Did Enhanced Interrogations Work? Do We Need An Investigation?

I tell you, I’m starting to feel like Glenn “Sock Puppet” Greenwald, Excitable Andy, and the nuts from The World Can’t Wait, considering all the posts as of late I have written regarded enhanced interrogations, but this subject is fascinating. It highlights the pusillanimous and September 10th mentalities of the Left, who are way more upset about the harsh treatment of Al Qaeda members who would as as soon as slit American throats as look at them than protecting American lives and property, not too mention how they have politicized the issue. Case in point

News Analysis – At Core of Detainee Fight: Did Methods Stop Attacks?

Even the most exacting truth commission may have a hard time determining for certain whether brutal interrogations conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency helped keep the country safe.

Scott Shane at the NY Times has already shown in the first paragraph that this news analysis belongs on the opinion pages with his “brutal interrogations”crack.

Last week’s release of long-secret Justice Department interrogation memorandums has given rise to starkly opposing narratives about what, if anything, was gained by the C.I.A.’s use of waterboarding, wall-slamming and other physical pressure to shock and intimidate Qaeda operatives.

And therein lies part of the problem: the Left makes it seem as if the detainees were getting the snot beaten out of them, when, in fact, in the vast majority of cases, the situations were carefully controlled and meant to leave little if no physical damage to the little darlings. It was their heads we were messing with, and, despite what the Left, including the Obambi administration has said, worked.

Even President Obama‘s new director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, wrote in a memorandum to his staff last week that “high value information came from interrogations in which these methods were used,” an assertion left out when the memorandum was edited for public release. By contrast, Mr. Obama and most of his top aides have argued that the use of those methods betrayed American values — and anyway, produced unreliable information. Those are a convenient pair of opinions, of course: the moral balancing would be far trickier if the C.I.A. methods were demonstrated to have been crucial in disrupting major plots.

Four successive C.I.A. directors have made similar claims, and the most recent, Michael V. Hayden, said in January that he believed the methods “got the maximum amount of information” from prisoners, citing specifically Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the chief 9/11 plotter.

Many intelligence officials, including some opposed to the brutal methods, confirm that the program produced information of great value, including tips on early-stage schemes to attack tall buildings on the West Coast and buildings in New York’s financial district and Washington. Interrogation of one Qaeda operative led to tips on finding others, until the leadership of the organization was decimated. Removing from the scene such dedicated and skilled plotters as Mr. Mohammed, or the Indonesian terrorist known as Hambali, almost certainly prevented future attacks.

So, people in the know are claiming the enhanced techniques worked. The people who are in it for the politics are saying, no. Why?

For both sides, the political stakes are high, as proposals for a national commission to unravel the interrogation story appear to be gaining momentum. Mr. Obama and his allies need to discredit the techniques he has banned. Otherwise, in the event of a future terrorist attack, critics may blame his decision to rein in C.I.A. interrogators.

But if a strong case emerges that the Bush administration authorized torture and got nothing but prisoners’ desperate fabrications in return, that will tarnish what Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney have claimed as their greatest achievement: preventing new attacks after Sept. 11, 2001.

Hmm, the article seems to be missing a paragraph, one which says “But if a strong case emerges that the Bush administration authorized torture enhanced techniques and got actionable and high value intelligence from the subjects, then President Bush, Dick Cheney, and others will be vindicated.” How did that get left out?

So, what needs to be done? Unfortunately, at this time, after all the caterwauling, hand wringing, panty wetting, an, oh, yes, exposing of the program, there needs to be a release of all the relevant information, and an actual investigation, which includes, according to Congressman Pete Hoekstra, writing in an editorial at the Wall Street Journal

Members of Congress calling for an investigation of the enhanced interrogation program should remember that such an investigation can’t be a selective review of information, or solely focus on the lawyers who wrote the memos, or the low-level employees who carried out this program. I have asked Mr. Blair to provide me with a list of the dates, locations and names of all members of Congress who attended briefings on enhanced interrogation techniques.

Any investigation must include this information as part of a review of those in Congress and the Bush administration who reviewed and supported this program. To get a complete picture of the enhanced interrogation program, a fair investigation will also require that the Obama administration release the memos requested by former Vice President Dick Cheney on the successes of this program.

It’s a shame that it has come to this, but, unfortunately, the next investigation might be in to how an American city turned into a smoking whole while the Obama administration played nice with terrorists and lived on September 10th.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove

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