Obama’s Intelligence Director says waterboarding worked

From Hot Air:

President Obama’s national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.

“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,” Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.

Admiral Blair sent his memo on the same day the administration publicly released secret Bush administration legal memos authorizing the use of interrogation methods that the Obama White House has deemed to be illegal torture. Among other things, the Bush administration memos revealed that two captured Qaeda operatives were subjected to a form of near-drowning known as waterboarding a total of 266 times.

I have no problem with waterboarding non-citizens who are high level terrorists.  Not a single problem.  When someone talks about torture and such I like to throw this scenario at them:

Let’s say that  you are out with your family, a van pulls up and men get out and snatch one of your kids.  In the melee you manage to incapacitate one of them but the others flee with your child.  Is there anything that you would not do to that person to get them to talk about where your child is?  There is nothing that I would not do.  A pair of pliers and a blowtorch come to mind, so faking drowning does not impress me with someone like Kalid Sheikh Mohamed.  Beta males like our new president simply feel icky about demonstrating toughness, it is not in their character.

But I will say that I am bothered with the reported number of times; if waterboarding is as effective as some say, why did it take that many times?

7 responses to “Obama’s Intelligence Director says waterboarding worked

  1. You obviously miss the point. Here it is for you:

    A: Torture is illegal.
    B: Waterboarding is torture.
    C: Therefore, waterboarding is illegal.

    Not complicated at all.

  2. Such simplistic deductive reasoning only works if B is true.

    I contend that it is not. You disagree. We are playing word games, but even if it is torture I remain wholly willing to use it on individuals like KSM and Zubaydah. You disagree.

    We even waterboard some of our Special Forces troops to see how mentally tough they are.

  3. It doesn’t really matter what you contend or even what I contend. The only questions here should be whether or not waterboarding is torture and whether it is legal within the laws of the US. The answers are yes and no respectively. US law clearly states that waterboarding is indeed torture.

    As for the moral perspective of torture and your use of a hypothetical personal situation where you would condone torture, let me repeat a proverb.

    Revenge is a dish best served cold.

    So true. We don’t (or shouldn’t) make important decisions in the heat of the moment nor should legislators pass laws based on anger or revenge.

    It’s important to never lose touch which the core beliefs which define us as either individuals or nations. For when we stop to think about it, we realize that it is this core which differentiates the good from the evil, the wrong from the right…

  4. Two words for “core beliefs” Mario.

    “Self Preservation”

    The desire and willingness to take whatever measures might accomplish that is what differentiates the dead from the living.

  5. You don’t address the ‘core beliefs/differentiates’ argument I make. That’s ok. I will add this then: most experts state that torture does not work. So on all points, the argument in favor of torture is lame.

  6. No Mario. My “Core Beliefs” revolve around “Self Preservation”. If it benefits the Self Preservation of myself or my loved ones, good! If not, not quite so good.

    You sling that “most” stuff around pretty loosely then pass it off as indisputable. I think you will find the experts, as it were, pretty divided on the benefits of Harsh Interrogation Methods.

    I think the concept of “Self Preservation” is about as basic a “Core Belief” as exists.

  7. No Mario. My “Core Beliefs” revolve around “Self Preservation”. If it benefits the Self Preservation of myself or my loved ones, Good! If not, not quite so good.

    You sling that “most” stuff around pretty loosely then consider it indisputable. I think you will find the opinion of most “experts” on the benefits of Harsh Interrogation Techniques to be pretty well divided.

    You frame this issue erroneously then try to debate it from a false position. No one is endorsing torture. However, many of us have no problem with smacking these guys around a bit.

    As for “Core Beliefs”, is there any more basic “Core Belief” than the endeavor of “Self Preservation”?

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