April 24, 2009
That is not the question.
I can”t get worked up about the current torture tempest.
The two parties are exchanging fusillades over ten interrogation techniques deployed with fourteen “high value al-Qaida detainees,” three of whom endured the most controversial method of all, because they were purported to possess “credible intelligence of an imminent terrorist attack,” as well as “actionable intelligence” to “prevent, disrupt or delay an attack.”
These facts emerged pursuant to Obama’s declassification of Bush Justice Department memos. At the time the memos were penned, cabinet members and lawmakers were in-the-know, but chose to button up.
Perhaps my uneasiness stems from the knowledge that if my own life depended on it, I”d want interrogators to save me and mine by means fair or foul. Whatever it takes.
Also, sometimes you just have to trust the government”I know I can always rely on America’s deracinated elites to elevate the interests of the enemy above those of the people.
In other words, I trust the government’s untrustworthiness. So can you. In their own clumsy way, our top dogs are looking out for terrorists. That’s why I won”t. After all, when it comes to breaching the public’s trust, the government’s track record is better than good.
Instead of crushing the culprits in 9/11 (al-Qaida), our protectors chose to vanquish a guiltless people (Iraqis). They harnessed American grief and rage for the purpose of pursuing a Democratic Manifest Destiny in the Middle East.
Make our government choose between placating local Wahabbi lobbyists and the safety of the flying American public”and it will opt for the first.
In the toss-up between tossing out millions of migrants or plaguing Americans with more unemployment, depressed wages, stretched social services, environmental despoliation, the misery of multiculturalism, and crime”the State will always side with the scofflaws and other arrivals.
Forced to pick between the wellbeing of wildlife versus human life and livelihoods; the State’s pack animals will fight like wild dogs for the critters.
If it comes down to Urdu versus English in the classroom, the sounds of India (and the H-1B Visa) will trump the language of Washington and Jefferson.
Samuel P. Huntington hinted at something similar. In his wonderfully learned, Who Are We?: The Challenges to America’s National Identity, Huntington characterized America as an unrepresentative democracy in which the patriotic public is routinely flouted by the ruling elites, especially “on domestic and foreign policy issues affecting national identity.”
“Chilling” and “gruesome” is how the libertarian and liberal Left tagged the “torture” memos, penned by the Office of Legal Counsel. Others consider the documents careful and deliberative. The latter tend to believe Abu Zubaydah was al-Qaida’s operations chief. The former say Zubaydah was merely misguided, or mentally ill.
Wherever the truth lies, there is a vigorless, extinction-courting quality to those who squeal about placing a bug in the bug-phobic Abu Zubaydah’s “confinement box.” These are just the type of insects the likes of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would delight in squashing.
What would the same suspects say about SERE, the acronym for “Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape” training, undertaken by pilots and other special operations soldiers? They are often deprived of sleep, placed in stress positions, made to crouch in confined quarters, and tormented with insects and the water-board. The military calls this a drill. Being bombarded with loud rock music: for some toughies that’s entertainment.
Of one thing I”m certain: Whatever verdict the establishment elites”from Chris Matthews to John McCain”pass on enhanced interrogation methods, these moderators can be counted on to rule counter to the interests of ordinary Americans.
To wit: In publically and self-righteously expiating for”and eliminating”the use of these methods with terrorists, other aspiring mass murderers rising through the ranks will no longer fear incarceration in American prisons. They can look forward to a painless transition through those Pearly Gates promised by the religion of peace.
More materially, torturing the torture issue has thrown the country off-scent, to the great advantage of the puppet masters.
The torture kerfuffle is secondary to”and subsumed within”the broader category of an unjust war, waged by George Bush with Democratic assent. Talk about a bipartisan effort; a pox on both Houses!
You can make the case for harsh interrogation techniques in desperate, dire circumstances. But how on earth do you justify lugging an army across the ocean to occupy a third-world country that is no danger to you and has not threatened you? You don”t, and you can”t.
Forgotten in the faff over “enhanced interrogation” tactics is the invasion of Iraq. Of this war crime, most Democrats are as guilty as Republicans. The torture fracas is like manna from heaven for both parties and their media lapdogs, who cannot be coaxed out of a coma.
Whether to bug Zubaydah’s cage or not: this is a limited, small, relatively safe distraction that allows complicit journalists, jurists, politicians and pointy heads to skirt the real issue: the need to prosecute Bush, Cheney, Clinton, Kerry, for invading Iraq.