Who are the Liberals Protecting - America or the Terrorists?

Who are the Liberals Protecting - America or the Terrorists?

© David Burton 2009

Photo of Swearing In

        So the president and our liberal Democratic bleeding-hearts want to close the Guantanamo Prison Camp, ostensibly because the treatment meted out to al Qaeda terrorists is too severe. They also want to punish the CIA for being too harsh in their interrogation of the al-Qaeda terrorists who murdered 3,000 innocent American civilians on September 11, 2001 and who would like to repeat their actions if they were allowed to do so. Since when do al-Qaeda and Taliban murderers have rights reserved for Americans under our Constitution or rights provided to enemy combatants under the Geneva Convention? They are not U.S. citizens and are not protected by the Constitution! They are not protected by the rules of war under the Geneva Convention since these terrorists are not citizens of any country that has declared war on the United States and is a signatory to the Geneva Convention! The al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists are pariahs in the world community and deserve no protection under U.S. or international law. They have placed themselves outside the laws of the civilized world. Furthermone, does anyone really believe that being nice to the al-Qaeda and Taliban animals and punishing America's front line fighters in the war on terrorism is gaining the U.S. respect in the Muslim world or is it more likely that we are being ridiculed as soft-hearted idealists that simply encourage more acts of global terrorism and weaken our ability to defend ourselves and our allies?

I want more “harsh interrogation” of Islamic murderers

        Nancy Pelosi, that sanctimonious Democratic liberal leader, has the chutzpah to complain in 2009 about harsh interrogation (read that as waterboarding, among other interrogation techniques) while she and the “congressional leadership, Republicans and Democrats alike, had been informed in 2002 that the CIA had harshly interrogated high-value al-Qaeda operatives, using, among the methods, waterboarding.” Notice that Pelosi didn’t complain in 2002 when she “was as angry about the {9/11} attack and as eager to prevent another one as anyone.” Apparently “it’s OK for Democrats to condone what they consider to be torture when they’re scared and angry” as they were immediately following the 9/11 attacks on the United States, and its OK for them to condemn it when it suits their political purposes some 8 years after the fact. It’s also convenient for them to forget what they did and said 8 years earlier. What happened to their pledge to never forget? ( Ref. 1.)

        When is “harsh interrogation” right and proper? Maybe it’s when a terrorist has information that, if divulged, can save innocent lives. Senator John McCain said “You do what you have to do.” ( Ref. 2.) And then you take responsibility for what had to be done. Then there are the bleeding-hearts who contend that “harsh interrogation” is never justified. They live in their own Utopia, with their heads in the clouds, above the real-life world. Finally, there are the hypocrites and the liars. Harsh interrogation may be justified when it is serves their purposes or when they can deny knowledge of it, even if they know about it.

        It would seem that Nancy Pelosi qualifies for the hypocrite label. She has admitted that early in the war on terrorism, she was “briefed on interrogation techniques the administration was considering using in the future.” Ms Pelosi did not object at the time. In fact, those “briefed on these techniques did not just refrain from objecting,” but “asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.” Today, Ms Pelosi protest that “we were not - I repeat - were not told that waterboarding or any other of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used.” As Ms Pelosi sees it, it was OK for her to not object to waterboarding when she was told it was going to be done but now, some 7 or 8 years later, its OK to object after it was done. To me, that is the height of hypocrisy. Is this someone whom we want among our country’s leadership in the war against global terrorism?
        Even current CIA director, Leon Panetta, has accused House Speaker Pelosi of playing politics. “he cited a ‘long tradition in Washington of making hay out of our {the CIA’s} business … But the political debates about interrogation reached a new decibel level yesterday.’” Senator Kit Bond, the senior Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee was more to the point when he said ‘I think her accusations against our terror-fighters are irresponsible’ ( Ref. 3.)

        At the meeting where Ms Pelosi did or did not find out about waterboarding, “There were eight people at that meeting, including four CIA officials and then-Rep. Porter Goss (F-Fla.), who went on to head the CIA for a time.
        “ ‘We understood what the CIA was doing. We gave the CIA bipartisan support,’ Goss wrote in an op-ed last month.
        “The day after Pelosi leveled her charge, current CIA Director Leom Panetta (like Pelosi a lifelong Democrat) wrote a memo to his employees saying, ‘CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubayah, describing the enhanced techniques that had been employed.
        “ ‘Our task is to tell it like it is,’ Panetta added. ‘even if that’s not what people always want to hear.’ ” Many people are “outraged at the lengths to which Pelosi has gone in her fight to extract some measure of retribution against former Bush administration officials. And if she has to lie in the process and slander those doing the incredibly difficult job of protecting this nation, so be it.
        “Pelosi’s conduct is nothing short of despicable. It is a distraction at a time when this nation, and the Obama administration, have more important issues to deal with than the speaker’s addled memory.” ( Ref. 4.)

        “This brouhaha is more about politics than about our national security, and that’s a shame.
        “The effort by those on the left to reach back and possibly punish those who were involved in keeping this country safe in the aftermath of 9/11 is downright wrongheaded - and will only hurt our national security.” ( Ref. 5.)

        “This incident must also be having a chilling effect on the CIA’s morale.” ( Ref. 5.)

        “Unfortunately, the White House has been yanking the chain of the national security establishment lately, from the on-off release of detainee-abuse photos to the less-than-full release of interrogation memos.
        “This isn’t helpful - or right.
        “Our national security is earned one tough day at a time by brave, well-intentioned Americans. We can’t allow some on the left to kick around their efforts like a political football, distracting them from the important tasks at hand.” ( Ref. 5.)

Did “harsh interrogation” produce any useful results?

        Were harsh interrogation techniques, including waterboarding successful? “George Tenet said that ‘enhanced interrogation’ alone yielded more information than everything gotten from the ‘FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together’
        “Michael Hayden, CIA Director after waterboarding had been discontinued, writes that as late as 2006 ‘half of the government’s knowledge about the structure and activities of al-Qaeda came from those interrogations.’ Even Dennis Blair, Obama’s director of intelligence, concurs that these interrogations yielded ‘high value information.’" ( Ref. 2.)

        Dan K. Thomasson writes that “It should be noted that the” recently released and previously classified 2004 CIA interrogation report “stated there is no doubt that the detention and interrogation program provided information that prevented further terrorist activities, resulted in the arrest of other terrorists and helped the overall intelligence picture.” “One thing is indisputable: We have avoided a repeat {of 9/11} for eight years somehow.” ( Ref. 6.)

Why the rush to close the Guantanmo Prison Camp?

        Why is the president so anxious to close the Guantanamo Prison Camp? Is Gitmo such a hell hole? The pictures that I’ve seen show it be rather nice and modern as prisons go. The “jihadi literati” locked up in Guantanmo even have access to a 13,500-tome library. The favorites of these die-hard terrorists? First are the Harry Potter books, second Don Quixote and perhaps not so surprisingly, Dreams from My Father by none other than President Barrack Obama. ( Ref. 7.)

        Is it because those imprisoned there don’t deserve to be there? My understanding is that those held there are people who’ve killed, murdered, and tortured and who are terrorists that are deserving of no special considerations. They are people who would like nothing better than to attack innocent civilians and impose their version of Islamic fundamentalism on America and the rest of the world. They have no compunction about suicide bombings of innocent civilians, of beheading captives, and of numerous other acts which most reasonable people consider to be heinous crimes deserving of little mercy. So why the great rush to turn them loose or to move them somewhere else?

        It should be noted that “The Pentagon reported … that 61 released prisoners (of the 800 enemy combatants originally housed there) have returned to their ongoing terror war against the United States. Another 60 or so current inmates remain in the Cuban prison because no safe haven can be found for them.” ( Ref. 8.)

        Does President have a logical and consistent policy with regards to the Guantanamo Prison Camp and its detainees? Apparently not. “President Obama said yesterday he would reform and restart the military tribunals he once reviled for Guantanamo Bay detainees, dismaying many supporters who suggested he was going back on campaign promises.” ( Ref. 9.)

        “Obama’s action was almost instantly denounced by a host of liberal-leaning groups.” ( Ref. 9.) Once again the bleeding-heart liberals want greater judicial protection granted to these terrorists than they have given to their thousands of victims. According to them, these murderers deserve more than a military tribunal. At the least, they should have the same rights as every law-abiding American, probably more. I believe that they should have the same protection that they granted American Journalist Daniel Pearl when they beheaded him on February 1, 2002 in Pakistan. In March 2007, at a closed military hearing in Guantanamo Bay, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said that he had personally beheaded Pearl.

        We have no legal or moral obligation to give these miserable creatures any better treatment than they provide to their perceived enemies. We do have a moral obligation to use whatever means necessary to save the lives of our soldiers, our citizens and the lives of all civilized people who are threatened by this cancer. To do otherwise would be criminal and immoral.

        President Obama would do well to reverse his decision to close Gitmo. “The American people overwhelmingly reject his policy {to close Gitmo}. … keeping Gitmo full of homicidal Muslim maniacs still makes sense.” ( Ref. 11. )

Stop the Political shenanigans and get back to protecting America

        It’s the politics, stupid! At one point, President Obama “made it clear that CIA agents who interrogated high-value al-Qaeda suspects using techniques approved by Justice Department lawyers would not face criminal prosecution.” While visiting CIA headquarters, he stated the need to “move on.” Also, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel reinforced the president’s message by stating the Bush administration lawyers who provided the legal framework for the interrogation program “should not be prosecuted either.” Ah, but that was yesterday and today is today! The president has apparently changed his mind. Could it be that his change of heart was encouraged by political considerations and the urgings of liberal Democrats who would like nothing better than to punish former President Bush and his supporters?
        “Yesterday the president breathed new life into the idea of prosecuting Bush administration lawyers.
        “Surely that will bring solace to those who work on highly sensitive national security issues. They can toil with the knowledge that their counsel, no matter how carefully reasoned, might one day land them a spot behind a criminal defense table.”
        “ … at the same time the president acknowledged that he worries about the impact even congressional hearings would have on the fight against terrorism.
        "'I do worry about this getting so politicized that we cannot function effectively and it hampers our ability to carry out critical security operations.’ ( Ref. 11.) Even the president knows that all of this nonsense is nothing but political revenge and ultimately harmful to our national security. As the leader of the country and the Democratic Party, why doesn’t he shut down the witch-hunt and “move forward”? Could it be that politics prevail over common sense?

        Quoting former Vice president Dick Cheney, “In my long experience in Washington, few matters have inspired so much contrived indignation and phony moralizing as the interrogation methods applied to a few captured terrorists.” The former Vice president further said, “When just a single clue that goes unlearned or one lead that goes unpursued can bring on catastrophe, it’s no time for splitting differences. There is never a good time to compromise when the lives and safety of the American people hang in the balance,” ( Ref. 12.) Amen to that!

        According to Cheney, from 9/11 forward, “ … instead of merely preparing to round up the suspects and count up the victims after the next attack , we were determined to prevent attacks in the first place.” ( Ref. 13.) Let the record show that the Bush-Cheney administration was successful in pursuing this policy - there have been no further attacks on American soil.

        In another action that has politicized our war against the fundamentalist Muslim terrorists, “The Obama administration’s decision to release a previously classified 2004 CIA interrogation report and appoint a special prosecutor to look into possible misdeeds by personnel involved in questioning high-value terrorists is a huge mistake.” {emphasis mine} ( Ref. 14.)

        “It’s almost as if … the Obama administration has now declared war on the CIA, which is one of our most important assets in gathering intelligence for winning these conflicts.”
        Such actions will “have a chilling effect on the morale at the agency. Earlier this year Barrack Obama himself vowed it was time to look forward, not back. (Of course, that is until its time to look back.)
        “In addition to being another Obama policy flip-flop, these decisions will likely leave officers in the field wondering whether they should be more concerned about getting terrorists or lawyers.” ( Ref. 14.)

        “The public release of {the previously classified information} will also allow al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorists to use it for propaganda purposes.
        “The public release of national security information … will also give allies pause. Why share secrets with the Americans if it’s going to end up on the front page and the Internet? That could be very dangerous to our national security.” ( Ref. 14.)

        In spite of all the negatives associated with the release of the report, it should be noted that the report called the interrogations “ ‘a crucial pillar of U.S. counterterrorism efforts’ helping foil 9/11 style attacks planned for Los Angeles and London” Would it have been better to have allowed attacks on these cities than to obtain the information needed to foil these attacks ?
        “It isn’t by chance that we haven’t been attacked in nearly eight years. Former Vice President Dick Cheney said that we owe the CIA a debt of gratitude for keeping us safe.” In spite of the bleating of our bleeding-heart liberals, we owe nothing to the terrorists - not even the right to avoid harsh interrogation.
        “It’s a sentiment the Obama administration should really consider before it goes any further.” ( Ref. 14.)

        “By naming a special prosecutor to investigate prisoner abuse cases, including interrogation techniques during the Bush administration,” the Obama administration “has assured the nation of a prolonged and contentious debate over how to fight a faceless enemy with potentially serious damage to the CIA.
        “Under these circumstances … it is questionable whether the United States is capable of defending itself against the kind of terrorist forces who operate outside any civilized standard.” ( Ref. 6.)

        “In an effort to quiet the unease and bolster the morale in his battered agency, CIA Director Leon Panetta told his troops that the report was ‘an old story’ and they should focus on the challenges of today and tomorrow, not yesterday. He is absolutely correct, but that is a tough sell with a prosecutor lurking nearby.” ( Ref. 6.)

        “The purpose of all this seems to be not {to} just punish the culprits but to attach the blame to the {previous} Republican administration.” According to the current administration “there can be no excuse for scaring a suspected murderer into giving up information that could head off … carnage” similar to that of 9/11 even though “There is evidence that several instances of intimidating interrogation have foiled plots, including one discovered by Philippine authorities to blow up U.S. planes over the ocean.” ( Ref. 6.)

        “After pledging during last year’s presidential campaign, and as recently as the spring, not to revisit the past, the Obama administration … has named a special investigator to go after CIA interrogators who pried information from terrorist suspects, preventing more assaults on the country.” We can conclude that “politics has trumped common sense at the Justice Department.” ( Ref. 15.)

        “Before the hard left assumed power, anyone engaged in protecting America by interrupting terrorist plans might have expected a commendation. Now they could face jail time. And somewhere in Pakistan, Osam bin Laden rejoices. By any objective standard, releasing terrorists from prison {Gitmo} and prosecuting their interrogators is nuts. How can these actions fulfill the president’s oath to defend the country?” ( Ref. 15.)

        The Democrats in Congress do (or should) know all of this. But, they disingenuously claim to want to preserve personal freedom, the Constitution of the United States, and motherhood. What they really want is to enact vengeance on the last administration - our troops, our citizens and all potential victims of terror be damned! These Democrats are hypocrites of the worst kind - because their actions in this time of war give aid and comfort to a relentless enemy and place the lives of our troops and innocent civilians here and abroad at risk.

        In another attempt to politicize the war on terrorism, “CIA director Leon Panetta told congress committees that under Dick Cheney, the CIA hatched a plan, in the wake of 9/11, to kill senior leaders of al-Qaeda. … The Democrats … insist that the scandal is that Cheney never briefed Congress about specifics of the plan. There’s only one hitch: the program never made if off the drawing board. … Democrats think it outrageous they were never told about a program that was never put into effect. … But in the fall of 2001, President Bush authorized covert counterterrorism measures. Congress was briefed on that. Congress was nothing but supportive of the effort to take the fight to the enemy.” ( Ref. 16.) Why, some eight years later, are the Democrats now complaining? Today, even under the Obama administration, we kill senior leaders of al-Qaeda via unmanned aerial vehicles. Why is it OK to kill terrorists from the air via unmanned aerial vehicles but a sin to do so with CIA operatives?

        Former Vice President Dick Cheney described the Obama administration’s actions in the war on terrorism since taking office as “unwise in the extreme” and as “recklessness cloaked in righteousness.” Cheney also correctly accused Obama of looking for a “political strategy, not a national security strategy.” Cheney went on to say that Obama and the Democrats’s public debate about interrogation practices and their legal framework for prosecuting terrorists is dangerous because it encourages terrorists to attack the United States. “They {the terrorists} see weakness and opportunity. The Terrorists see just what they were hoping for - our unity gone, our resolve shaken, our leaders distracted.” ( Ref. 12.)

        In an interview aired on Fox News Sunday Vice President Dick Cheney described the recent Obama administration's actions as “clearly a political move.” He added that “I just think it’s an outrageous political act that will do great damage, long term, to our capacity to be able to have people take on difficult jobs, make difficult decisions, without having to worry about what the next administration is going to say.” You now have the Obama administration saying that, well after the fact, they disagree with decisions made by the previous administration’s lawyers and that they are “going to investigate these lawyers and perhaps have them debarred. . . . I just think it’s an outrageous precedent to set, to have this kind of, I think, intensely partisan, politicized look back at the prior administration.” Cheney also said that he had “serious doubts about Obama’s policies - especially whether the new Democratic administration understands the threat to America.” The Obama administration’s actions to date bear out Cheney’s conclusions. ( Ref. 17.)

        “Eight years after the worst-ever terrorist attack on American soil, the man who was governor of New York at the time, George Pataki fears that President Obama has weakened U.S. security.”
        “In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, Pataki says: ‘There is no question in my mind he is jeopardizing our security. You cannot turn terrorists loose, turn them back to where they came from, and not expect them to engage in that activity again. We’ve already seen the example of a number of Guantanamo detainees who were released and returned to the battlefield, fighting our troops, fighting others who are trying to uphold the rule of law and defend freedom. So that clearly places us in jeopardy.’”
        "{Pataki} also warns the investigation and possible prosecution of CIA terrorist interrogators by Obama’s attorney general will undermine America’s national security.
        “‘When CIA officials, CIA agents, and others who play a critical role in trying to gather the intelligence we need to prevent further attacks have to look over the shoulder about investigations and possible criminal charges, it certainly hampers our ability to get the necessary intelligence to protect ourselves,’ he says. ‘I fear that too many of the actions of this Obama administration … have the potential to open us up to further attacks.’”
        “By contrast, he notes that since the 9/11 attacks the Bush administration prevented any more terror attacks on the U.S. homeland.”
        “‘So take a look at the past eight years,'” Pataki says, “For all the uncertainty in the world, we were safe, we were not attacked again. I fear that the Obama administration’s policies are jeopardizing our security going forward.’”
        "‘We were attacked before, there are those who want to attack us again, and we can never stop that vigilance, stop that understanding that in this globe of more than 6 billion people, there are still those who want to attack the United States of America,’ Pataki points out.” ( Ref. 18.)

Are we safer now than under Bush/Cheney?

        Who do you want defending you from terrorists - some bleeding-heart liberal who cares more about political gain, defending the so-called rights of terrorists, and punishing those who have been in the forefront of the fight to defeat terrorism, or would you prefer those true American heroes who have carried the fight to the terrorists and who have, over the past eight years, prevented another 9/11 type attack on the United States? God save us all from the bleeding-heart liberals among us!

  1. Liberals all wet over waterboarding, Jonah Goldberg, Boston Herald, Page 21, December 17, 2007.
  2. Painfully hypocritical - Pelosi on torture, Charles Krauthammer, Boston Herald, Page 21, May 1, 2009.
  3. CIA chief rebuts Pelosi’s charges, Associated Press, Boston Herald, Page 8, May 16, 2009.
  4. Pelosi vs. CIA’s Panetta, Editorial, Boston Herald, Page 20, May 19, 2009.
  5. U.S. interests hurt most, Peter Brooks, Boston Herald, Page 21, May 19, 2009.
  6. Too much at risk in probe of CIA, Dan K. Thomasson, Boston Herald, Page 19, August 29, 2009.
  7. Guantanamo detainees are wild about Harry - and Barrack, Herald Wire Services, Boston Herald , Page 13, September 10, 2009.
  8. On shutting Gitmo, Editorial, Boston Herald, Page 18, January 23, 2009.
  9. Obama ripped for reinstating Gitmo tribunals, Associated Press, Boston Herald, Page 3, May 16, 2009.
  10. Good for Guantanamo, Deroy Murdock, Boston Herald, Page 15, June 6, 2009.
  11. Confusion reigns, Editorial, Boston Herald, Page 20, April 22, 2009.
  12. Obama, Cheney battle on torture, Jennifer Loven, Boston Herald, Page 10, May 22, 2009.
  13. His naivete imperils nation, Cal Thomas, Boston Herald, Page 19, May 25, 2009.
  14. Inquest of CIA none too smart, Peter Brooks, Boston Herald, Page 17, August 26, 2009.
  15. Terrorists win with CIA probe, Cal Thomas, Boston Herald , Page 19, August 31, 2009.
  16. Mission unaccomplished, Jonah Goldberg, Boston Herald, Page 19, July 17, 2009.
  17. Cheney Blasts CIA Interrogation Probe, Lara Jakes, Associated press , August 30, 2009.
  18. George Pataki: Obama Is Jeopardizing U.S. Security , Ashley Martella, Newsmax.com, September 7, 2009.

  11 September 2009 {Article 57; Politics_09}    
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