Ouch… that hurt

seal of the CIA

Once again we’re tripping through the fog. I’m discussing something that is an inane as “should a captain of a 747 have a gun in the cockpit of a vessel transporting citizens”. Should a merchant marine have an AK-47 on board his ship carrying millions of dollars worth of cargo.

But there is this:

RELEASED: The Bush Administration’s Secret Legal Memos  On April 16, 2009, the Department of Justice released four secret memos used by the Bush administration to justify torture.
The Obama administration has declassified and released opinions of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) given in 2005 and earlier that analyze the legality of interrogation techniques authorized for use by the CIA.

I have read the documents, you can find them online.

I’m appalled that we have been bullied into making this classified information public. While true the  dems (progressives) will feel warm and fuzzy for a few days and superpowers such as Belgium and Spain will like us for a few weeks. Then it’s back to business with America further weakened.

Each war we fight finds us facing a new enemy with new methods of attack. This enemy has seen inside America like no other. They don’t need field operatives, or clandestine networks to gain information to use against us, they only have needed a TV. Many may have lived and studied in America. They’ve seen and understand how powerful public opinion is in America. Unlike other countries in the world, America is a true democracy where public opinion means something because it translates to votes.
And defeats suffered from public opinion can be just as grave as those suffered on the battlefield.

This administration has gone well beyond reaching out to other countries. Obama used every opportunity in Europe, Mexico and South America to apologize for America’s past behavior.
“Please like me, I realize I’ve done some things you don’t like but I’ve changed”… didn’t work in high school and doesn’t work on the world stage… can you say Jimmy Carter… can you pronounce naiveté.

During the founding of this country there were many who wanted Europe’s favor. It is only natural to want to be liked but entering alliances that weaken or give governing authority over American citizens and policies only weaken us.

“Nothing is so important as that America shall separate herself from the systems of Europe, and establish one of her own. Our circumstances, our pursuits, our interests, are distinct. The principles of our policy should be so also. All entanglements with that quarter of the globe should be avoided if we mean that peace and justice shall be the polar stars of the American societies.” –Thomas Jefferson

The true theory of our Constitution is surely the wisest and best, that the States are independent as to everything within themselves, and united as to everything respecting foreign affairs. Let the General Government be reduced to foreign concerns only, and let our affairs be disentangled from those of all other nations, except as to commerce, which the merchants will manage the better, the more they are left free to manage for themselves, and our General Government may be reduced to a very simple organization, and a very inexpensive one; a few plain duties to be performed by a few servants. — Thomas Jefferson

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations to have as little political connection as possible… Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalships, interest, humor, or caprice?… It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world. — George Washington

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. –George Washington

Because of the mainstream media and PC (Politically Correctness) I venture to say that many people and all progressives when hearing the words of our founders, not knowing who said them, would classify the person as a red-neck.

Now contrast the above quotes with this one

This present window of opportunity, during which a truly peaceful and interdependent world order might be built, will not be open for too long – We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order. — David Rockefeller

Once again we see how this view relies on a crisis to instigate change. They know that when given the opportunity to know the facts Americans would not be onboard.

Rom Emmanuel and Hillary Clinton have also said: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste… ”

I digress… but it is important you realize why America is the most successful nation in mankind’s history. In order to understand that you need to understand the government that was laid out for it to prosper in a way that it has.

With the release of these Secret CIA Memos President Obama seeks to move beyond what he calls “a dark and painful chapter in our history” once again apologizing for America.
These incidents of enhanced interrogation against terrorist who are not affiliated with any recognized country or government saved American lives. Period.
These terrorist who are just that. They prey on fear, killing innocent women and children. They are not warriors, or solders fighting under any nation’s flag or “rules of war”
Yet through public opinion and the media the have been elevated to the status of fair and equal treatment afforded solders of war found in The Geneva Conventions.

The declassification and release of these secret memos accomplishes several things.

They outline in detail just how careful we were to avoid physically or mentally hurting these prisoners during any enhanced interrogation.  Believe me, this ain’t the way Jack Bauer does it on 24.

I know most people will never see these documents but I sincerely believe if they did they would either be shocked at how benign the techniques were or more likely they wouldn’t believe it. Believing instead that there most be some “ultra secret” interrogation methods. Thinking people will have a hard time believing this was what all the controversy was about.

Prior to interrogation, each detainee is evaluated by medical and psychological professionals from the CIA’s Office of Medical Services (“OMS”) to ensure that he is not likely to suffer any severe physical or mental pain or suffering as a result of interrogation.

Advanced approval is required for all “enhanced” measures and is ‘conditional on on-site medical and psychological personnel confirming from direct detainee examination that the enhanced technique(s) is not expected to produce “severe physical or mental pain or suffering.'” As a practical.matter, the detainee’s physical condition must be such that these interventions will not have’ lasting effect, and his psychological state strong enough that no severe psychological harm will result.

Prisoners were given full medical and psychological evaluation prior to, during and after interrogations.

Other than waterboarding you may have heard of another technique called “Walling”. The media would have reported this as “banging heads against a wall until they talk”. Here’s the way that really went down.

Walling. This technique involves the use of a flexible, false wall. The individual is placed with his heels touching the flexible wall. The interrogator pulls,the individual forward and then quickly and firmly pushes the individual into the wall. It’s the individual’s shoulder blades that hit the wall. During this motion, the head and neck are supported with a rolled hood or towel that provides a col1ar effect to help prevent whiplash. To reduce further the risk of injury, the individual is allowed to rebound from the flexible wall. The false wall is also constructed to create aloud noise when the individual hits it in order to increase the shock or surprise of the technique.

A flexible wall and neck support… Once again “Medical and psychological personnel are physically present”

and on waterboarding:

The “waterboard.” ln this technique, the detainee is lying on a gurney that is
inclined at an angle of 10 to I5 degrees to the horizontal, with the detainee on his back and his head toward the lower end of the gurney . A cloth is placed over the detainee’s face, and cold water is poured on the cloth from a height of approximately § to 18 inches.

A single “application” of water may not last for more than 40 seconds, with the duration of an “application” measured from the moment when water-,of whatever quantity(s) first poured onto the cloth until the moment the cloth is removed from the subjects face.

A comfortable water temperature is also required.

During the use of the waterboard, a physician and a psychologist are present at all times. The detainee is monitored to ensure that he does not develop, respiratory distress.

The effect of the waterboard is to induce a sensation of drowning. This sensation is based on a deeply rooted physiological response. Thus the detainee experiences this sensation even if he is aware that he Is not actually drowning. We are informed that based on extensive experience the process is not physically painful but that it usually does cause fear and panic.

it appears that the individual undergoing the technique is not in fact completely prevented from breathing, but his airflow is restricted
by the wet cloth, creating a sensation of drowning,

Fear and Panic…

The extensive experience mentioned in the above excerpt was gained from our on troops. Waterboarding is a part of the SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) training and has been employed on thousands of our soldiers.

The document goes on to completely outline in detail over a dozen other methods but waterboarding and walling are the two that get the most press. I confess I can’t understand why we haven’t heard more about the dreaded Facial Hold.

Facial hold. This technique is used to hold the head immobile during interrogation. One open palm is placed on either side of the individual’s face. The fingertips are kept well away from the individual’s eyes.

… the humanity!

If anything the release of these documents just reaffirms how humane a country America is. And as Dennis Miller said so eloquently “we don’t need to prove that”.

On waterboardlng Dennis Miller said it best.

Something that takes somebody who’s willing to strap a bomb on and yet freaks them out to the point where they’ll tell you where the next bomb is by pouring water down their nose and they don’t even die, I think, wow, this is heaven-sent.” I mean, there is no physical damage, no long term trauma, not even a hangover. 
Waterboarding is like a gift from God.

I know that we want to prove that we are more human than our terrorist enemies but simply put, we don’t have to prove it, we are.

On foreign relations Tony Soprano said it best:

“You don’t have to like me, but you will respect me” — Tony Soprano

One argument against these methods and for the release of these memos has been that the terrorist have used torture by America as a recruiting tool. That may be true, but do you honestly think this will slow down or inhibit their recruiting. They use whatever tools they are given. They already use the Army Field Manual. Now they’ll be able to tell young recruits how little they have to fear if captured and training them for these specific techniques in the event they should ever be used anywhere. And speaking of propaganda recruiting tools, they’ll be doing this as they show Obama bowing to the Saudi King and buddying up to Hugo Chavez.
These are the people who beheaded Nicholas Berg and Daniel Pearl, and have tortured and slain other countless other American captives, not to mention the thousands of Americans they’ve killed. I don’t think they are likely to be shamed into giving up violence by this latest news.

An article posted in the Wall Street Journal by General Michael Hayden, former Director of the National Security Agency and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. From April 21, 2005–May 26, 2006 he was the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, a position which once made him “the highest-ranking military intelligence officer in the armed forces.”
and Michael B. Mukasey, the 81st Attorney General of the United States proclaims that by allowing this disclosure, President Obama has tied not only his own hands but also the hands of any future administration faced with the prospect of attack.

Which brings us to the next of the justifications for disclosing and thus abandoning these measures: that they don’t work anyway, and that those who are subjected to them will simply make up information in order to end their ordeal.

But confessions aren’t the point. Intelligence is. Interrogation is conducted by using such obvious approaches as asking questions whose correct answers are already known and only when truthful information is provided proceeding to what may not be known. Moreover, intelligence can be verified, correlated and used to get information from other detainees, and has been; none of this information is used in isolation.

The terrorist Abu Zubaydah (sometimes derided as a low-level operative of questionable reliability, but who was in fact close to KSM and other senior al Qaeda leaders) disclosed some information voluntarily. But he was coerced into disclosing information that led to the capture of Ramzi bin al Shibh, another of the planners of Sept. 11, who in turn disclosed information which — when combined with what was learned from Abu Zubaydah — helped lead to the capture of KSM and other senior terrorists, and the disruption of follow-on plots aimed at both Europe and the U.S. Details of these successes, and the methods used to obtain them, were disclosed repeatedly in more than 30 congressional briefings and hearings beginning in 2002, and open to all members of the Intelligence Committees of both Houses of Congress beginning in September 2006. Any protestation of ignorance of those details, particularly by members of those committees, is pretense.

Director Hayden, as late as 2006…fully half of the government’s knowledge about the structure and activities of al Qaeda came from those interrogations.

You can read the article, The President Ties His Own Hands on Terror : The point of interrogation is intelligence, not confession here.

as they speak further of cycles of timidity and aggression” that have weakened intelligence gathering in the past.


With the release of these memos Obama said Thursday that “CIA officials who used harsh interrogation tactics during the Bush administration will not be prosecuted>. But watch, as a result of these memos being made public there will be countless lawsuits and investigations. Maybe the CIA officials who used these harsh interrogation tactics have been protected but their of many other good-intentioned officials who are not so protected.


My question is, Why? Why did we release this. The President could make a statement that we do not use these methods and that should be enough. We are America, the country that more than once have saved Europe, the world, from totalitarian rule.
So why?

I don’t know, I haven’t heard any convincing argument or explanation.

I do know once again we’ve been hit. Maybe not by missiles, jumbo jets or IEDs but we’ve been damaged and it was done using public opinion.

Or maybe we really do have “ultra secret” interrogation methods. I sure hope so.

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