I think there are probably very few people in this [Congressional hearing] room or in America who would say that torture should never, ever be used, particularly if thousands of lives are at stake. Take the hypothetical: if we knew that there was a nuclear bomb hidden in an American city and we believe that some kind of torture, fairly severe maybe, would give us a chance of finding that bomb before it went off, my guess is most Americans and most Senators, maybe all, would do what you have to do. So it’s easy to sit back in the armchair and say that torture can never be used. But when you’re in the fox hole, it’s a very different deal. And I respect, I think we all respect the fact that the President’s in the fox-hole every day. So he can hardly be blamed for asking you, or his White House counsel or the Department of Defense, to figure out when it comes to torture, what the law allows and when the law allows it, and what there is permission to do.
So who do you think uttered these eminently logical words? Don Rumsfeld? John Bolton? No, no. These are the words of Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) during a 2004 hearing on the subject of torture. Yes, that Senator Schumer. It just points up what many of us have suspected all along - Democrats are capable of logical thinking, but only when it suits them.
Obama's release of memos and photos accomplishes nothing, and is, of course, designed to demonize the previous administration - horns that the Republican Party and former administration officials would be foolish to wear. Somewhere along the line the definition of torture, when applied to the United States during the Bush administration, has been dumbed down to a level close to that of a frat-boy hazing; none of the techniques used so effectively rose to the level of REAL torture - like cutting the heads off kidnapped Western journalists with serrated scimitars. Is waterboarding frightening? Oh, yes. But torture? Oh, no. By now, I'm sure you all know that thousands of our military personnal undergo waterboarding as part of their training.
If you want proof that waterboarding was and is not torture, look no further than the fact that Christopher Hitchens, journalist, volunteered to undergo the procedure. True torture, in the sense that you and I understand it, is not something for which you volunteer in pursuit of a sidebar, but, having undergone it, Hitchens declared that waterboarding was, indeed, torture. It is possible that later that same day he went out for Chinese food with his wife, and I suspect he railed at the immorality of the United States somewhere between the wonton soup and the eggroll.
Torture, or in the case of the actions our country employed, enhanced interrogation techniques, cannot be viewed in a vacuum, but rather as an important cog in our entire intelligence apparatus. We are all aware of the "ticking time bomb" scenario, and those who would tell us that even if torture was necessary to defuse a nuclear weapon in an American city it should not be used, are guilty of a far, far greater level moral turpitude than those of whom they accuse it. There is a certain morality in protecting the lives of tens of thousands of innocent civilians, even it it means the temporary discomfort of a mass-murdering jihadist, don't you think? I do.
One could even make a case for moral turpitude if the practice was used arbitrarily, overly-often, or against low-level operatives with little or no intelligence value - but htis was never the case. we know now that, out of the thousands of enemy combatants that were detained, it was used against fewer than a handful, three, to be exact. And it was used succesfully: "“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding [of al Qaeda]." The speaker of these words? Dennis Blair, Obama's national intelligence director. According to former National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, “We have people walking around in this country that are alive today because this process happened.”
All of this means nothing to the Democrats who are pushing for prosecutions, and that fact should forever paint them with shame, were they capable of feeling such an emotion.
Democrats have been guilty of these sorts of mentals hiccups for about 6 or 7 years now, forgetting that what they so roundly condemn today, they ardently supported when they actually thought, you know, that the security of the country they supposedly serve was paramount.
One can only wonder how many weapons that were previously at our disposal, and effectively used, BHO is going to proscribe. But here's a certainty - there is a tipping point beyond which our enemies will strike us with impunity, and thousands of Americans will pay for this recklessness with their lives.