Friday, September 08, 2006

Either America doesn't torture...or we do and it works!

Boy, this is sure to cast a pall over those on the left that lament the "torture" that is inflicted on the jihadist detainees at Club Gitmo and elsewhere. From James Taranto:
In his speech yesterday President Bush described how CIA interrogation of terrorists held overseas has saved American lives. It's worth quoting at length: (Actually, it is worth quoting at length, but I'm going to encourage you fine folks to read it on your own. - Ed.)
We knew that [Abu] Zubaydah had more information that could save innocent lives, but he stopped talking. As his questioning proceeded, it became clear that he had received training on how to resist interrogation. And so the CIA used an alternative set of procedures. These procedures were designed to be safe, to comply with our laws, our Constitution, and our treaty obligations. The Department of Justice reviewed the authorized methods extensively and determined them to be lawful. I cannot describe the specific methods used--I think you understand why--if I did, it would help the terrorists learn how to resist questioning, and to keep information from us that we need to prevent new attacks on our country. But I can say the procedures were tough, and they were safe, and lawful, and necessary.

Zubaydah was questioned using these procedures, and soon he began to provide information on key al Qaeda operatives, including information that helped us find and capture more of those responsible for the attacks on September the 11th. For example, Zubaydah identified one of KSM's [Khalid Sheikh Mohammad's] accomplices in the 9/11 attacks--a terrorist named Ramzi bin al Shibh. The information Zubaydah provided helped lead to the capture of bin al Shibh. And together these two terrorists provided information that helped in the planning and execution of the operation that captured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

(Other nuggets yielded from our interrogation are snipped...again, please read them for yourselves. - Ed.)

KSM also provided vital information on al Qaeda's efforts to obtain biological weapons. During questioning, KSM admitted that he had met three individuals involved in al Qaeda's efforts to produce anthrax, a deadly biological agent--and he identified one of the individuals as a terrorist named Yazid. KSM apparently believed we already had this information, because Yazid had been captured and taken into foreign custody before KSM's arrest. In fact, we did not know about Yazid's role in al Qaeda's anthrax program. Information from Yazid then helped lead to the capture of his two principal assistants in the anthrax program. Without the information provided by KSM and Yazid, we might not have uncovered this al Qaeda biological weapons program, or stopped this al Qaeda cell from developing anthrax for attacks against the United States.
Bush added: "I want to be absolutely clear with our people, and the world: The United States does not torture. It's against our laws, and it's against our values. I have not authorized it--and I will not authorize it."

Some administration critics have argued (a) that any harsh interrogation amounts to torture, and (b) that torture cannot yield useful intelligence. These claims cannot both be true. This column accepts the president's assurances that the techniques the CIA used did not amount to torture--but if you disagree, then you have to admit "torture" works.

Opponents of aggressive questioning, then, are willing to sacrifice the lives of American civilians, including women and children, for the sake of their own moral vanity. As a practical matter, they are also willing to sacrifice the civil liberties they claim to cherish. For as we have argued many times, it is highly unlikely that our current regime of civil liberties can survive another attack on the scale of 9/11.
That is one of the most logically sound explanations I've heard to address the bedwetting leftist handwringers who moan about purported "torture." It's clear: either (a) torture doesn't work and therefore we HAVE NOT tortured KSM or his buddies who have yielded this incredibly valuable information; or (b) torture DOES work and therefore we may HAVE tortured KSM and/or his buddies who have yielded this incredibly valuable information.

Over the decades, we've seen the left completely wussify on aggressive interrogation of criminals in this country. One would think that such a wussification would not extend to jihadists who want us ALL (yes, you lefties aren't exempt) dead. would think. And therein lies the problem.