Torture And Death, Spies And Police

Yesterday, Senate Democrats released a controversial report on the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” employed after 9/11.  Of course, with the release of this report, liberals had a field day, painting the United States in the worst light possible.  No big surprise here.

Motivations for releasing the report, of course, are purely political.  Democrats have lost control of the Senate, so of course they will be taking whatever actions they can to give themselves a political advantage during the lame duck session.  It doesn’t matter to them at all that the release of this report puts American lives in danger – to Democrats, the political implications are all that is important.

I’m about as far removed from CIA operations as one can get, so when former CIA officer Charles Faddis, a man for whom I hold a lot of respect, says that he isn’t in favor of enhanced interrogation techniques, I’m inclined to agree with him.

That being said, I think some perspective is called for.

What, exactly, was the CIA doing to Al Qaida terrorists?

  1. Waterboarding – This has probably been the most publicized technique, which basically amounts to pouring water over someone’s head to make them feel like they are drowning.
  2. Sleep Deprivation – Keeping people awake for a long time.  Also practiced on college students by many universities.
  3. Nudity – Seriously, this is torture now? You would think that the ‘anything-goes’ left would be fully in support of a little liberating nudity.
  4. Wall Standing – Standing by a wall…for a long time.

There are a few others, but this sums up the basics.

Compare this to what happens to U.S. soldiers, operatives, and civilians captured by the very same terrorist organizations against whom these techniques were used: physical beatings, brainwashing,  videotaped beheading, forced confessions.  What U.S. operatives may have done to some of the world’s worst terrorists truly does not compare to what our enemies would do to American civilians, much less soldiers or spies.

In reality, the United States has shown historic restraint towards our enemies.  Even what happened at Abu Ghraib – the great scandal of the Iraq War – was downright infantile when compared to driving bamboo shoots under fingernails, ripping out fingernails with pliers, or any of a number of other techniques used against our people in the past.

But there is also a domestic factor to this.  People on both sides of the political aisle have been complaining about the militarization of America’s police forces, particularly in Ferguson, Missouri with the recent unrest there.  Giving military hardware to our police forces is a huge mistake…but when we have what essentially amounts to a race war taking place in the United States, we need our police to be on a war footing if they are to protect the American public from the rioters, the looters, the gang-bangers, the anarchists, the Islamists, and the other forces seeking to take advantage of the situation.

But, in the now-immortal words of Rahm Emmanuel, the politicians never want to let a good crisis go to waste – and the President of the United States, and America’s “top cop,” District Attorney Eric Holder, are using the situation to insinuate the federal government into the day-to-day operations of local police forces.  Combine that with military-grade hardware, and it is a very, very bad thing for freedom-loving Americans in the long run.

Giving America’s police forces the tools they need to deal with dangerous situations is essential…but as the cliché goes, it is important that those tools not fall into the wrong hands.  President Obama and Attorney General Holder have actively worked to sow mistrust between law enforcement and the black community, all while telling the American public how important it is for cops and civilians to trust each other.  In the grand scheme of things, the lack of an indictment for a Ferguson, Mo officer who was almost certainly attacked is not a big thing – it really wouldn’t have even gained national attention had it not been for the lies told initially that made the officer seem guilty of murder.  The case in New York may merit disciplinary action – possibly even the termination of the officer in question – but a criminal indictment against an officer restraining a suspect who was resisting arrest is taking it too far.

But by lending credence to the mob, President Obama and Attorney General Holder are making it virtually impossible for cops to do their jobs in America.  What happens the next time an officer faces an unarmed African-American, who moves to attack?  If the officer shoots him, he could be facing murder charges.  If he fails to shoot, he could end up dead himself…and in the split second he has to make that decision, hesitation could mean his death.

This is the great irony that America’s defenders face in this day and age: we want our intelligence services to get all of the facts to prevent terrorist attacks and stop our enemies, but we want to tie their hands so they may not have all of the tools necessary to accomplish that goal.  Likewise, we want to give military-stile weapons to our police forces, yet we will also criticize and bring up on charges any officer who uses deadly force against a suspect (provided that suspect is of a particular skin color).  It’s a crazy, mixed-up world we live in.

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