As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Thank You, Torturers

Is anyone willing to recognize the elephant in the room, the monkey on our back, or the skunk at the party?

Is anyone willing to acknowledge and, indeed, applaud The Torturers?

It seems very likely that likely that the vilified interrogations of the Bush years played a critical role in developing the intelligence that led to the end of Osama Bin Laden.

And please, let’s dispense with the euphemisms peddled by the Bushies. This was not “enhanced interrogation techniques.” This was torture. Not the most extreme form of it, but torture.

Journalist Christopher Hitchens wasn’t sure about water boarding, and so he had it done on himself. Afterward, he wrote, “Believe me, it’s torture.”

And he knew he wasn’t going to die.

Let’s review how the Osama Bin Laden hit was set in motion. Here’s what White House Counterterrorism Chief John Brennan said yesterday.

Detainees in the post-9/11 period flagged for us individuals who may have been providing direct support to bin Laden and his deputy, Zawahiri, after their escape from Afghanistan.

One courier in particular had our constant attention.  Detainees gave us his nom de guerre or his nickname and identified him as both a protégé of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of September 11th, and a trusted assistant of Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the former number three of al Qaeda who was captured in 2005.

Detainees also identified this man as one of the few al Qaeda couriers trusted by bin Laden.  They indicated he might be living with and protecting bin Laden.

Here’s what ace investigative reporter Michael Isikoff wrote.

The identity of at least one of the detainees who provided early information about the courier who led to bin Laden could be politically explosive. According to a U.S. official, that detainee  was notorious Saudi al-Qaida operative and accused 9/11 conspirator Mohammed al-Qahtani, who was subjected to some of the most humiliating interrogations at Guantanamo. Among the enhanced interrogation techniques used on him were  being forced to wear a woman’s bra, being led around on a leash and forced to perform dog tricks and being subjected to cold temperatures that twice required his hospitalization, according to a later U.S. military report.

Gosh, hospitalization. Sounds like an enhanced torture technique.

And Dick Cheney, Monday on Fox:

I would assume that the enhanced interrogation program that we put in place produced some of the results that led to bin Laden’s ultimate capture . . .  We need to keep in place those policies that made it possible for us to succeed in this case.

Perhaps President Obama, who has eliminated the type of dyspeptic questioning strategies – how’s that for a new euphemism? – that brought him Bin Laden’s scalp should have begged off on the raid on the grounds that the intelligence was obtained via illicit practices.

And where’s the credit from Obama to Bush? If not credit for Bush’s skillful interrogators, than for the razor sharp military he bequeathed him. As one of our readers – Star, who blogs at Do the Hopey Copey –  pointed out to me, Obama has attributed to Bush so very many things, all of which suck. How about this?

Are you, dear reader, really, in your heart, uncomfortable that the CIA tortured a few high value al Qaeda operatives in order to get information that could save the country? I’m not.

Sure, we can’t make this a regular practice. But the country’s moral backbone, built strong over four centuries, is hardly in danger of breaking because we roughed up a few bad guys.

So let me be the first to say it: Thank you, torturers.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

29 Responses to Thank You, Torturers

  1. I don’t consider it torture. Real torture leads to permanant disability, if not death. Scaring someone or humiliating them or even putting them in a cold room that makes them need medical attention doesn’t fit the bill.

    So we owe the interrogators a debt of gratitude. No torture here.

    And for the record, I did allow someone to waterboard me. Scared the piss out of me, but I’m no worse for wear.

    • I had to get a tube in my throat once while conscious–they kept YELLING Swallow, swallow…pouring water in–close as I want to come. I panicked. It was a terrible feeling. They made my daughter leave–they said it was the thing the nurses feared the worst happening to them. (Great bedside manner.) I woulda talked!

  2. There is no evidence that the torture – which is morally reprehensible – was in any way responsible for leading the US to OBL. There is evidence, in fact, that torture leads to false confessions.

    Your posts and the hoo-rah syncophants that are sure to follow demonstrate nothing but misplaced macho aggression.

    • I bellieve there is conformed testimony that either KSM (waterboarded 189 times) or one of the others made some slip that led to an alias for this courier and much dot connecting.

    • There was no torture at Guantanamo. There were harsh interrogation techniques used, but none of them rose to the level of torture.

      • I would tend to think of true torture as stuff the Russian mafia does–like remove people’s skin or break every bone in their body over a week’s time.

    • Same tired, old talking points, Amy. Blah, blah, blah. Your tribe ought to freshen them up a little, so that they at least sound interesting.

  3. DonObama ordered a hit on the Don of the BinLaden family, then sent him to “sleep with the fishes”. DonBinLaden’s location was found with information gained by torturing his captured soldiers. DonObama’s consiglieri, “the Sanctioner” Gates, will provide proof of death with a photo of DonBinLaden’s bulletriden head .
    Retaliation is expected from the other 50 families and the Commision has called for a meeting at the UnitedMafia compound in NewYorkCity to forstall a bloodbath.

  4. ” In terms of Mr. bin Laden himself, we’ll get him running. We’ll smoke him out of his cave and we’ll get him eventually.” George W. Bush.

    Mission accomplished.

  5. Obama is a thin-skinned narcissist who will not give proper credit to Bush, the CIA, or the brave Navy Seals who actually got the job done.

    Don’t you know: it was Barry, me, me, me, I, I, I, who gave up 9 holes of golf and was sitting in the air-conditioned Situation Room, watching it all go down, who whacked OBL.

    And if the mission had gone wrong, Barry would have blamed someone else.

    Barry’s one thought: “Come on, get it done so I can get re-elected.”

    The jerk is coming to NYC to crow and campaign. Barry: “Noun, verb, Bin Laden.”

  6. Did I just actually read this in print?! WOW! Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this today, Keith.

    By listening to Mr. Obama yesterday, you would have thought that his decisions and his leadership brought us to this day.

    We should all be thankful for the Administration that was in office on 9/11; who put the necessary measures into place to keep us safe for the last 10 years. We should all be thankful for all of our military personnel who sleep in a miserable sandy desert each night so that we can be safe and warm in our beds.

    This was not torture. These were measures taken for the purpose of National Security. And I support the ongoing measures if it means that my little children will be safe each and every day.

    Amy, false confessions happen every day in police departments everywhere. Most confessions have some shreds of truth that can be used to uncover bigger pieces to the puzzle.

  7. My husband was subjected to waterboarding as a part of survival training during his military career. He agrees with William. It scared the heck out of him but it wasn’t any more brutal than getting tossed around an interrogation room with a hood over his head. These interrogators did nothing more to these cowards than they do (or used to do) to our own soldiers.

    We do owe these interrogators a debt of gratitude for obtaining the information needed to catch Osama, but it wasn’t torture.

  8. SO?
    When will the ‘main stream media’ APOLOGIZE to “Contractors” (re: Blackwater types) ~OR~ the CIA/SPECOPS/”Black Ops”…
    Who “may” (?) have used “enhanced intterogation” to gather Intel for the Usama Pakistan raid?

    • Sorry, but I actually think they should have taken some of the real baddies, stuff their mouths with pig guts and execute them, similar to the rumors of “Black Jack Pershing” way back when. That would take away their promise of 70 virgins. If they are going to use their so-called faith as motivation to murder us, it behooves us to take away that motivation. Others would start singing pretty quickly, and motivation would be harder for the next generation of murderers to find. We overlook, or can’t understand, how certain these people are that they are going to be rewarded in the afterlife for killing us.

  9. Speaking of torturers Keith….what’s with this White House referring to our Navy Seals who pulled this daring mission off as ” assaulters.” I heard both Carney and Brennan refer to them that way today.

  10. anything that Christopher Hitchens voluntarily undergoes in order to write about it is ABSOLUTELY not torture.

    torture is stuff I can’t even mention here, it’s so disturbing. hmmm: waterboarding, or Saddam & Co’s electrified genitals? would Hitch let them do THAT? I doubt it. in fact, there’s your definition of torture: stuff Hitch would NOT let them do for a VF feature.

    however, your premise is correct: although Obama deserves a lot of credit for the endgame, the intel that led to it was a product of Bush’s security apparatus (the same one candidate Obama disliked so much).

    to the torturers, I say, well done. two thumb(screws) up!