"The media has led with the story of our interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and in an effort to shock our national conscience, the report says, among other things, that he was told that if there was another attack on American soil, the CIA would “kill your children.”
I’m sorry but I’m left cold by this. The man who masterminded the actual murder of 3,000 Americans and changed our country forever, wanting to do more, was told that his children would be threatened if another attack took place. Let’s recall what we’re actually doing right now: We use Predator drones to actually kill terrorists with missiles — and we actually kill their children, friends, and relatives at the same time.
We truly have forgotten 9/11.
Back in 2001, without naming names, there were serious, intellectual people in Washington who spoke among themselves of doing things far worse than this to prevent another attack. There were learned moralists and foreign-policy experts who privately discussed schemes like threatening to target Mecca if another attack took place. Of course that never became policy, and it wasn’t the administration, but that was the mindset of an awful lot of serious people.
Did we intern thousands of Arab citizens in this country, as FDR did with the Japanese? Did we execute saboteurs once we found them, as FDR authorized? Did we use weapons of mass destruction, as Harry Truman did? Did we suspend habeas corpus on U.S. citizens, as Abraham Lincoln did? No. We did not, and terrorists like KSM and Al-Nashiri, who has 17 dead U.S. sailors from the USS Cole on his hands, are given three squares a day, Korans, and prayer mats in our custody.
CIA director Leon Panetta wrote this to his charges at the CIA yesterday:
This much is clear: The CIA obtained intelligence from high-value detainees when inside information on al-Qa’ida was in short supply. Whether this was the only way to obtain that information will remain a legitimate area of dispute, with Americans holding a range of views on the methods used. The CIA requested and received legal guidance and referred allegations of abuse to the Department of Justice. President Obama has established new policies for interrogation.
We obtained intelligence when it was in short supply. We received legal guidance along the way."
"Charles Krauthammer put it this way yesterday:
The administration is in a deep health care debate, a national debate, and every hour that passes, support for his plans are diminishing and his own popularity is tanking.
All of a sudden, this issue explodes on a Monday. Friday, the administration met at 5:00 after hours, releases a $2 trillion error in estimates of deficits, and on bright Monday, you get this re-litigation of the Bush administration all of a sudden exploding upon us.
Look, I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I’m not a child. It’s not a coincidence.
And secondly, you get the president pretending he is against all this and that it is Holder, the attorney general whose initiative all of this is about, as if Holder isn’t an employee and under the direction of the administration.
So, the president is the good cop who is magnanimous, who really wants to look ahead as the messianic visionary he is, and Holder is the bad guy.
Obama knows exactly what is happening and this serves his purposes wonderfully."