The torture of things that aren't torture
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Strap in for a good old-fashioned scrap as the folks who get weak in the knees at the thought of KSM catching a little nasal-surfing are out in force and we have the ever popular anonymous book to contend with.
Matthew Alexander led an interrogations team assigned to a Special Operations task force in Iraq in 2006. He is the author of "How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq." He is writing under a pseudonym for security reasons.
His team got the tip that nailed Zarqawi so he obviously deserves our praise. The problem is that he seems to think quite an awful lot about himself and his techniques. His game may have worked and it may even be the interrogation equivalent of sliced bread, but that does not mean it should be the only game in town. Now I have long been in favor of all the enhanced interrogation techniques which this person seems to believe go beyond the pale, but the piece I read seems to imply that even the approval of these techniques causes a reign of torture. If that was the case then he had an obligation to expose this and stop it. If he didn't do that and now seeks to write a book about how awful everyone else is, then he deserves condemnation. If he did complain and it was ignored, and I mean filing official complaints that he can prove, then the military owes answers. If his whole complaint is that we used enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorists, then I have no use for him.
I always love when we are mentioned on the Huffington Post and lo and behold Brandon Friedman of VoteVets, who I don't think enough of to disparage, has a piece up pimping his buddy's book (they share an agent). Once he finishes tongue-bathing Alexander for his moral superiority he decides to use us as the con. Now since most of the links are to things I wrote and I am chief among the pro-torture crowd here I would like to answer back by saying "Relax fellas, the Obama has been annointed and now we will use aromatherapy and riddles to interrogate prisoners".
I'm actually quite optimistic these days, in no small measure because President-elect Barack Obama has promised to outlaw the practice of torture throughout our government. But until we renounce the sorts of abuses that have stained our national honor, al-Qaeda will be winning. Zarqawi is dead, but he has still forced us to show the world that we do not adhere to the principles we say we cherish. We're better than that. We're smarter, too.
Yeah Kumbaya Buddy, Kumbaya.
Thankfully even Obama has seemd to have some pragmatic bones as he jettisons whack-a-doo promises to the left. He has even explored the idea of more than just the Army interrogation manual, Alexander's koran. So I am heading into this with the same basic attitude I have had since the left first began catching the vapors over using a hydro Jedi mind screw on evil bastards. No permanent damage, no torture. If you don't wanna play, don't play buddy. But don't try to hand cuff people who are able to properly address evil without becoming it, or comprising their country.
I would love to know whether this guy is solid and if anyone can properly say so or not I would appreciate it. That absolutely does not include exposing him and I would join in f**king up anyone who did so. However we do many things back channel secure here and if you can do that and we can get one degree of separation with you, I would like to know. This and many other important issues will be up for potential emasculation in an Obama administration. We must be vigilant.