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.

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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.

“We Supplied Most Of Iraq’s Weapons” ~ Mantra

Of course the Left charges us (the United States)with quite a few provably false, or at most, inflated charges in regards to the the United States arming Iraq.

Weaponry

A quick refutation of another familiar “mantra” we hear connected to this topic, and one most at the rally in the video above most assuredly accept, is that the U.S. supplied the bulk of weapons that Iraq has and used. This just isn’t the case, the the graphic below points out (click it to enlarge it for better viewing):

Iraqi Weapons

Agents of Mass Destruction

The story goes that the United States provided chemical weapons to Iraq. The proof is the photo of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein in 1983. In an excellent Yahoo Answers question:

  • Did we really sell or give Iraq chemical or biological weapons, or is that something the liberals made up?

Some reasonable parameters were added to this original question. Here they are:

  • Update: If you’re going to tell me that we did, show me some proof of it. Don’t just make more baseless accusations and repeating what you heard from other ignorant people and bogus sources.
  • Update 2: Shaking hands with our allies does not mean we provided them with biological or chemical weapons! Iraq was our ally back before the gulf war.
  • Update 3: If you’re going to include links to your research, make sure somewhere on there it says that we gave or sold Iraq the WMDs. I’m not even going to bother looking at the “propaganda” websites. Show me something from a legitimate source.
  • Update 4: Connie G, I don’t see anything relevant to my question on your links. Did you not understand the question?
  • Update 5: The Iran Chamber Society is not as far as I’m concerned a legitamate source. This is a country that hates the United States and isn’t known for their honesty and fairness. Is this where you get your info, Connie G.?
  • Update 6: How about citing some legitimate sources like CNN, 60 minutes, or FoxNews. I don’t trust obscure websites that I’ve never heard of before. Who knows what their agenda is

When these requests are added, the best answer certainly is the best answer: handshake300

  • I have never seen one present any sort of proof what so ever. They just parrot it. Notice how they just declare it true but offer nothing of proof at all.

This comes from my afterword of my WMD Page:

… A similar myth, that the U.S. provided Iraq with chemical and biological weapons is equally off base. Iraq requested Anthrax samples from the US government, as do nations the world over, for the purpose of developing animal and human vaccines for local versions of Anthrax. Nerve gas doesn’t require technical help, it’s a variant of common insecticides. European nations sold Iraq the equipment to make poison gas.

Here is some on-depth info on the hand-shake:

Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein: The U.S. Tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984

….His December 1983 tour of regional capitals included Baghdad, where he was to establish “direct contact between an envoy of President Reagan and President Saddam Hussein,” while emphasizing “his close relationship” with the president [Document 28]. Rumsfeld met with Saddam, and the two discussed regional issues of mutual interest, shared enmity toward Iran and Syria, and the U.S.’s efforts to find alternative routes to transport Iraq’s oil; its facilities in the Persian Gulf had been shut down by Iran, and Iran’s ally, Syria, had cut off a pipeline that transported Iraqi oil through its territory. Rumsfeld made no reference to chemical weapons, according to detailed notes on the meeting [Document 31].

Rumsfeld also met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, and the two agreed, “the U.S. and Iraq shared many common interests.” Rumsfeld affirmed the Reagan administration’s “willingness to do more” regarding the Iran-Iraq war, but “made clear that our efforts to assist were inhibited by certain things that made it difficult for us, citing the use of chemical weapons, possible escalation in the Gulf, and human rights.” He then moved on to other U.S. concerns [Document 32]. Later, Rumsfeld was assured by the U.S. interests section that Iraq’s leadership had been “extremely pleased” with the visit, and that “Tariq Aziz had gone out of his way to praise Rumsfeld as a person” [Document 36 and Document 37].

Rumsfeld returned to Baghdad in late March 1984. By this time, the U.S. had publicly condemned Iraq’s chemical weapons use, stating, “The United States has concluded that the available evidence substantiates Iran’s charges that Iraq used chemical weapons” [Document 47]. Briefings for Rumsfeld’s meetings noted that atmospherics in Iraq had deteriorated since his December visit because of Iraqi military reverses and because “bilateral relations were sharply set back by our March 5 condemnation of Iraq for CW use, despite our repeated warnings that this issue would emerge sooner or later” [Document 48]. Rumsfeld was to discuss with Iraqi officials the Reagan administration’s hope that it could obtain Export-Import Bank credits for Iraq, the Aqaba pipeline, and its vigorous efforts to cut off arms exports to Iran. According to an affidavit prepared by one of Rumsfeld’s companions during his Mideast travels, former NSC staff member Howard Teicher, Rumsfeld also conveyed to Iraq an offer from Israel to provide assistance, which was rejected [Document 61].

Although official U.S. policy still barred the export of U.S. military equipment to Iraq, some was evidently provided on a “don’t ask – don’t tell” basis. In April 1984, the Baghdad interests section asked to be kept apprised of Bell Helicopter Textron’s negotiations to sell helicopters to Iraq, which were not to be “in any way configured for military use” [Document 55]. The purchaser was the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. In December 1982, Bell Textron’s Italian subsidiary had informed the U.S. embassy in Rome that it turned down a request from Iraq to militarize recently purchased Hughes helicopters. An allied government, South Korea, informed the State Department that it had received a similar request in June 1983 (when a congressional aide asked in March 1983 whether heavy trucks recently sold to Iraq were intended for military purposes, a State Department official replied “we presumed that this was Iraq’s intention, and had not asked.”) [Document 44]

During the spring of 1984 the U.S. reconsidered policy for the sale of dual-use equipment to Iraq’s nuclear program, and its “preliminary results favor[ed] expanding such trade to include Iraqi nuclear entities” [Document 57]. Several months later, a Defense Intelligence Agency analysis said that even after the war ended, Iraq was likely to “continue to develop its formidable conventional and chemical capability, and probably pursue nuclear weapons” [Document 58]. (Iraq is situated in a dangerous neighborhood, and Israel had stockpiled a large nuclear weapons arsenal without international censure. Nuclear nonproliferation was not a high priority of the Reagan administration – throughout the 1980s it downplayed Pakistan’s nuclear program, though its intelligence indicated that a weapons capability was being pursued, in order to avert congressionally mandated sanctions. Sanctions would have impeded the administration’s massive military assistance to Pakistan provided in return for its support of the mujahideen fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.)

In February 1984, Iraq’s military, expecting a major Iranian attack, issued a warning that “the invaders should know that for every harmful insect there is an insecticide capable of annihilating it whatever the number and Iraq possesses this annihilation insecticide” [Document 41]. On March 3, the State Department intervened to prevent a U.S. company from shipping 22,000 pounds of phosphorous fluoride, a chemical weapons precursor, to Iraq. Washington instructed the U.S. interests section to protest to the Iraqi government, and to inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that “we anticipate making a public condemnation of Iraqi use of chemical weapons in the near future,” and that “we are adamantly opposed to Iraq’s attempting to acquire the raw materials, equipment, or expertise to manufacture chemical weapons from the United States. When we become aware of attempts to do so, we will act to prevent their export to Iraq” [Document 42].

The public condemnation was issued on March 5. It said, “While condemning Iraq’s chemical weapons use . . . The United States finds the present Iranian regime’s intransigent refusal to deviate from its avowed objective of eliminating the legitimate government of neighboring Iraq to be inconsistent with the accepted norms of behavior among nations and the moral and religious basis which it claims” [Document 43].

Later in the month, the State Department briefed the press on its decision to strengthen controls on the export of chemical weapons precursors to Iran and Iraq, in response to intelligence and media reports that precursors supplied to Iraq originated in Western countries. When asked whether the U.S.’s conclusion that Iraq had used chemical weapons would have “any effect on U.S. recent initiatives to expand commercial relationships with Iraq across a broad range, and also a willingness to open diplomatic relations,” the department’s spokesperson said “No. I’m not aware of any change in our position. We’re interested in being involved in a closer dialogue with Iraq” [Document 52]….

Water-Boarding Key For Actionable Intelligence (i.e., Liberal Fail)

CHUCK TODD: When you say waterboarding is not torture, then why did we prosecute Japanese soldiers in World War II for waterboarding?

(OVERTALK)

DICK CHENEY: For a lot of stuff. Not for waterboarding. They did an awful lot of other stuff. To draw some kind of moral equivalent between waterboarding, judged by our Justice Department not to be torture, and what the Japanese did with the Bataan Death March and the slaughter of thousands of Americans, with the rape of Nanking and all of the other crimes they committed, that’s an outrage. It’s a really cheap shot, Chuck, to even try to draw a parallel between the Japanese who were prosecuted for war crimes after World War II and what we did with waterboarding three individuals–

TODD: I understand.

CHENEY: –all of whom were guilty and participated in the 9/11 attacks.

TODD: Is there a reason these interrogations didn’t happen on U.S. soil? Was there concern that maybe these folks would get legal protections–

CHENEY: Well–

TODD: –from the United States and that’s why it was done at black sites?

CHENEY: We didn’t read them their Miranda Rights either. These are not American citizens. They are unlawful combatants. They are terrorists. They are people who have committed unlawful acts of war against the American people. And we put them in places where we could proceed with the interrogation program and find out what they knew so we could protect the country against further attacks. And it worked.

(NewsBusters)

(Originally posted in May of 2011 — updated)

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.

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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.

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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's Own CIA Head Says Water-boarding Helped

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:

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.


(Another post dated May 2014)

I posted this on my FaceBook:

This capture and killing of Osama would not have been possible without Bush being in office. We water-boarded a handful of people, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed being one. He is the guy who gave up the codename for the courier that led to this “justice being served.” …. Confirmation came through other interrogations at Guantanamo Bay — something Dems wanted to close as well.

Firstly, we know that Democrats/liberals are against water-boarding, except if it were done to Bush’s daughters. You think I am kidding? Stepephen King, novelist and outspoken Democrat, said this:

Someone in the Bush family should actually be waterboarded so they could report on it to George. I said, I didn’t think he would do it, but I suggested Jenna be waterboarded and then she could talk about whether or not she thought it was torture.

I agree with Stephen King, if Jenna Bush had detailed information about a plot that was already under-way to destroy the Library Tower in L.A., by all means, waterboard her. But don’t ask if it is torture after… one should, rather, ask her if she is allergic to peas. Because that’s one staple she will be getting with her meals a few times a week in her lifelong prison cell.

You see, Democrats have what Thomas Sowell calls first tier thinking, they never make it to the second tier. They simply act upon how something makes them feel: “this makes me feel uneasy, therefore, I will act against what engenders my feeling.” They do not make it to the second tier, which asks “how does this affect society and other people besides me.” Many do not understand even how they make decisions. Dr. Sowell isn’t worried as much about Johnny not being able to read, rather, he is worried about how Johnny makes decisions: “The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.” This applies to Democratic decision making. It is this thinking that muddled the proper historical application of torture and the Geneva Convention (see: WWII, Nazi’s, Torture, & Rights (4 Imported Articles — Very Important Read To Formulate Proper Views of History and Responses to Revisionist History). One of my favorite lines from the linked post is comparing key information gotten from Nazi’s captured during WWII is this:

If anyone believes that SIS persuaded each of these 19 hard-bitten Nazi spies to fall in with Operation Fortitude by merely offering them tea, biscuits, and lectures in democracy, they’re being profoundly naïve.

One of the problems with Democratic thinking is in regards to “moral equivalency.” I point this out in a post about water-boarding and how the Democratic leadership views our military:

A Little Historical Angst

The Obama administration is backtracking on its statement that some may be open to legal prosecution for their involvement in the “torturing” three members of Al Qaeda. The problem of the Democrats is moral equivalency. While they say Republican see thing in black-and-white, and they see things in shades of grey (with thanks to Dennis Prager), they in fact see all torture techniques — putting a guy in a small cell with bugs — as morally wrong. They do not see gradations of “torture” like they do not see gradations between cultures and social-issues (moral equivalency of marriage, for instance).

See for instance Democrats calling our military Nazi’s and Terrorists:

John Kerry calls American troops terrorists
Durbin Compares U.S. Troops to Nazi’s, Soviets, & Pol Pot
Murtha calls Marines Murderers (of course these Marines were all acquitted because they were under fire from these places they fired on. I have to include a response by a Marine to Murtha, and a story on Murtha being sued for slander.)

I can here recommend a book by Michelle Malkin entitled,  “Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild“; and another book by an ex-dem entitled,  “Leaving the Left: Moments in the News That Made Me Ashamed to Be a Liberal.”


“His sufferings must be that of a man who is drowning, but cannot drown.” ~ Lt. Grover Flint


Later in this same post Peter Hoekstra points out that, “Perhaps we need an investigation not of the enhanced interrogation program, but of what the Obama administration may be doing to endanger the security our nation has enjoyed because of interrogations and other antiterrorism measures implemented since Sept. 12, 2001. “Thankfully we had a President that knew at what cost information comes and was willing to implement the program that stopped sooo many deaths! This can be exemplified in Marc Thiessen debating Democrats on the issue…

[seen near the top]

…. From waterboarding.org, Waterboarding Success Stories: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Library Tower:

The waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is often cited as one of the major waterboarding “success stories”. ABC News reporter Brian Ross credited waterboarding for the crucial information used to avert the destruction of Library Tower.

ROSS: That has happened in some cases where the material that’s been given has not been accurate, has been essentially to stop the torture. In the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the information was very valuable, particularly names and addresses of people who were involved with al Qaeda in this country and in Europe. And in one particular plot, which would involve an airline attack on the tallest building in Los Angeles, known as the Library Tower.

The US Bank Tower plot was revealed to the public by President Bush on February 9, 2006 in a speech to the National Guard Association:

In the weeks after September the 11th, while Americans were still recovering from an unprecedented strike on our homeland, al Qaeda was already busy planning its next attack. We now know that in October 2001, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad — the mastermind of the September the 11th attacks — had already set in motion a plan to have terrorist operatives hijack an airplane using shoe bombs to breach the cockpit door, and fly the plane into the tallest building on the West Coast. We believe the intended target was Liberty [sic] Tower in Los Angeles, California.

Rather than use Arab hijackers as he had on September the 11th, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad sought out young men from Southeast Asia — whom he believed would not arouse as much suspicion. To help carry out this plan, he tapped a terrorist named Hambali [Riduan Isamuddin], one of the leaders of an al Qaeda affiliated group in Southeast Asia called “J-I” [Jemaah Islamiyah]. JI terrorists were responsible for a series of deadly attacks in Southeast Asia, and members of the group had trained with al Qaeda. Hambali recruited several key operatives who had been training in Afghanistan. Once the operatives were recruited, they met with Osama bin Laden, and then began preparations for the West Coast attack.

Their plot was derailed in early 2002 when a Southeast Asian nation arrested a key al Qaeda operative. Subsequent debriefings and other intelligence operations made clear the intended target, and how al Qaeda hoped to execute it. This critical intelligence helped other allies capture the ringleaders and other known operatives who had been recruited for this plot. The West Coast plot had been thwarted.

Which aspects of this plot could Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s waterboarding have revealed?

♦ We learned about Al Qaeda’s interest in flying planes into buildings on September 11, 2001.

♦ We knew about Al Qaeda’s use of shoe bombs from Richard Reid, captured in December 22, 2001.

♦ We knew about Jemaah Islamiyah at least since the Bali Bomb attack on October 12, 2002.

♦ The “key al Qaeda operative” and pilot for the plot, Zaini Zakari, was arrested by Malaysian authorities in December 2002.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on March 1, 2003after the plot was discovered, after the plot was “derailed”, after the pilot of the plane was captured. Khaled Sheikh Mohammed could not have “provided valuable information and saved lives” when all aspects of the plot were well-known and the attack had been foiled prior to his capture. Coercive interrogation is extremely effective at obtaining confessions. Evidence obtained from coercive interrogation is highly dubious and must be corroborated with reliable sources. The claims of interrogators who coerce their prisoners should be treated with as much skepticism as the claims of the prisoners themselves.

You can add the death of a terror mastermind (Osama) to the above list of positives!

Global Cooling Reaches Hell~ Maher Defends Rumsfeld (Video)

From The Daily Caller:

Donald Rumsfeld seems to have given access to the person who loathes him the most in the world to produce a documentary of his life.

Errol Morris appeared on “Real Time with Bill Maher” Friday night to talk with Maher about his forthcoming documentary on Rumsfeld, “The Unknown Known.” Maher watched the documentary and came away with some appreciation for Rumsfeld, even if the liberal political comedian clearly does not agree with the former Defense secretary for Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush on most issues.

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John Podhoritz Exposes Third rate Reporting at the New Republic

This from John Podhoretz over at Commentary Magazine:

Chait Crime

Victor Davis Hanson catches the New Republic’s Jonathan Chait making an analogy so disgusting that I almost have to believe Chait is simply too stupid to understand the implications of what he wrote — because the only other conclusion is that he has absolutely no sense of where the boundaries of even minimally civil public discourse are. Hanson wrote a review of Donald Rumsfeld’s memoir in which he included the following sentence: “‘Take away the insurgency in Iraq,’ an acquaintance once told me, ‘and Donald Rumsfeld would have been a sort of icon of postwar America.’”

Chait’s appalling response:

Right, if you imagine that the most important thing he did was a huge success rather than a huge failure, then he’s be remember [sic] as a huge success. Not as a huge failure. Likewise, if Lee Harvey Oswald had killed someone who was about to assassinate President Kennedy, rather than assassinating President Kennedy himself, he’d go down in history as a hero.

You can be sour about Rumsfeld’s tenure at the Defense Department all you like, and plenty of people are. But offering a cutesy analogy between Rumsfeld and Lee Harvey Oswald has lowered Chait to a base level of rhetorical crassness to which even his questionable standing as an exceptionally graceless writer and amazingly crude thinker had not yet fallen. Now it has. Congratulations.