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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cohen Sets The Left On Fire By Asking 'What If Cheney's Right?'

Nothing is as sure to get you figuratively castrated by members of the far far left as easily as defending Dick Cheney or acknowledging Cheney "could" be right about anything, but Richard Cohen does exactly that and has the far left, once again, howling in moral outrage.

The topic? Harsh interrogation tactics against terror suspects with knowledge of pending attacks against America and whether those tactics saved lives.

Cheney, though, is adamant that the very measures that are now deemed illegal did work and that, furthermore, doing away with them has made the country less safe. Cheney said this most recently on Sunday, on CBS's "Face the Nation." "Those policies were responsible for saving lives," he told Bob Schieffer. In effect, Cheney poses a hard, hard question: Is it more immoral to torture than it is to fail to prevent the deaths of thousands?

Cheney maintains that the memos he wants released shows information gathered using harsh interrogation tactics did, indeed, stop a second wave of attacks to follow up on 9/11 and some information was released showing that attack would have been in Los Angeles.


The Central Intelligence Agency told today that it stands by the assertion made in a May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that the use of “enhanced techniques” of interrogation on al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) -- including the use of waterboarding -- caused KSM to reveal information that allowed the U.S. government to thwart a planned attack on Los Angeles.

Before he was waterboarded, when KSM was asked about planned attacks on the United States, he ominously told his CIA interrogators, “Soon, you will know.”

According to the previously classified May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that was released by President Barack Obama last week, the thwarted attack -- which KSM called the “Second Wave”-- planned “ ‘to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into’ a building in Los Angeles.”

KSM was the mastermind of the first “hijacked-airliner” attacks on the United States, which struck the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Northern Virginia on Sept. 11, 2001.

Back to Cohen:

Still, every dog has his day, and Cheney is barking up a storm on the efficacy of what can colloquially be called torture. He says he knows of two CIA memos that support his contention that the harsh interrogation methods worked and that many lives were saved. "That's what's in those memos," he told Schieffer. They talk "specifically about different attack planning that was underway and how it was stopped."

Cheney says he once had the memos in his files and has since asked that they be released. He's got a point. After all, this is not merely some political catfight conducted by bloggers, although it is a bit of that, too. Inescapably, it is about life and death -- not ideology, but people hurling themselves from the burning World Trade Center. If Cheney is right, then let the debate begin: What to do about enhanced interrogation methods? Should they be banned across the board, always and forever? Can we talk about what is and not just what ought to be?

Obama opened a can of worms by releasing choice portions of only certain memos, things he thought would help him politically and now people want to see the results, all of them, yielded from such interrogations, otherwise there can be no debate.

Cheney's question is legitimate though, what is more immoral? Knowing thousands of innocent people are going to die and not doing everything in your power to prevent it or doing everything in your power to stop it, even if some consider it torture?

50 percent of Americans approve of the "Bush administration's decision to use of those techniques during the questioning of suspected terrorists."

Half of America has already answered that question, so how about the readers... which is more "immoral?"

Cohen's previous piece, which also had the left howling in outrage because although Cohen states he against torture, he admits it works in certain scenarios and Obama's stance does not make the country safer and actually makes us less safe by making all this as public as he has, found here.

The left seems to think Cohen's two pieces are some kind of contradiction and some are showing their complete lack of sanity in the process.

Actually, between his two articles on this topic, he is having the debate and encouraging a public one, on a very sensitive issue, one the far left refuses to even engage in because the discussion itself seems to make their heads explode.


Interrogation Memos Released

Obama Stirs The Pot On Interrogations

Majority Of Americans Feel Obama Endangered Country With Release Of Interrogation Memos

Americans For Torture