Why release the "no torture" memos?

Isn't it amazing how different the same set of facts can seem based on how it's presented? Consider two articles discussing the 4 memos released by the Obama administration yesterday about CIA interrogation techniques, the use of which led the left to accuse the Bush Administration of employing torture. [All 4 memos are available in one 124-page PDF file by clicking HERE.] In a Wall Street Journal article entitled "The Memos Prove We Didn't Torture", David Rivkin and Lee Casey argue that the aggressive interrogation techniques which sent "human rights" organizations into such a tizzy in the past couple of years were sparingly used and essentially harmless to those who were interrogated. In the UK Times, a reporter analyzes the same memos to reach a conclusion that America was indeed a nation of evil-doers -- so much so that Barack Obama "was reluctant to release" the documents. Personally, I find the former article far more believable. The Bush Administration knew that it was in America's interest for the bad guys to believe that they might be tortured, or at least treated very roughly, if they were caught operating against the United States. The liberals' argument that if al Qaeda knows that we won't torture them, then they'll treat Western captives better is simply laughable. So, although the Bush Administration could have adequately defended itself, they instead stayed silent, letting the media tar and feather them, in order to protect our nation by trying to discourage participation in groups which want to attack the US or our people or facilities abroad. Now, over the objections of four previous CIA chiefs, the Obama Administration has released these memos which not only say that we don't really torture, but also disclose how we fool prisoners into thinking that they might be in for some unenjoyable moments if they don't cooperate. What do you think the reactions are to this information around the world? In the halls of power in Europe, it's probably a combination of a soft liberal happiness that nobody really got hurt and a smug self-satisfaction that Europeans must be as good as Americans in intelligence tactics because they've forced us to be as "civilized" as they are. In the tribal areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and in other places where people are scheming against us, the reaction is probably "What utter weaklings. They've shown yet again that they are unfit to be anything but our slaves...or dead. Now it will be that much easier to recruit jihadists to attack the Great Satan because we can tell them just what to expect from those gutless westerners." The Obama Administration's desire to be liked rather than respected or feared continues to prove a grave threat to our national security. Lame excuses that they would have had to release the documents anyway are simply cover for what anti-American administration officials wanted to do all along.
  • Steven E. Kalbach
    Comment from: Steven E. Kalbach
    04/21/09 @ 07:37:50 am

    It has been said before, americans deserve the government they elect; therefore, if something should happen, they have only themseleves to blame. The unfortunate part is that those who were against this regime will be in the target zone as well.

  • Snaggle-Tooth Jones
    Comment from: Snaggle-Tooth Jones
    04/21/09 @ 10:27:34 am

    “In the tribal areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and in other places where people are scheming against us, the reaction is probably ‘What utter weaklings. They’ve shown yet again that they are unfit to be anything but our slaves…or dead. Now it will be that much easier to recruit jihadists to attack the Great Satan because we can tell them just what to expect from those gutless westerners.’” And why, pray tell, are they “scheming against us”, Ross? Because they “hate our freedoms”? Because they are jihadists bent on global Islamic domination? Be serious. The only domination that’s taken place of late is Western domination of the Middle East in the names of oil and Zionism. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, many Muslims were kindly disposed to the United States. That is, until we went f#@&ing about in their countries, that thing with Iran in the 1950s being perhaps the most glaring example. Read Michael Scheurer. I’ve got no issue with the release of the memos. That pseudo-conservative Bushco outfit pushed us into a dark episode as to our civil liberties. It’s time now for a bit of light. Already we see the cockroaches (e.g., Yoo) scattering. And I say this as one who has absolutely no love for Obama. h t t p:// antiwar. com/ radio/ 2009/ 04/18/scott-horton-18/

  • MikeR.
    Comment from: MikeR.
    04/22/09 @ 08:58:40 am

    Our new protocols for interrogation..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSe38dzJYkY

  • Comment from: Rossputin
    04/22/09 @ 11:47:07 am

    Snaggle-Tooth, They want to destroy us because that's the fundamental mission of their cult of violence. It has nothing to do with oil or Israel; they just use those on occasion for "marketing" purposes. It has nothing to do with our presence or absence in the Middle East, and accepting their premise that it does simply plays into their long-term strategy.

  • MikeR.
    Comment from: MikeR.
    04/22/09 @ 02:26:22 pm

    Snaggle-Tooth, No they do not "hate us because of our freedoms" this is an obvious canard and a confusion/oversimplification of the concept. They hate us AND our freedoms because we pose an existential threat to their cultist theocratic social structure, we are the 'corruption' at the edge of their would be empire and it's tenets of domination. People who live as we do are a threat by the very nature of our freedoms and 'true' liberalism, tolerance and diversity. The funny thing about the left is they just don't seem to get that their most cherished 'liberal, progressive' self stylings are the MOST hated enemy of of (dare I say it) MOST of Islam. Not all are militant or even most but the reason there is silence from MOST is tacit approval and agreement, if not for the most extreme actions, then for at least the principal that WE AND OUR FREEDOMS are their enemy ultimately. The absurdity of describing our violent or 'oppressive' actions as the source of their hatred is almost self evident to thinking observers of history. It is the way most of these societies have ALWAYS lived and IN FACT they respect powerful authoritarian regimes and order most. There are even specific linguistic references to just such a structure in Arabic and more specifically The Koran. You may argue a tribal objection to such order and despotism coming from an outside source (us) but even that is weak since history shows Persians, Turks, and Arabs have all held power over the region at one time or another and while they may not care for each other they do not hate with anywhere near the vehemence that they hate us or even factions within their own cult of Islam. AND any 'atrocities' you imagine us having committed pale by comparison to what has taken place in those societies for over a thousand years...