Mark Thiessen Tearin It Up With Facts

(Originally posted June of 2010) My favorite debate Mark was in was on CNN:

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.

…read more…

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.

Democrats Heavily Partisan Report Gets Keelhauled By CIA

CIA_ARTICLE

(ABC) Six former Directors and Deputy Directors of the CIA fired back at the Senate Intelligence Committee with a vehemence almost never seen in the intelligence world.

The former CIA leaders — including George Tenet, Porter Goss and Michael Hayden — blasted the Senate report as “one-sided and marred with errors” and called it “a poorly done and partisan attack on the agency that has done the most to protect America after the 9/11 attacks.”

Their 2,500-word rebuttal was posted as an op-ed on the Wall Street Journal website once the report was released. The former intel chiefs are also launching their own website to respond to the attacks on CIA’s post-9/11 activities.

Via CIA Saves Lives website:

….We, as former senior officers of the Central Intelligence Agency, created this website to present documents that conclusively demonstrate that the program was: authorized by the President, overseen by the National Security Council, and deemed legal by the Attorney General of the United States on multiple occasions. None of those officials were interviewed either. None. CIA relied on their policy and legal judgments. We deceived no one. You will not find this truth in the Majority Report.

Absent from the report is any discussion of the context the United States faced after 9/11. This was a time we had solid evidence that al Qaida was planning a second wave of attacks against the U.S.; we had certain knowledge that bin Laden had met with Pakistani nuclear scientists and wanted nuclear weapons; we had reports that nuclear weapons were being smuggled into New York City; and we had hard evidence that al Qaida was trying to manufacture anthrax. It felt like a “ticking time bomb” every single day.

In this atmosphere, time was of the essence. We had a deep responsibility to do everything within the law to stop another attack. We clearly understood that, even with legal and policy approvals, our decisions would be questioned years later. But we also understood that we would be morally culpable for the deaths of fellow citizens if we failed to gain information that could stop the next attacks.

The report defies credulity by saying that the interrogation program did not produce any intelligence value. In fact, the program led to the capture of senior al Qaida leaders, including helping to find Usama bin Ladin, and resulted in operations that led to the disruption of terrorist plots that saved thousands of American and allied lives…

This from the Wall Street Journal in regards to that last emphasized sentence:

…First, its claim that the CIA’s interrogation program was ineffective in producing intelligence that helped us disrupt, capture, or kill terrorists is just not accurate. The program was invaluable in three critical ways:

It led to the capture of senior al Qaeda operatives, thereby removing them from the battlefield.

It led to the disruption of terrorist plots and prevented mass casualty attacks, saving American and Allied lives.

It added enormously to what we knew about al Qaeda as an organization and therefore informed our approaches on how best to attack, thwart and degrade it.

A powerful example of the interrogation program’s importance is the information obtained from Abu Zubaydah, a senior al Qaeda operative, and from Khalid Sheikh Muhammed, known as KSM, the 9/11 mastermind. We are convinced that both would not have talked absent the interrogation program.

Information provided by Zubaydah through the interrogation program led to the capture in 2002 of KSM associate and post-9/11 plotter Ramzi Bin al-Shibh. Information from both Zubaydah and al-Shibh led us to KSM. KSM then led us to Riduan Isamuddin, aka Hambali, East Asia’s chief al Qaeda ally and the perpetrator of the 2002 Bali bombing in Indonesia—in which more than 200 people perished.

The removal of these senior al Qaeda operatives saved thousands of lives because it ended their plotting. KSM, alone, was working on multiple plots when he was captured.

Here’s an example of how the interrogation program actually worked to disrupt terrorist plotting. Without revealing to KSM that Hambali had been captured, we asked him who might take over in the event that Hambali was no longer around. KSM pointed to Hambali’s brother Rusman Gunawan. We then found Gunawan, and information from him resulted in the takedown of a 17-member Southeast Asian cell that Gunawan had recruited for a “second wave,” 9/11-style attack on the U.S. West Coast, in all likelihood using aircraft again to attack buildings. Had that attack occurred, the nightmare of 9/11 would have been repeated.

Once they had become compliant due to the interrogation program, both Abu Zubaydah and KSM turned out to be invaluable sources on the al Qaeda organization. We went back to them multiple times to gain insight into the group. More than one quarter of the nearly 1,700 footnotes in the highly regarded 9/11 Commission Report in 2004 and a significant share of the intelligence in the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on al Qaeda came from detainees in the program, in particular Zubaydah and KSM….

It’s an Orwellian World We Live In ~ Pro-Life Arguments = Torture

First Things has a quick synopsis of the issue, then we will delve into National Review Online’s follow-up:

U.N. experts in Geneva were at it again last week telling the Holy See that Catholic teaching on abortion is a human rights abuse, revealing a chasm between the Church’s understanding of its mission and how U.N. officials perceive it. The episode is reminiscent of a time in history when secular leaders did not accept a separation of Church and State.

The American on the U.N. Committee Against Torture, Felice Gaer, told the Holy See that the Church’s position on abortion was a “concern” and that “women should have a right to choose.” Prohibitions on abortion are a form of torture according to Gaer—who ironically spent a decade on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

An expert from the country of Georgia tried to be nuanced, and accused the Catholic Church of having “publically shamed” women and doctors who commit abortions through excommunication, thereby torturing them….

(First Things)

The Catholic Church it Has No Right to Oppose Abortion ~ U.N.

When the committee met in Geneva on Monday [video] for a hearing on the Vatican’s compliance with the Convention Against Torture, Vice Chairperson Felice Gaer, an American, said in her opening statement that laws that ban all abortion—which is the position of the Catholic Church–may violate the convention. She also repeated verbatim some language that had been in a letter the CRR had sent to the committee on April 11.

Gaer, however, did not quote the section in CRR’s letter that urged the committee to tell the church that the freedoms of religion and speech did not give the church a right to advocate against abortion.

CRR’s letter included several recommendations for how the Committee Against Torture should deal with Catholicism.

CRR recommended: “Urge the Holy See to refrain from negatively interfering publicly or privately in women’s or legislators’ decisions concerning access to abortion and to support states as they attempt to align their policies on women’s reproductive rights with their obligations under the convention.”

CRR also recommended that in its upcoming report on the Vatican’s compliance with the Convention Against Torture, the committee should: “Note that the Holy See’s actions are a violation of Articles 1, 2 and 16 of the Convention Against Torture and that the rights of freedom of speech and of religion extend only so far as they do not undermine women’s reproductive rights.”

(CNS News)

Now for NRO’s excellent warning:

Kathryn has been covering the ongoing effort by radical pro-abortion NGOs to apply the U.N. Convention against Torture to the Catholic Church for — among other things — its international pro-life advocacy. The argument is so facially irrational that one would be tempted to dismiss it out of hand. Not even the U.N. could be so blindly malicious and ideological that it would attempt to destroy the church’s rights of free speech and religious liberty for the sake of protecting abortion-on-demand, could it?

Moreover, even if the U.N. Committee against Torture moved against the Vatican, such an action would be irrelevant to American courts and American constitutional law, wouldn’t it?

In fact, there is cause for concern. To be clear, the effort by the Center for Reproductive Rights clearly and explicitly targets the church’s rights to free speech and religious liberty. Here’s an excerpt from its recommendations to the Committee:

Note that the Holy See has negatively interfered with states’ attempts to develop legislation on abortion that would have served to better protect women from torture or ill-treatment. Note that the Holy See’s actions are a violation of Articles 1, 2, and 16 of the Convention against Torture and that the rights of freedom of speech and of religion extend only so far as they do not undermine women’s reproductive rights, including the right to be free from torture or ill-treatment. (Emphasis added.)

This is an astonishing statement, one that clearly targets the Catholic Church’s pro-life advocacy, equating it with state-sanctioned “torture or ill-treatment” of women and girls. By equating advocacy with torture, the Committee could begin an international legal process that would cause the U.N. to review statements or actions by pro-life public officials as “torture” within the meaning of the Convention. Radical pro-abortion groups would file amicus briefs citing new international legal standards equating pro-life advocacy with torture, thus claiming such advocacy is beyond the protection of the First Amendment. Indeed, the argument would be simple (and chilling): By permitting unfettered pro-life advocacy — by public officials and private citizens — the United States would be in violation of international law, specifically by torturing its own citizens.

[….]

It’s difficult to overstate the perversity of the abortion lobby’s U.N. argument. There are few acts more barbaric than abortion, and the very idea that such barbarism can be insulated even from criticism insults the very notion of free speech and obliterates religious liberty. This is a dramatic escalation of the already-overwrought “war against women” rhetoric, and one that would lead to such absurd results as domestic “women’s groups” accusing conservative candidates of literally torturing voters with pro-life arguments.

…read it all…

The Latest Attempt to Say Enhanced Interrogations Didnt Work-Using McCains Own Clouded Thinking On the Matter

Just Sayin'
When McCain ran for office, I heard the Left say he was senile and too old to make points and decisions. Now, the Left is using his words as authoritative, to which I could merely respond that I do not accept the words of a senile old man. But I won’t, hence, this post.

In the following video and linked Op-Ed by Sen. John McCain, you will see some personal thoughts from John McCain as well as misstatements of what and how we interrogate and how he was interrogated.

Here is an article linked to me as well by a friendly political nemesis: John McCain to Bush apologists: Stop lying about Bin Laden and torture

Okay, firstly, there is a huge difference between what McCain went through and what these CIA guys did. In McCain’s case, they were straight torturing hi to get his to sign a confession and get simple operational info from him. This is not the case in regards to the enhanced interrogations, three of which included water-boarding. A great example is the wealth of information just found at Osama’s compound. The U.S. intelligence apparatus is going to digest, separate, collate this info which includes names, pseudo-names, places, operations, phone numbers, addresses, and the like. When they catch someone of interest, they will sleep deprive them, give false and misleading promises info to trip up said persons stated outline because the info taken from a previous source shows this persons thesis to be a lie.Here is what McCain thinks it is:

I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners sometimes produces good intelligence but often produces bad intelligence because under torture a person will say anything he thinks his captors want to hear — true or false — if he believes it will relieve his suffering. Often, information provided to stop the torture is deliberately misleading. (Post Opinions)

They [the CIA interrogators in this case] will bring to the table an aspect they wish to get information on from this cache of info to get reactions, to get admissions, etc. Admissions to ALREADY existing details and knowledge (in whole or part) about the truth of the matter. Not signing an admission for the North Vietnamese Communists to use as propaganda and allow the Left in that day to sympathize with these brutal killers and Marxist animals:

The aim of the torture was usually not acquiring military information;[7] rather, it was to break the will of the prisoners, both individually and as a group.[7][14] The goal of the North Vietnamese was to get written or recorded statements from the prisoners that criticized U.S. conduct of the war and praised how the North Vietnamese treated them.[7] Such POW statements would be viewed as a propaganda victory in the battle to sway world and U.S. domestic opinion against the U.S. war effort.[7][10] In the end, North Vietnamese torture was sufficiently brutal and prolonged that virtually every American POW so subjected made a statement of some kind at some time.[15] (WIKI)

So McCain’s speech and op-ed really didn’t deal with this difference. And as much as McCain is a hero, he is really preferring non-sequiturs which the Left love and tun with. in other words, I was brutally tortured [to sign a statement], ergo, all interrogations are illegal. You see, McCain views these interrogations as illegal. Most of the people involved in this debate on my side of the aisle do not. Not to mention that this water-boarding technique used is very different from even what the Japanese did in WWII, which caused many deaths. In this interrogative technique, the person can be — within minutes — standing next to their interrogators (not to mention a medical team on call outside the door). In fact, KSM was water-boarded 183 times! He didn’t die. What McCain calls “enhanced interrogation” in Vietnam, torture, did kill many. BIG DIFFERENCE. One that Dennis Miller in Novemeber of 2006 speaks to:

So McCain is really off in this moral equivalency. Not to mention it worked in WWII, for the scholar:

(The Daily Beast import)
Fretting over waterboarding, writes British historian Andrew Roberts, obscures the fact that “enhanced interrogation techniques” have saved thousands of lives in every war. Plus, read Michael Korda’s review of Roberts’ book Masters and Commanders: How Churchill, Roosevelt, Alanbrooke and Marshall Won the War in the West, 1941-45.

A slight air of unreality has permeated the debate over “enhanced interrogation techniques” in the war against terror, with historians embarrassedly studying their toecaps over the issue. For the truth is that there has not been a war in history in which torture has not been employed in some form or another, and sometimes to excellent effect. When troops need information about enemy capabilities and intentions—and they usually need it fast—moral and ethical conventions (especially the one signed in Geneva in 1929) have repeatedly been ignored in the bid to save lives.

In the conflict generally regarded today as the most ethical in history, World War II, enhanced interrogation techniques were regularly used by the Allies, and senior politicians knew it perfectly well, just as we now discover that Nancy Pelosi did in the early stages of the war against terror. The very success of the D-Day landings themselves can largely be put down to the enhanced interrogation techniques that were visited upon several of the 19 Nazi agents who were infiltrated into Great Britain and “turned” by the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) between 1939 and 1945. Operation Fortitude—the deception plan that fooled the Germans into stationing 450,000 Wehrmacht troops 130 miles north of the Normandy beaches—entirely depended upon German intelligence (the Abwehr) believing that the real attack was going to take place at the Pas de Calais instead. The reason that Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the head of the Abwehr, was utterly convinced of this, was because every single one of his 19 agents, who he did not know had been turned, told him so.

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. An SIS secret house located in Ham Common near Richmond on the outskirts of London was the location where the will of those agents was broken, using advanced interrogation techniques that reportedly started with sleep deprivation but went on to gross mental and physical abuse. The result? Many thousands of Allied servicemens’ lives were saved because the German 15th Army stayed well away from beaches such as Omaha, Utah, and Sword. And another 100,000 others were stationed in Norway for another attack that never came.

The wartime SIS being what it was, full firsthand details of the enhanced interrogation techniques have not emerged, either from the British or the German side since the war. In a country where the very existence of the wartime decryption operation known as Ultra was successfully kept secret until 1971, it was never likely that former SIS officers would have revealed precisely how the Abwehr agents were turned, but the talk and gossip in the intelligence community is another matter. Ham Common undoubtedly saw gross violations of the Geneva Conventions, as every means was used—fair and foul—to ensure the safety of Great Britain. Today Fortitude is generally considered to be the most successful strategic deception operation in the history of warfare.

Elsewhere, one only has to read George MacDonald Fraser’s excellent autobiography, Quartered Safe Out Here, with its description of the ill treatment of Japanese POWs by Indian soldiers of the 17th Division, to recognize that not all torture was committed by the Axis in WWII.

Did Winston Churchill know what was going on in the cellar-dungeons of the house in Ham? Of course he did, but like Nancy Pelosi and other politicians he understandably preferred not to dwell on this less auspicious side of the defense of freedom. As I show in my recently published book, Masters and Commanders—reviewed here yesterday by Michael Korda—Churchill always advocated the toughest option in any issue that came before his War Cabinet, be it over the bombing of German cities, allowing Mahatma Gandhi to die in his hunger strike, retaliating over the destruction of the Czech village of Lidice, and so on. The idea that he would have balked on ethical grounds over the breaking and turning of Abwehr agents—knowing how vitally necessary that was for the liberation of Europe—is ludicrous.

So, when we wring our hands about the waterboarding that took place at the hands of the CIA and their proxies in secret locations around the world, let us not pretend that such techniques are in any way historically exceptional, for in fact they constitute the norm. The only surprising thing is the extent of the information that we have been given about such unpleasant but ultimately necessary practices. Sometimes the defense of liberty requires making some pretty unpalatable decisions, but it was ever thus.

Historian Andrew Roberts‘ latest book, Masters and Commanders, was published in the U.K. in September. His previous books include Napoleon and Wellington, Hitler and Churchill, and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900. Roberts is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Arts.

Xtra Insight: The Daily Beast’s Michael Korda reviews Andrew Robert’s book, Masters and Commanders: How Churchill, Roosevelt, Alanbrooke and Marshall Won the War in the West, 1941-45.

Now, onto the rebuttal by a person brought up by name via McCain:

In short, it was not torture or cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of detainees that got us the major leads that ultimately enabled our intelligence community to find Osama bin Laden. I hope former Attorney General Mukasey will correct his misstatement.

To wit Attorney General Michael Mukasey responds:

Senator McCain described as “false” my statement that Khalid Sheik Mohammed broke under harsh interrogation that included waterboarding, and disclosed a torrent of information that included the nickname of Osama bin Laden’s courier.  He strongly implied in the remainder of his column in the Washington Post that this harsh interrogation was not only useless but also illegal.  He is simply incorrect on all three counts.

KSM disclosed the nickname – al Kuwaiti – along with a wealth of other information, some of which was used to stop terror plots then in progress.  He did so after refusing to answer questions and, when asked if further plots were afoot, said that his interrogators would eventually find out. Another detainee, captured in Iraq, disclosed that al Kuwaiti was a trusted operative of KSM’s successor, abu Faraj al-Libbi. When al-Libbi went so far as to deny even knowing the man, his importance became obvious.

Both former CIA Director Michael Hayden and former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Michael McConnell have acknowledged repeatedly that up to 2006, many of the valuable leads pursued by the intelligence community came from the three prisoners who were subjected to harsh techniques that included waterboarding in order to secure their cooperation.

So far as the waterboarding technique used by CIA operators, as outlined in the memoranda released by the Department of Justice, it was entirely legal at the time, which is to say before the passage of later statutes in 2005 and 2006, by which time it was no longer in use and under which it has not been evaluated.

In other words, the harsh interrogation techniques were both effective and lawful.

(original source)

So again, just as with Rumsfeld, the Democratic Left has taken a sound bite, not parsed through the “it does not follow” portions of it, misapplied it, and morally equated it to fit their argument. This time this is partly McCain’s fault as well. Another fail if you ask me. A fail how, the Left continues to misread what is being said by people like myself. Bil Whittle whittles this down for the reader:

From video description:

This is a smaller portion of this entire presentation found on Bill Whittles FIREWALL posting: http://youtu.be/MiYk8bxO7zQ

He also has a site where much of his work and membership to support it can be seen: http://www.declarationentertainment.com/

As well as his FB page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bill-Whittle/155840847453