It saved American lives.

Good. So what.


25 posted on 04/22/2009 6:57:33 PM PDT by angkor
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Trouble is, the CIA stopped another 9/11 type attack on LA. The CIA was infringing on the rights of the terrorists to attack the USA.

MOST OF the folks upset about this “torturing” (not by my definition), truly believe that America deserved 9/11 and any other death and destruction the shiiteheads can bring to us.

26 posted on 04/22/2009 7:01:50 PM PDT by Tahoe3002 (Politicians = Proof Positive that Crime does Pay.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I’ll bet it was and I’ll try and catch it.


27 posted on 04/22/2009 7:04:29 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (the obamination will ruin this nation)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Sorry, I can’t, I only caught the rest after Ellis was on. From the middle of Dick Morris forward. There was a great one earlier with Shep, who I despise, but it was Cliff May, eloquent in support of the methods used and the results gained, and Judith Miller, a screaching harridan who was shocked that Americans would do these heinous things, regardless of the cost in human life.

I sometimes wonder what rock some of these people crawl out from under.


28 posted on 04/22/2009 7:11:03 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (the obamination will ruin this nation)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Since Condoleeza is the one who gave the CIA the go ahead, I think prosecutions are going to be out of the question. Obama can’t prosecute Condoleeza or he loses both blacks and women.


29 posted on 04/22/2009 7:20:10 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: angkor
It's not that we're "undefining" torture -- the left has already done that.

Instead, let's be accurate about what torture really is. For one, the U.S. military would not visit torture upon its own. Extreme training, yes. But not torture.

Ergo, waterboarding is not torture.

Torture also connotes some kind of physical injury, temporary or permanent. Ergo, waterboarding is not torture.

Let's not rely on the left to define our words for us.

30 posted on 04/22/2009 7:21:24 PM PDT by okie01 (THE MAItNSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I had this on while I was doing other things, so I didn’t really catch it all, although I did see O’Reilly pointing his finger and reading the guy the riot act.

Was it also during O’Reilly that Dana Rohrabacher gave Hillary Clinton an inspiring smack down on Cheney and the memos? *That* was classic!


31 posted on 04/22/2009 7:32:20 PM PDT by calcowgirl (RECALL Abel Maldonado! - NO on Props 1A 1B 1C 1D 1E 1F)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Aloha Ernest,

Thanks for the heads up. BOR is on next over here.

BTW, at SERE training in Coronado, water boarding was part of the program. It's more psy ops than torture.
32 posted on 04/22/2009 7:33:26 PM PDT by BIGLOOK (Keelhaul Congress! It's the sensible solution to restore Command to the People.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

“Torture” is what has happened to our POWs in every conflict since we signed the Geneva Convention in 1947.

Fat lot of good that did us.


33 posted on 04/22/2009 7:36:30 PM PDT by exit82 (The Obama Cabinet: There was more brainpower on Gilligan's Island.)
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To: Dallas59



(Did you photoshop that? I want to steal it.)

34 posted on 04/22/2009 7:38:23 PM PDT by BIGLOOK (Keelhaul Congress! It's the sensible solution to restore Command to the People.)
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To: okie01
>>>>>> Torture also connotes some kind of physical injury, temporary or permanent. Ergo, waterboarding is not torture. <<<<<

Yes. You must be right. The Khmer Rouge agree.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuol_Sleng

35 posted on 04/22/2009 7:52:55 PM PDT by angkor
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To: JimSEA

“They want to get Gonzales so they can compel testimony against Bush and Cheney”

Just like Scooter Libby was set to rot in jail because someone thought they’d take a shot at Cheney.

This inside politics stuff is rough trade.


36 posted on 04/22/2009 8:10:15 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Is the CIA any value anylonger? What have they gotten right in 20 years?


37 posted on 04/22/2009 8:11:07 PM PDT by edcoil (Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner Liberty is a well-armed lamb)
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To: okie01

“It’s not that we’re ‘undefining’ torture — the left has already done that.”

I wouldn’t say the left has undefined torture. They’ve defined torture up, to steal someone else’s phrase. Waterboarding was perfectly okay until it was not. Thence it became torture.

I’m all for outlawing proper torture, outside of truly emergent situations. But who’s to say what torture is? Seriously. It’s not so objective as the ACLU would have you believe. What is evil about waterboarding? Not that it causes a great amount of pain, nor that it leaves the body disfigured, nor that it is something we won’t do to ourselves.

What’s left? That it scares people and makes them physically uncomfortable? I’d say the whole ordeal of being imprisoned and going through intensive interrogation is pretty uncomfortable and scary as it is. But not enough to break anybody. Staying up for hours at a time, not allowing for enough rest, giving them bad food to eat, etc., are dehumanizing. But not enough to break anybody.

So I ask, what’s the standard? Must we hurt people only so far as they break, and no further? That’s what I go for. Treating them like everyday prisoners? That’s what’ll happen if we pursue the current trend.

There is this illusion that people operate under, that there’s this line out there. That everyone can see the line. On one side stand civilized people; on the other stand barbarians. When people like Stalin and Hitler go to the other side, they become different from us. And we can rest easy in the knowledge that we’re not evil, and they are. Because they use force, and we don’t.

All the while, our government, no different from their’s, uses force all the time. Often it breaks out in grand-scale violence, as when we kill hundreds or thousands at a time indiscriminantly. Still, we think of ourselves as fundamentally different from the barbarians.

But we’re not. It’s a matter of degree. Government is nothing more than organized force, and every people who abide having a government must abide the legitimization of naked force. Whether or not the force is legitimate (i.e. legal) depends on the circumstances. Depends on whether there’s justification, whether the situation’s urgent, and whether we employ more violence then we need.

One thing is certain. When we waterboard people, we don’t become morally equivalent to Russian gulag artists, anymore than we do when we lock people away for their whole lives. There’s still an ocean between us.


38 posted on 04/22/2009 8:33:55 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: angkor
You guys are so busy undefining torture that you miss the larger point, so I'll state it again.

“We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

I acknowledge that you believe justification existed for the methods that were used. I give you a lot of credit for yielding the rhetorical point on torture while still arguing for the right to the continue to employ the techniques.

But nobody is "undefining" anything.

TORTURE is a combination of extreme malice and extreme permanent physical or pyschological harm. From what we know, nobody TORTURED anybody.

Fear is not torture. Are horror movies torture movies?

Deception is not torture. Is a poker game an act of terror?

Even murder might not be an act of physical torture.

I wouldn't want to be waterboarded. But I would choose a CIA waterboarding over being beheaded. Or having a tire placed around my neck and set on fire. Or being stoned to death by an angry mob.

I too will reserve the right to use REAL TORTURE if necessary to save humanity. But I will not plead guilty based on what I know of our recent conduct.

39 posted on 04/22/2009 8:38:51 PM PDT by plymaniac (2010=1994)
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To: BIGLOOK

No. I found it on Reddit. Be my guest!


40 posted on 04/22/2009 8:40:58 PM PDT by Dallas59 ("You know the one with the big ears? He might be yours, but he ain't my president.")
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I like the "Helicopter Method" depicted in the movie, "The Gods Must Be Crazy"... '-}
41 posted on 04/22/2009 9:07:19 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...!!)
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To: TXnMA
"The Gods Must Be Crazy"...

Funniest movie ever. I saw it the first time when I was out of town staying in a hotel. When I got home, I rented it for our family Friday Night movie.

When it started my kids where whining about what a lame movie Dad picked. Before it was over, they had tears running down their cheeks from laughing so hard.


42 posted on 04/22/2009 9:17:21 PM PDT by Ditto
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To: angkor
Waterboarding is torture.

The Khmer Rouge and others used it to torture and to get phony confessions. Some of  those water boarded got brain damage due to oxygen deprivation
We do not use it as torture. We do it very quick (less than a minute) and painlessly and we do it strictly to get intelligence

If I am going to be tortured I will take one minute of water boarding over real torture such as Saddam Hussein used any day of the week. Saddam knew real torture do does a Khalid Sheik Muhammed

43 posted on 04/22/2009 9:26:55 PM PDT by dennisw (Your action becomes your habit. Your habit becomes your character, that becomes your destiny)
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To: Ditto
Yep! It is one of our family's all-time favorites, too.

My granddaughter had a couple of of her fourth-grade friends over for a sleepover last weekend, and she cajoled me into letting them stay up to watch the "Ai! Yi-Yaii! Yi-Yaiiiiii!" movie -- as our grandkids call it... '-) They had a great time...

44 posted on 04/22/2009 9:29:23 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...!!)
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To: TXnMA
It sure hit my funny bone. The Bushman who trekked hundreds of miles to throw the Coke bottle off the end of the earth was the only sane person in the flick. ;~))
45 posted on 04/22/2009 9:44:54 PM PDT by Ditto
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To: plymaniac; dennisw

OK, since we have no official or authoritative benchmark on the absolute definition of “torture”, let’s just move on to say that waterboarding is a practice that should be reserved and limited to nasty operators such as KSM.

Anything further discussion is exactly the kind of semantic hairsplitting that appeals to lawyers. It’s also the this same lawyerly discussion that took place among White House staffers in 2003 and 2004.

When the simple answer then as now would have been to drop the “is it or isn’t it” arguments, concede that it may be, take responsibility for it, and move on.

There may occasionally be things that patriots must do without further deliberation, and then leave the consequences to a jury of one’s peers.

That’s pretty much what GWB and his staff did in this case and you can’t really fault them for it.


46 posted on 04/23/2009 3:17:21 AM PDT by angkor
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To: angkor; okie01

I don’t mind if you want to accept “Waterboarding” as torture, because you also want to accept torture as an occasionally, under certain circumstances, O.K. thing to do. That’s fine.

But, on a factual basis, by any classical definition, “Waterboarding” is not torture, even though the unsuspecting recipient of that act believes it to be at the time.

Like I said, it is a mind game, and only a mind game, executed by physical means. The body is in fact not harmed, nor in danger of it and the psyche does not suffer any irreparable harm. If that were not the case, it could not be administered to our own special forces in their training.

It is not a matter of “undefining” torture, but of keeping it in it’s historical, classical and rightful meanings.

Is it intense “psychological warfare”, on an individual scale? Yes. Torture? No.


47 posted on 04/23/2009 6:20:45 AM PDT by Wuli
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I have been busy in my chores as temp caregiver for my mom, so I have not been on the boards till now. I may check out Fox to see if anything in the way of videos is still available on this one.


48 posted on 04/23/2009 5:21:59 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (I still believe Duncan Hunter would have been the best solution... during this interim in time....)
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To: Marine_Uncle
Just posted this ....

2007: Torture update: What did Nancy Pelosi know and when did she know it?

Cause today Nancy says this...FR Thread:

Pelosi: I didn't know about waterboarding

49 posted on 04/23/2009 5:26:24 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Pelosi is one operator. One hell of a lier and actor. She is every bit as good as Zero and BJ in the lying department, by all indications.


50 posted on 04/23/2009 5:45:44 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (I still believe Duncan Hunter would have been the best solution... during this interim in time....)
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