Playing a Little “Concepts” Catch Up (Romney and Torture)

(Originally posted December of 2012) Just some notes on two pre-and-post-election articles from the Country journals “Concepts.” I will follow this post with one dealing with “Concepts” dealing with “free will” and how Mr. Van Huizum’s position is unattainable without the theistic view of God. But first this. In the October 20th, 2012 edition of the Country Journal, John said something I agree with. Whether he realizes it or not, he made a case FOR Romney over the horrible budgeting leadership Obama and the Democrats have shown. He says, and I quote:

The only purpose of a democratic government is to provide services for its citizens. Since the two purposes are totally different, it is doubtful to begin with that having a talent for business is going to be any yardstick as a talent for governing. When government money enabled Mitt Romney to hold a successful Olympics, does it speak well of Romney or of government?

And this is the point I think John was making… government monies create success (a broad generalization), I think he is arguing for the government spending success on “events,” it body-politic. However, he showed that Romeny took a failing Olympics where money, and more money, was being carelessly thrown to the wind via mismanagement, a lack of accountability, and corruption. Romeny took that, the classic end of Big-Government, and managed the resources well, organized opportunities to succeed for the most bang for the buck, and the Olympics were saved. Too bad this same experience John spoke of from the business sector, proven in the micro-sense with the Olympics didn’t come to Washington. Instead, you have a President who, unlike Bill Clinton who, yes, raised taxes but REFORMED social programs and CUT spending at the time. Obama is offering another stimulus (more government spending) that is about equal to any forecast gain in tax increases/revenue — the exact opposite of Clinton! (See my, “Examples/Evidence of Obama’s Policies Not Working, Thus Proving the Republican Position Works.“) At any rate, John I am sure voted for continued mismanagement, and the answer to John’s question is “Romney.”

Moving on.

This was torturous to read, honestly. More of the “blame Bush” mentality, what is called BDS: Bush Derangement Syndrome. I cannot tell you how many discussions I have had of late rehashing Halliburton, Iraq, WMDs, and other myths/conspiracies that came from the left in regards to these historical events.

The above is a great example of how the emotional argument from a non-sequiture making the above also a great example of an informal fallacy:

“Fallacious arguments usually have the deceptive appearance of being good arguments” (source). Recognizing fallacies in everyday arguments may be difficult since arguments are often embedded in rhetorical patterns that obscure the logical connections between statements. Informal fallacies may also exploit the emotional, intellectual, or psychological weaknesses of the audience. Having the capability to recognize fallacies in arguments is one way to reduce the likelihood of such occurrences. (Wiki)

What is being done is that the readers emotions are being “ginned up” by examples of real torture and death, and dictatorial regimes, and then… wayyyy at the bottom we read:

If our body is a shrine, the torturer delights in invading, defiling and desecrating that shrine. He does so publicly, deliberately, repeatedly and often sexually. For our government to tolerate torture such as water-boarding should be a stain on our conscience.

One can see that John is still trying to connect something that didn’t happen to the U.S. governments use of water-boarding of three individuals. Three. Here is an old post on the subject… it is in-depth and is one of two (the other is found here) dealing with this topic:

From a friendly challenge to me on my FaceBook:

Rumsfeld said point blank that they did not get this info from enhanced interrogation but through regular interrogation. I had a Newsmax link which I knew you’d like better but it did not want to post for some reason. I’ll try again.

The whole debate between the efficacious nature of enhanced interrogation is back in the news, thanks to the wonderful killing of Osama bin Laden. As the Atlantic Journal notes well the politically charged topic this brings to the debate between Left and Right:

The shot-up corpse of Osama bin Laden was barely wet at the bottom of the sea when conservative heavyweights began praising Bush-era “enhanced interrogation” tactics as a big reason why U.S. soldiers were able to know in which multistory house in which million-dollar compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the al Qaeda leader was holed up. With a spectacularly successful “end” to the bin Laden story, the we-told-you-so crowd evidently now wants to go back and re-litigate the legitimacy of the “means” by which they claim it all came about.

And, in the absence of any other juicy political conflict surrounding the news of bin Laden’s death, serious journalists were only too happy to oblige the counterfact festival choreographed (typically without attribution, of course) mainly by the nation’s various spies and spooks. One earnest reporter after another, from the right and the left and in between, dutifully stoked the suddenly “reignited” fires of debate over the effectiveness of torture as a means of gathering material information from terror detainees.

On Monday into Tuesday, as a running sidebar to the main story about how the bin Laden assault took place, there were a slew of news articles arguing the back-and-forth of the torture meme as if the two sides to the argument came to this august moment in American history on equal footing in fact or law. For example, NBC’s mighty Michael Isikoff tried to finesse the matter by describing the torture of terror law prisoners as “aggressive interrogations” or “sometimes controversial interrogations.” And then he wrote:

The behind-the-scenes story of how bin Laden was finally located is yet to be fully told, but emerging details seem likely to reignite the debate over whether “enhanced interrogation” techniques and other aggressive methods that have been widely criticized by human rights groups provided useful – or timely — intelligence about al-Qaida. While some current and former U.S. officials credited those interrogations Monday with producing the big break in the case, others countered that they failed to produce what turned out to be the most crucial piece of intelligence of all: the identity and whereabouts of the most important figure in bin Laden courier’s network.

One of the “behind-the-scenes” nuggets apparently involves Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, who was said by some unidentified analysts to have given up the nicknames of some of bin Laden’s couriers only after being subjected to waterboarding. One of those couriers, we now know, was brilliantly tracked by American operatives to the Abbottabad hideout and thus to bin Laden himself. But here’s what the Associated Press had to say about that:

Mohammed did not reveal the names while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said. He identified them many months later under standard interrogation, they said, leaving it once again up for debate as to whether the harsh technique was a valuable tool or an unnecessarily violent tactic.

Just exactly why the merits of waterboarding as an honorable tool of U.S. policy are “once again up for debate” based upon the Mohammed example was left unwritten by the AP.

(read more)

Firstly, a shout out to the many years from multiple administrations and the intelligence community and our boys in uniform. Now down to business. I have gotten a couple of people pointing out some discrepancies in my previous post, Without Bush Implementing Water-Boarding and Guantanamo Interrogations, Osama Would Still Be Alive. What is actually happening – I believe – is a misconception of times and places on the part of the liberals entering into this discussion. It is important to know as well that “first reports” are always a bit confused. As you read the following you will see that the Daily Kos, Huffington Post, and other liberal sites ran with responses to questions that don’t fit the outcome to the conclusions made. What the questions were that were originally posed to Rumsfeld seem to be a bit out of context, as we will see.

To wit I have been given multiple articles to read, some from liberal sources, others from conservative source… sources rejected except in this singular instance – speaking here of the NewsMax article. In it NewsMax starts out with this:

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tells Newsmax the information that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden was obtained through “normal interrogation approaches” and says the notion that terrorist suspects were waterboarded at Guantanamo Bay is a “myth.”

Lets bullet point this for clarity sake:

1) information that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden was obtained through “normal interrogation approaches

2) the notion that terrorist suspects were waterboarded at Guantanamo Bay is a “myth.”

Nothing I wrote or conservatives posted disagree with this notion, and it is beyond me why DailyKos, the Huffington post, and other sites take Rummies words and misconstrue them. A great post dealing with this issue is found over at SayAnythingBlog.com:

Liberals have been touting these comments from Donald Rumsfeld in which the former Bush administration Secretary of Defense says that the intelligence used to find Osama bin Laden wasn’t obtained through waterboarding because waterboarding didn’t happen at Guantanamo Bay:

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tells Newsmax the information that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden was obtained through “normal interrogation approaches” and says the notion that terrorist suspects were waterboarded at Guantanamo Bay is a “myth.”

Rumsfeld also claims that elements of Pakistani intelligence could have been complicit in hiding the terrorist mastermind, asserts that his killing exonerates George W. Bush’s approach to fighting terrorism, and warns that terrorists will likely try to avenge bin Laden’s death with new attacks against America or its allies.

“Another wingnut myth bites the dust,” writes Bob Cesca, but I’m not sure this really disproves anything.

First, we know that Khalid Sheik Mohammed was interrogated not at Guantanamo Bay but at CIA detention centers in eastern Europe. We also know that KSM was subjected to so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” which is pretty much political speak for waterboarding.

Also, as Stephen Hayes notes on Twitter, the question isn’t whether or not KSM gave up the intelligence during a waterboarding session but whether or not the waterboarding we all know KSM went through made him compliant with his interrogators, something that lead to him giving up the intelligence at a later date.

Say Anything Blog goes on to point out that Congressman King still stands by the position that this beginning info came from those waterboarding moments. However, even if we accept the liberal spin, Say Anything goes on to point out the following:

But really, this is all a moot point. Even it we stipulate that waterboarding, or “enhanced interrogation techniques,” had nothing at all do to with KSM giving up key details which lead to bin Laden’s capture the intelligence was still gathered at facilities (Guantanamo Bay and the CIA prisons in Europe) Obama wanted shut down.

No matter how this is spun, the reality of how the intelligence which brought down bin Laden was gathered is a black eye for President Obama and the liberals who spent years campaigning against the very policies which made that intelligence gathering possible.

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Excellent points! Also, many sources in the prevailing articles coming out hourly is another indicator of the factual points of the varying sides of this argument. For instance, over at the Denver Post (was at the Charlotte Observer):

Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, detainees in the CIA’s secret prison network told interrogators about an important courier with the nom de guerre Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti who was close to bin Laden. After the CIA captured al-Qaida’s No. 3 leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he confirmed knowing al-Kuwaiti but denied he had anything to do with al-Qaida.

Then in 2004, top al-Qaida operative Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq. Ghul told the CIA that al-Kuwaiti was a courier, someone crucial to the terrorist organization. In particular, Ghul said, the courier was close to Faraj al-Libi, who replaced Mohammed as al-Qaida’s operational commander. It was a key break in the hunt for in bin Laden’s personal courier.

“Hassan Ghul was the linchpin,” a U.S. official said.

Finally, in May 2005, al-Libi was captured. Under CIA interrogation, al-Libi admitted that when he was promoted to succeed Mohammed, he received the word through a courier. But he made up a name for the courier and denied knowing al-Kuwaiti, a denial that was so adamant and unbelievable that the CIA took it as confirmation that he and Mohammed were protecting the courier. It only reinforced the idea that al-Kuwaiti was very important to al-Qaida.

If they could find the man known as al-Kuwaiti, they’d find bin Laden.

The revelation that intelligence gleaned from the CIA’s so-called black sites helped kill bin Laden was seen as vindication for many intelligence officials who have been repeatedly investigated and criticized for their involvement in a program that involved the harshest interrogation methods in U.S. history.

“We got beat up for it, but those efforts led to this great day,” said Marty Martin, a retired CIA officer who for years led the hunt for bin Laden.

Mohammed did not discuss al-Kuwaiti while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said. He acknowledged knowing him many months later under standard interrogation, they said, leaving it once again up for debate as to whether the harsh technique was a valuable tool or an unnecessarily violent tactic.

read more

Take note that the source that mentions that we did get the info via enhanced interrogations was sourced by name. Again:

The revelation that intelligence gleaned from the CIA’s so-called black sites helped kill bin Laden was seen as vindication for many intelligence officials who have been repeatedly investigated and criticized for their involvement in a program that involved the harshest interrogation methods in U.S. history.

“We got beat up for it, but those efforts led to this great day,” said Marty Martin, a retired CIA officer who for years led the hunt for bin Laden.

The sources apparently saying different are simply referred to as former officials, But note that the article says this, “Mohammed did not discuss al-Kuwaiti while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said. He acknowledged knowing him many months later under standard interrogation.” In two separate posts on my FaceBook I pointed out the misunderstanding some seem to have:

The name of the courier did not come from KSM under enhanced interrogation. KSM cracked and agreed to share what he knew BECAUSE of enhanced interrogation. I don’t know how I can be clearer? …. ‎(I read the Newsmax article.) KSM, after many short intervals of water-boarding combined with sleep deprivation, caved in. And over many months/years of “tea and crumpets” he divulged names, places, tactics, and the like. This info led to many plots being foiled [like the planned attack on the Library Tower in L.A.]. The codename for the courier was one of the items given up during these talks AFTER they water-boarded him, which could have been months after or years after this initial event. Clear?

For those who have the time, I highly recommend Larry Elders dealing with this topic yesterday. I combine highlighted moments from his radio broadcast where he makes many similar point:

The Sage Talks KSM, Osama, and Liberal Rants! from Papa Giorgio on Vimeo.

Gateway Pundit likewise deals with his topic in a way that refutes the many positions stated by my liberal friends:

Obama CIA chief admitted today that intelligence gleaned from enhanced interrogating techniques led the US to Osama Bin Laden. Today reported:

Intelligence garnered from waterboarded detainees was used to track down al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and kill him, CIA Chief Leon Panetta told NBC News on Tuesday.

“Enhanced interrogation techniques” were used to extract information that led to the mission’s success, Panetta said during an interview with anchor Brian Williams. Those techniques included waterboarding, he acknowledged.

Panetta, who in a 2009 CIA confirmation hearing declared “waterboarding is torture and it’s wrong,” said Tuesday that debate about its use will continue.

“Whether we would have gotten the same information through other approaches I think is always gonna be an open question,” Panetta said.

Additionally, Gateway Pundit has video of Rumsfeld saying the same (video is gone – poof… here is a rundown of the misquote):

  • RUMSFELD QUOTE FROM HANNITY: “CIA Director Panetta indicated that one of the individuals who provided important information had in fact been waterboarded… There was some confusion today on some programs, even one on FOX I think, suggesting that I indicated that no one who was waterboarded at Guantanamo provided any information on this. It’s not true. No one was waterboarded at Guantanamo by the US military. In fact no one was waterboarded at Guantanamo period. Three people were waterboarded by the CIA away from Guantanamo and then later were brought to Guantanamo. And, in fact, as you pointed out the information from these individuals was critically important.” (GATEWAY PUNDIT)
  • There has been a lot of misquoted information surface on this topic because it came from 3rd, 4th and 5th party repeaters. Rumsfield was misquoted. He appeared on TV and stated that he never said that the information wasn’t obtained from waterboarding, only that the waterboarding of KSM didn’t occur at GITMO. Actually the correct information was that KSM gave up the info while being interrogated in the country he was captured and that’s where the waterboarding took place not after he was sent to GITMO. Congressman Peter King made the statement and stands behind it. (See more on how this misquote was used against people like Rep. Peter King, HERE). (AARP)

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld:

“CIA Director Panetta indicated that one of the individuals who provided important information had in fact been waterboarded… There was some confusion today on some programs, even one on FOX I think, suggesting that I indicated that no one who was waterboarded at Guantanamo provided any information on this. It’s not true. No one was waterboarded at Guantanamo by the US military. In fact no one was waterboarded at Guantanamo period. Three people were waterboarded by the CIA away from Guantanamo and then later were brought to Guantanamo. And, in fact, as you pointed out the information from these individuals was critically important.”

Once again… Ace of Spades put together the timeline that started back in 2003 during the Bush years that led to Osama’s death on Sunday.

The Obama Administration is lying. They don’t want to give Bush credit for leading them to Osama’s compound. And, they don’t want to admit they were wrong about waterboarding.

Once Again, my Democrats and Liberal friends are wrong as well as major liberal sites such as the Daily Kos and the Huffington Post are wrong. Too bad, sooo sad. I wish to point out that many of the truther leftist out there seem to running into a wall of competing emotions and logical conclusions within their models. (Here I suggest my C-O-N-Debunker page for the truther.) For instance, one friend on FaceBook posted this in regards to Rossie O’Donnel:

The killing of Bin Laden must pose a dilemma for leftist truthers like Rosie O’Donnell, who think 9/11 was an inside job by the Bush administration. As a loyal liberal, she wants to praise Obama, but for what — killing the wrong guy?

Another person chimed in:

It’s worse than that Mike, if you include the rare bird known as the truther-birther. That guy not only believes the wrong guy was killed, but that the wrong guy ordered the killing. And now add the newly-minted, “deather,” who doesn’t believe OBL was really killed. Thus, you can in theory have someone who believes that the wrong guy issued an order to kill a guy that didn’t die for a crime he did not commit.

Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first try to deceive, which are what the conspiratorialists — of which I use to be one many years ago — are doing to themselves. But it sure is fun to watch.

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