Patterico's Pontifications

12/11/2007

More Proof Waterboarding Works; Former CIA Agent says it was Necessary Torture

Filed under: Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 4:35 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

ABC reported yesterday that John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent who interrogated al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah, claims that subjecting Zubaydah to 35 seconds of waterboarding produced valuable information that thwarted terrorist attacks … and it was necessary torture:

“A leader of the CIA team that captured the first major al Qaeda figure, Abu Zubaydah, says subjecting him to waterboarding was torture but necessary. In the first public comment by any CIA officer involved in handling high-value al Qaeda targets, John Kiriakou, now retired, said the technique broke Zubaydah in less than 35 seconds.

“The next day, he told his interrogator that Allah had visited him in his cell during the night and told him to cooperate,” said Kiriakou in an interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC News’ “World News With Charles Gibson” and “Nightline.”

“From that day on, he answered every question,” Kiriakou said. “The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks.”

Kiriakou said the feeling in the months after the 9/11 attacks was that interrogators did not have the time to delve into the agency’s bag of other interrogation tricks. “Those tricks of the trade require a great deal of time — much of the time — and we didn’t have that luxury. We were afraid that there was another major attack coming,” he said.”

The use of waterboarding and other techniques were directed by CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and were always a “last resort:”

“The former intelligence officer says the interrogators’ activities were carefully directed from Langley, Va., each step of the way. “It wasn’t up to individual interrogators to decide, ‘Well, I’m gonna slap him.’ Or, ‘I’m going to shake him.’ Or, ‘I’m gonna make him stay up for 48 hours.’

“Each one of these steps, even though they’re minor steps, like the intention shake, or the open-handed belly slap, each one of these had to have the approval of the deputy director for operations,” Kiriakou told ABC News.

“The cable traffic back and forth was extremely specific,” he said. “And the bottom line was these were very unusual authorities that the agency got after 9/11. No one wanted to mess them up. No one wanted to get in trouble by going overboard. So it was extremely deliberate.”

And it was always a last resort.

“That’s why so few people were waterboarded. I think the agency has said that two people were waterboarded, Abu Zubaydah being one, and it’s because you really wanted it to be a last resort because we didn’t want these false confessions. We didn’t want wild goose chases,” Kiriakou said. And they were faced with men like Abu Zubaydah, Kiriakou says, who held critical and timely intelligence.

Remember Stashiu who recounted threats from GTMO inmates? That’s not unusual – Zubaydah also threatened his captors – and yet Kiriakou believes the US’ success in prosecuting the war on terror makes it unnecessary to continue using waterboarding:

“A former colleague of mine asked him [Zubaydah] during the conversation one day, ‘What would you do if we decided to let you go one day?’ And he said, ‘I would kill every American and Jew I could get my hands on…It’s nothing personal. You’re a nice guy. But this is who I am.‘”

In that context, at that time, Kiriakou says he felt waterboarding was something the United States needed to do.

“At the time, I felt that waterboarding was something that we needed to do. And as time has passed, and as September 11th has, you know, has moved farther and farther back into history, I think I’ve changed my mind,” he told ABC News.

Part of his decision appears to be an ethical one; another part, perhaps, simply pragmatic. “I think we’re chasing them all over the world. I think we’ve had a great deal of success chasing them…and, as a result, waterboarding, at least right now, is unnecessary,” Kirikou said.
***
Now retired, Kiriakou, who declined to use the enhanced interrogation techniques, says he has come to believe that water boarding is torture but that perhaps the circumstances warranted it.

“Like a lot of Americans, I’m involved in this internal, intellectual battle with myself weighing the idea that waterboarding may be torture versus the quality of information that we often get after using the waterboarding technique,” Kiriakou told ABC News. “And I struggle with it.”

It’s interesting that Kiriakou’s feelings about the urgency to get information from our enemies has changed in the years since 9/11. It doesn’t sound like Zubaydah’s feelings have changed one bit.

— DRJ

77 Responses to “More Proof Waterboarding Works; Former CIA Agent says it was Necessary Torture”

  1. Can someone tell me how something so timid and tame such as waterboarding can be considered torture? Hell, even the nuts over at DU are waterboarding each other in an attempt to prove it’s “torture.”

    Capitalist Infidel (c1d390)

  2. Of course it’s torture. Imagine for a second I take your mom, your sister, or your niece and…

    For God sakes, on what planet does stopping someone’s ability to breath coupled with causing them to fear imminent death not constitute torture?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  3. This guy’s story is contradicted by his own agency. Someone’s not being honest.

    glasnost (c83ef1)

  4. “It’s interesting that Kiriakou’s feelings about the urgency to get information from our enemies has changed in the years since 9/11. It doesn’t sound like Zubaydah’s feelings have changed one bit.”

    If we are not careful, this is exactly why we will lose.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  5. I heard this interview played back on Laura Ingraham’s show this morning. Amazing. I wish more people were paying attention to the real stuff.

    driver (faae10)

  6. stopping someone’s ability to breath

    It is the sensation of not being able to breathe.

    JD (2c9284)

  7. So in total the CIA waterboarded three guys, and they got good intel from both KSM and Zubaydah. That kinda puts a pin into the “torture doesn’t work” balloon.

    Eric (09e4ab)

  8. “Of course it’s torture. Imagine for a second I take your mom, your sister, or your niece and…

    For God sakes, on what planet does stopping someone’s ability to breath coupled with causing them to fear imminent death not constitute torture?”

    Have you ever heard of Division I varsity wrestling, or Juijitsu? Ever had to recover a fumble at the bottom of a huge pile of really badass MoFos? Some people have, and they somehow survive and prosper.

    driver (faae10)

  9. Nice link glasnost.

    I was gonna say this agant sounds like the ‘last honest man’, now I’m not so sure…

    Bob Loblaw (6d485c)

  10. grrr *agent*

    Bob Loblaw (6d485c)

  11. Christoph — it may be unpleasant, but it is not “torture” as that specific term was defined by Congress in 1994 when it passed legislation to implement the global ban on torture.

    In fact, that legislation makes no effort to define what specific acts constitute “torture” — it only provides an inchoate definition.

    You may find it “objectionable”, and you may find it personally offensive or immoral, but you may not call it “torture” in the legal sense of the word, because it is not.

    WLS (dfa1f1)

  12. The Criterion Collection has just put out a spanking new edition of Jean-Luc Godard’s masterpeice Pierrot le Fou (1965) with Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina. Get it. Watch the scene where Belmondo gets waterboarded and tell me it’s not torture.

    Abu Zubaydah wasn’t an Al Queida “leader.” He was an idiot who knew nothing.

    But torturing him sure must have been fun.

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

  13. The real phoney is the former CIA agent. I am sure he took the same oath of office as I did, yet he developes a conscience after the fact, to be exact 7 years later? If this was so objectionable to him now, why did he not come clean upon learning of the waterboarding at GITMO. Again, sensationalism brought about by a liberal media that seems to forget the killing of 3000 innocent Americans by Al Queda. If these terrorist are being subjected to waterboarding, it is plain and simply torture. It works and it saved lives and if it prevents further acts of terrorism, I for one do not have a problem with the use of waterboarding. We would all be naive to not think that past and future administrations, both democrat and republican, have known about such activities. One only has to look at the regimes we have supported in Latin America and Asia. It is commonplace and has been taught by US agents/contractors/etc. Wake up and realize that these extremist are hell bent on killing anyone who the deem as an infidel. We are at war with an enemy that would kill us and torture us in a second. Anyone who draws a government paycheck and then developes a conscience after the fact is a hypocrite.

    Todd Hentges (0a26bc)

  14. As reported by the Washington Post —

    “Abu Zubaydah, his captors discovered, turned out to be mentally ill and nothing like the pivotal figure they supposed him to be. CIA and FBI analysts, poring over a diary he kept for more than a decade, found entries “in the voice of three people: Hani 1, Hani 2, and Hani 3″ — a boy, a young man and a middle-aged alter ego. All three recorded in numbing detail “what people ate, or wore, or trifling things they said.” Dan Coleman, then the FBI’s top al-Qaeda analyst, told a senior bureau official, “This guy is insane, certifiable, split personality.”

    Abu Zubaydah also appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations; rather, he was al-Qaeda’s go-to guy for minor logistics — travel for wives and children and the like. That judgment was “echoed at the top of CIA and was, of course, briefed to the President and Vice President,” Suskind writes. And yet somehow, in a speech delivered two weeks later, President Bush portrayed Abu Zubaydah as “one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States.” And over the months to come, under White House and Justice Department direction, the CIA would make him its first test subject for harsh interrogation techniques.”

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

  15. David E — I don’t care what it looks like. You can call it anything you want. But “torture” is defined in 18 U.S.C. Section 2340, and “Waterboarding” isn’t there.

    What is there is a prohibition on any act that is “specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering.”

    “Severe mental pain or suffering” means “prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from (A) the intentional infliction or threated infliction of severe mental pain or suffering; (B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses of the person; (C) teh threat of imminent death; or (D) the therat that another person … (same stuff).”

    Waterboarding works by inflicting a sense of panic in the person upon whom it is being performed. It triggers the “fight or flight” response in a human at a time he has the physical ability to do neither. It does not cause “severe physical pain”, and you need to carefully consider what the statute narrowly defines as as “Severe mental pain and suffering” — its not there either.

    Now you can condemn it, abhor it, think it diabolical and immoral — but it is not “torture” as defined in the laws of the US.

    The Yoo memo said it was not “torture” under the law. Even after the Yoo memo was withdrawn and a new memo submitted, the author of the new memo said the techniques employed by the CIA under the authority of the Yoo memo would be authorized under the new memo — which remains in force to this very day.

    WLS (dfa1f1)

  16. Heh, David! You think any of those jihad monkeys are sane by any reasonable measure of rationality?

    In danger of running afoul of Godwin’s Law, myself, do you think it sane to make lampshades from human skin? And do you think it wrong to torture one lampshade maker to find out where the others are and stop them?

    nk (26f031)

  17. It was reported by Ron Susskind, formerly of the WSJ; which is not the same thing. He’s been caught
    bending the truth before; noticeably the ‘we’re an empire, we make our own reality, as well as the
    supposed muktabar ‘chemical weapons’ attack on NY city, Susskind’s account contrast Gerald Posner’s account of Abu Zubeydah being tricked into giving up high Saudi princes and Pakistani intelligence officers, And Risen’s account of the debit cards to Saudi and emirati banks and jump drives; that Zubeydah would have carried as AQ’s human resources and payroll administrator.

    narciso (d671ab)

  18. Narcisco beat me to it —

    David E — why not be honsest about your sourcing? Its not “as reported in the Washington Post” — what you cite to is a book review by Post writer Barton Gellman of Ron Suskin’s discredited “One Percent Solution”, and its pretty much a quote taken directly from the book.

    There’s lots of other reporting on Zubaydah that is much more authoritative, and tracks his efforts in support of OBL and AQ back to the Sudan in the mid-1990s.

    WLS (dfa1f1)

  19. No one says torture doesn’t produce lots of information, it’s just that its veracity is open to question.

    What evidence is there from outside the torture chamber that Al Qaeda had any specific “plots”—as opposed to a non-specific desire to commit terrorist acts. Agents in place? Bombs constructed and available for use?

    It doesn’t look like much.

    Incidentally, what sort of evidence refutes Susskind? Was it obtained by waterboarding, or can it be explained succinctly?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (6a2df9)

  20. 35 seconds.

    America’s moral worth demolished in 35 seconds. America becomes just like them in 35 seconds. Or not.

    What say you, Andrew?

    Pablo (99243e)

  21. AJL – So, you do not believe AQ’s stated goals to strike us?

    Thank you, WLS, for so clearly and eloquently laying out the legality of the action, and how the Left simply asserting something to be illegal does not make it so.

    David E – First, nice Gigi-esque misrepresentation of your link. Second, citing a movie scene as proof of torture is laughable, much like you.

    JD (2c9284)

  22. “Now you can condemn it, abhor it, think it diabolical and immoral — but it is not “torture” as defined in the laws of the US.”

    Others disagree.

    Russell (9a3a14)

  23. 1. It’s torture.

    2. In the interview: “The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks.” ok: give me ONE single example. Tell me ONE single individual who was captured based on this act of torture. So far this sounds like a rerun of “weapons of mass destruction” to me…

    it stinks (68c810)

  24. Tell me ONE single individual who was captured based on this act of torture.

    Khalid Sheik Mohammed. Next question.

    Pablo (99243e)

  25. much ado about waterboarding.
    it gives you the feeling of drowning. some one needs to tell ted kennedy that is alot different than leaving a young woman in a auto to drown!

    jung (9dd570)

  26. Water boarding should remain a potential last resort tool…particularly in instances where there is iminant threat of loss of life such as a weapon of mass destruction that may have been hidden in one of our major cities and the person that has knowledge of its location refuses to disclose its where abouts….I am sure opponents of waterboarding would change thier tune if they knew it was thier city that the device was buried in and was about to be detonated….to trade an effective tool for the lives of thousands of people would a greater crime.

    I do not advocate routine use of water boarding…that would be abuse….

    Galut (56a0a8)

  27. “Part of his decision appears to be an ethical one; another part, perhaps, simply pragmatic. “I think we’re chasing them all over the world. I think we’ve had a great deal of success chasing them…and, as a result, waterboarding, at least right now, is unnecessary,” Kirikou said.”

    When Congressional leaders were first briefed on harsh interrogation techniques, they reportedly encouraged their briefers to do whatever was necessary to keep America safe. Now, with America apparently safer, as Kiriakou admits, Democrat leadership has taken the luxury of adopting hypocritical, contradictory and more politically expedient positions with respect to interrogations, detentions and the war on terror in general. Hindsight is wonderful.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  28. Has Coleman ever accepted Suskind’s description from that book. All I ever see picked up on the internet are the quotations from Suskind and never any confirmation from Coleman.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  29. so you people think waterboarding not torture? then why destroy the tapes?

    huhji morieg (dc10f7)

  30. huhji morieg – Not everyone agrees.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  31. It is disturbing the demo you are repeatedly showing on your channel. Spare the people this crab.

    sal (7feeb2)

  32. then why destroy the tapes?

    Why save them? For what benefit?

    Pablo (99243e)

  33. This guy declined to use waterboarding. Do we know who he interrogated. Just maybe attacks occurred because of his squeamishnes. We will never know.

    Just how does he arive at the conclusion that our successes in the war mean we no longer have any use for these interrogation tactics?

    davod (5bdbd3)

  34. “Why save them? For what benefit?”

    Transparency, and accountability. Not to mention any residual intelligence value.

    whitd (10527e)

  35. Transparency, and accountability.

    Since when is intelligence work transparent? What need is there for accountability vis a vis the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah? Accountability to whom? For waht?

    Pablo (99243e)

  36. so you people think waterboarding not torture? then why destroy the tapes?

    To not reveal the agents’ identities. That was explained at the outset.

    Gerald A (dd601b)

  37. “David E — why not be honsest about your sourcing?”

    WLS, why not be honest about your desire to tortue people?

    And that goes for a whole lot of you in here.

    You love torture.

    Why not just admit it?

    Or as Dennis prager so loves to say, “Be honest.”

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

  38. Waterboarding IS torture and torture is illegal, immoral, and counterproductive. When we use it we throw away those things which make this country great. We are no longer citizens of the land of the free and the home of the brave; we turn this country into the land of psychotic and the home of the cowards. Get some backbone people, we don’t need to become evil to win.

    Scott Mansfield (04d1a4)

  39. You love torture.

    Why not just admit it?

    Clearly that’s true, David. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t read your comments.

    Pablo (99243e)

  40. Waterboarding IS torture and torture is illegal, immoral, and counterproductive. When we use it we throw away those things which make this country great.

    Frankly, I’m certain we did that with Disco and Carter. It took significantly longer that 35 seconds, and actual harm was done.

    Pablo (99243e)

  41. Torture is the infliction of pain for enjoyment. Waterboarding is an “interogation technique” which does little physical harm. As Spock would say, sometimes the good of one must give way to the good of many.

    If Pablo’s child was been held and in three hours would be dead, Pablo would quickly bring out the waterboard to save his son. Waterboarding is simply not torture.

    BobbyJ

    Bob (e7d47e)

  42. David E — a great example of why debating liberals is an useless effort.

    I point out a demonstrable fact — that you misprepresented the source of the quote you put in your comment, and you simply respond with a personal attack.

    My position is I favor doing what the law allows with respect to safeguarding the national security of the US and its citizens, and I can read the statute.

    You and other leftists/progressive/liberals here can post all the links you want to Human Rights Watch/ACLU/Amnesty International that claim waterboarding or other enhanced interrogation techniques are torture, but that doesn’t make it so.

    Win an election, change the law, and I’ll respect the boundary of that new law.

    wls (6c5569)

  43. Todd #13. You said it all. 35 seconds of thinking you’re drowing is not drowning. It’s mild considering what the the terrorists have done and will do to their enemies. We are at War like it or not, Maquis of Queensbury rules do not apply.
    What makes any of us think we know what really happens, because the media and some ex hypocrite CIA agent tells us?

    J Emily Petersen (d671ab)

  44. 35 seconds of thinking you’re drowing is not drowning.

    Minor but important quibble: It isn’t even thinking you’re drowning. It evokes an autonomic reaction designed to cause panic. It does no physical harm, and it does no psychic damage. It isn’t drowning, it just feels like it.

    Pablo (99243e)

  45. “You and other leftists/progressive/liberals here can post all the links you want to Human Rights Watch/ACLU/Amnesty International that claim waterboarding or other enhanced interrogation techniques are torture, but that doesn’t make it so. “

    And you neo-fascists can go on and on (and on) about how these “techniques” aide our War on a Verb.

    What I’m looking for from all of you is a review of Salo — a film you’ll never admit you love.

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

  46. It isn’t even thinking you’re drowning. It evokes an autonomic reaction designed to cause panic. It does no physical harm, and it does no psychic damage. It isn’t drowning, it just feels like it.

    It is a sympathetic nervous system response and it can cause your heart to stop beating. For anyone thinking of trying this at home or at some frat party — DON’T. Do it only in a fully equipped ICU with a doctor, nurses and EMTs standing by.

    nk (26f031)

  47. David E. – When I saw Salo thirty years ago, people covered their faces going into the theater. You, I imagine watch it on a big screen TV with a crowd of friend, freeze frame the action, and zoom in. Very twisted mind David.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  48. Pablo, I’m very skeptical of the claim that it does no “psychic damage”; that seems remarkably unlikely. Would you have some cite?

    (That said, I’m not going to lose much — well, any — sleep worrying if KSM has suffered psychic damage. I think there are serious arguments both in favor of limited use of such things as waterboarding and in favor of an utter prohibition, but harm to the recesses of KSM’s psyche isn’t one that has any salience for me. Others’ MMV.)

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  49. Whose “very twisted mind” are you referring to? Sade’s or Pasolini’s?

    Salo presents common state-sponsored practices (many of which were taught at our “School for the Americas”) in a particular historical setting.

    All waterboarding fans should be sure to see it.

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

  50. And again we see that David E’s only real interest in the debate is fueling his need to call his political opponents “fascists”.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  51. Err, David, I’m going just by the title (the kind of pornography I like to watch involves girls named Marilyn, Debbie and Linda) but what happened to Sodom after the 120 days? What kind of fire from the heavens could we get to rain down these days?

    nk (26f031)

  52. David E. – I was referring to your mind. The crowd watching the movie was predominately gay for some reason. Maybe you can explain that. You seem to have a fascination for fascism along with a lot of other lefties.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  53. Pablo, I’m very skeptical of the claim that it does no “psychic damage”; that seems remarkably unlikely.

    It’s panic, Joel. What lasting damage do you suppose that might do? How damaged are our guys who go through it in training? How damaged are the numerous reporters that have undergone it? Did it damage Dan Levin’s psyche? Do the Code Pink weirdos who waterboard each other as some sort of performance art come out of it any more screwed up than they were when they started? I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest that there’s any damage done to anything other than pride. If there’s something out there I haven’t seen, I’d be interested to know what it is.

    Pablo (99243e)

  54. America’s moral worth demolished in 35 seconds. America becomes just like them in 35 seconds. Or not.

    Lawyers asking for mercy give this rap all the time. “My client shouldn’t be defined by those 35 seconds where he pulled the trigger and wasted the little old lady…” I suppose they give it a little more convincingly, but the idea is the same.

    When a country abandons the International Convention Against Torture, there is no de minimis exception.

    Incidentally, I’m not aware of any evidence that Zubaydah gave us the whereabouts of KSM. And even then, statements by torturers about the success and importance of their work should be discounted heavily. After all, if they weren’t saving European civilization from Judeobolshevism, they would just be war criminals wallowing in degradation.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (411a56)

  55. AJL – What kind of evidence do you have that the interrogation of Zubaydah, after he was waterboarded, did not produce any actionable intelligence? Your “I have not heard of any” statements are not exactly definitive proof to me.

    I don’t understand statements such as:
    “And even then, statements by torturers about the success and importance of their work should be discounted heavily.”

    Could you explain that relarive your statements that we should weigh more heavily that aggressive interrogation doesn’t work? Who is more credible?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  56. And again we see that David E’s only real interest in the debate is fueling his need to call his political opponents “fascists”.

    Scrcely a “need.” Just a fun dividend.

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

  57. “what happened to Sodom after the 120 days? What kind of fire from the heavens could we get to rain down these days?”

    Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney.

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

  58. “The crowd watching the movie was predominately gay for some reason. Maybe you can explain that.”

    Pasolini was gay. Well DUH!!!!

    “You seem to have a fascination for fascism along with a lot of other lefties.”

    Pasolini was murdered by fascists.

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

  59. David E. – Why then did you think it would appeal to conservative homophobes (your construction not mine), when it was conceived by gays for a gay audience? Twisted, as I said.

    daleyrocks (c960ea)

  60. David E.:

    And you neo-fascists can go on and on (and on) about how these “techniques” aide [sic] our War on a Verb.

    I don’t think the word “verb” means what you think it means.

    Xrlq (8b1564)

  61. Actually, I’ve always thought of myself as a Paleo-Fascist!

    BTW, should interrogation subjects be knee-capped before, or after, the water-boarding?

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  62. “Since when is intelligence work transparent? ”

    For one, when its declassified. One day this will all be behind us, and people then should be able to know what was done today. The government shouldn’t be able to make things secret forever.

    “What need is there for accountability vis a vis the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah? Accountability to whom? For waht?”

    Accountability to courts, lawmakers, their superiors, their successors, the people, history, etc..

    Michelle Malkin wrote “In defense of internment” with access to previously secret information. In the future, people should be able to write books titled “in defense of waterboarding” with access to primary materials from today.

    whitd (10527e)

  63. Yeah, right, whitd. This is all about ensuring the history of this time period is accurate. The media and the Dems cannot even get yesterday’s history accurate.

    Regardless, that you will not be seeing these videos in the ’08 Dem campaign commercials is your only real concern. Bummer, that.

    JD (d660a2)

  64. “The media and the Dems cannot even get yesterday’s history accurate.”

    No need to tell me that: I did point to Malkin’s book. Having primary sources is no guarantee.

    “Regardless, that you will not be seeing these videos in the ‘08 Dem campaign commercials is your only real concern. Bummer, that.”

    My concern is that the government is able to erase history. A supposedly very important 35 seconds of it too. I can agree with it being secret now. Do you agree that it should secret forever?

    whitd (10527e)

  65. “Why then did you think it would appeal to conservative homophobes (your construction not mine), when it was conceived by gays for a gay audience?”

    Actually it was concieved for a conservative homophobe audience by a very particular gay man. Pasolini didn’t get Anderson Cooper’s approval before going forward with it, you know.

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

  66. Ehrenstein’s REAL argument is that ordinary people jumping off the burning WTC is no big deal. By not being tragically hip important people they deserved it. “Little Eichmans” and all that.

    Quibbling about waterboarding KSM, Abu What’s his name is nonsense. Not when AQ is ready, able, willing, and capable of killing thousands of Americans IN AMERICA.

    Ehrenstein doesn’t CARE about ordinary people — why should he after all he is a Liberal. Part and parcel of that nobility is their view that only the privileged elite deserve protection. Certainly not ordinary people who were incinerated, or jumped to their deaths. Or crushed by the falling building.

    You’ll note that very tellingly Ehrenstein and Lazarus don’t mention the ugliness of 9/11. The brutal murder of innocent Americans simply doing their jobs in offices, or flying in passenger planes.

    Ehrenstein is right however, in one regard. There is no “war on terror.” Instead Muslims demand we convert to Islam … or they’ll kill us. We have a war by Islam on the rest of the world.

    Whenever there’s a Teddy Bear named Mohammed, Muslims scream for death of the infidel. Whenever the Pope says Islam is violent, Muslims kill nuns and priests. Whenever some Danish cartoonists shows Mohammed, Muslims scream and kill people. Whenever a Dutch film-maker makes a film they don’t like, Muslims kill him. Whenever a girl doesn’t want to wear a burqua, her Muslim father strangles her.

    And whenever a Muslim *CAN* kill Americans and Jews he will. As both Stashio and the CIA Agent quoted. That is Islam and that is Muslims.

    I for one would be happy to summarily shoot all the inmates of Gitmo (in public in front of the others, or hang them by the neck until dead) the SECOND they run out of accurate information. I know Ehrenstein and Lazarus weep for the fate of KSM, Architect of 9/11, but then Saddam and Eichmann both had their defenders for the same reason.

    What is interesting about Ehrenstein and Lazarus is how “illiberal” their views are. Old-style leftists put the ordinary people above phony elite moralizing and worship of “the noble savage” which the worship of the AQ inmates at Gitmo amounts to.

    It’s like Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy horrified at her servants cars at the local chapel — “What’s the point of being rich if ordinary people can have nice things too?”

    What’s the point of being an elitist (liberal, but I repeat myself) if ordinary people can’t be killed horrifically by “noble savages” at a moment’s notice?

    PC-Multi-culti idiocy have prevented profiling (China sensibly does not allow Muslims to fly it’s airlines, they have their own terrorist problems with Uighurs). And certainly private planes could be chartered and co-ordinated in attacks on stadiums to achieve a 747 effect. Or massive truck bombs like OKC.

    What Ehrenstein and Lazarus argue is that ordinary people’s lives matter far less than their moral preening. “Let them eat our moral authority.” But then Liberals have been making war on the average guy for 40 years.

    Jim Rockford (e09923)

  67. “Quibbling about waterboarding KSM, Abu What’s his name is nonsense. Not when AQ is ready, able, willing, and capable of killing thousands of Americans IN AMERICA.”

    But, once the war is over, then we can fully explore all the top secret stuff.

    whitd (10527e)

  68. whitd,

    Accountability to courts, lawmakers, their superiors, their successors, the people, history, etc..

    By the time such things are declassified, the guys involved in them will likely be dead. It’s pretty tough to hold dead people accountable.

    Michelle Malkin wrote “In defense of internment” with access to previously secret information.

    And how old was it? Did it include videotapes, btw, or just the written documentation?

    But, once the war is over, then we can fully explore all the top secret stuff.

    Uh, no.

    Pablo (99243e)

  69. “By the time such things are declassified, the guys involved in them will likely be dead. It’s pretty tough to hold dead people accountable.”

    I think you get what I mean when I say they are accountable to history. That

    “And how old was it? Did it include videotapes, btw, or just the written documentation?”

    The information? It was from the 40’s. And no. She did not have videotapes of events from the 1940’s.

    “Uh, no.”

    Or even sooner, if the date comes earlier. But you get the point that we should be eventually declassifying things.

    Or do you disagree?

    whitd (10527e)

  70. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

    Idetrorce (ce6d94)

  71. “Michelle Malkin wrote “In defense of internment”
    And the book is an absolute disaster

    blah (fb88b3)

  72. “Ehrenstein’s REAL argument is that ordinary people jumping off the burning WTC is no big deal. By not being tragically hip important people they deserved it. “Little Eichmans” and all that.”

    Isn’t it marvelous the way “Conservatives” can put words that I never uttered into my mouth with impunity?

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

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