The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Although the Obama administration's announced pogrom again CIA officers who used harsh interrogation techniques against al Qaeda terrorist leaders proceeds with relatively little mention in the MSM, compelling and irrefutable evidence that the techniques worked is slowly coming to light.

Richard Fernandez of The Belmont Club comments on this when he writes:
When a man “breaks” under interrogation, he does more than blurt out secrets. The process truly breaks something inside him; changes something forever. The mystery is what. It isn’t morals: Mohammed’s [Khalid Sheik Mohammed] transition from the man who boasted of decapitating Daniel Pearl to a hunter of his former associates still leaves a man who deals in violence and death. Breaking didn’t turn KSM into Gandhi; it didn’t convert him into a man you’d like to invite to dinner. Like others who have switched sides — double agents or police informers — betrayal is a lateral move within the same business.

The real key to breaking someone is to make him do something that will forever estrange him from his former life; to put him beyond the pale of forgiveness; to create such a change in attitude that he can never go back to his fold. It wasn’t the duress that broke KSM, it was what he did and said and thought under duress that brought him to the other side. He crossed some line which made him realize he could never come back into the Brotherhood. And he knows that he crossed it himself. Where did it leave him? In the night, facing some other way. Among the damned, betrayal is another pathway in the dark. But that’s where the damned like to live; amid things that are already broken. Real psychological conversion is something beyond the power of waterboarding to achieve, but interrogators are not in the business of offering salvation. They are in the profession of allowing vile men to reinvent themselves, to live for just a moment more on Raskolnikov’s ledge. “Where is it I’ve read that someone condemned to death says or thinks, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he’d only room to stand, and the ocean, everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting tempest around him, if he had to remain standing on a square yard of space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live so than to die at once!” If intelligence agencies had a pill that would turn a fanatical monster into Mother Teresa, they would be foolish to use it. Duress isn’t meant to shatter a man; it’s sole purpose is to leave all the fanatic’s vile cunning intact, only to break that thing which keeps him working for the other side.

And yet, those on the Left (including our Attorney General and our President) seem convinced that their definition of moral rectitude will cause the world to like us more. That a hyper-procedural rulebook that offers no threat of consequences to murderous scum will somehow “break” our enemies in a way that enhanced interrogation techniques cannot. That "a man who deals in violence and death" will somehow cross over to betray his fellow fanatics if only we were less harsh with him.

George Curry of The Philadelphia Inquirer presents the typical Left leaning mime:
Holder appointed John Durham, a highly respected career prosecutor, to investigate whether CIA interrogators tortured detainees in violation of U.S. law. The probe follows the release of a declassified CIA inspector general's report that found harsh interrogation techniques were used on detainees suspected of being terrorists. The report deplored what was called "unauthorized, improvised, inhumane" practices.
What Curry fails to mention is that the same report indicates that the techniques (they are NOT “torture” in any historical or rational definition of the term) were successful in breaking people like Mohammed and leading to the acquisition of intelligence vital to the disruption on on-going terrorist plots. Oh, not to worry, what’s another 9/11 in comparison to the horror of frightening and causing discomfort for a mass murderer.
Besides holding mock executions, the report said, interrogators told suspected Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that if the United States were subjected to another terrorist attack, "We're going to kill your children." Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged architect of the 2000 USS Cole bombing, was threatened by interrogators who held a power drill and a loaded handgun to his head, the report stated.

Gasp … the inhumanity of it all. The terrorists were were not harmed and they were broken. But wait, the CIA caused these poor men psychological discomfort. We can’t have that … the Islamic world won’t like us if we cause psychological discomfort for people who want to kill us.
In a statement, Holder said: "As a result of my analysis of all of this material, I have concluded that the information known to me warrants opening a preliminary review into whether federal laws were violated in connection with the interrogation of specific detainees overseas."
And this from the same Eric Holder who, during his tenure in the Clinton administration, saw fit to pardon a known tax cheat and criminal, Marc Rich and champion the pardon of violent Puerto Rican nationalists. A true defender of the law, justice, and the United States.
Some critics of Holder have taken the position that as a country, we do not torture people in custody while, on the other hand, contending that we should not even examine whether federal laws were violated. That's the same kind of head-in-the-sand posture that got us into trouble before. Either we support torture or we don't.
The problem with Mr. Curry’s argument is that he defines “torture” to fit his delusional world view.

How about this. Let’s define “torture” as too much homework for Junior High Schoolers. After all, it can certainly cause psychological distress; it often leads to threats made by frustrated parents, and it invariably causes the population of students to look askance at their teachers. Oh … don’t consider the fact that torture (i.e., too much homework) accomplishes something worthwhile. Let’s investigate the teachers. After all, they’re active participants in “torture” and we’re a country of laws, aren’t we? As Mr. Curry so self-righteously notes: "Either we support torture, or we don't."