FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The Inverted Conscience of Barack Obama
Lost Moral Bearings Indeed
Next time the United States captures some hardened, mass-murdering terrorists, the CIA should tell President Obama that we captured some unborn children, and he’ll let them do whatever they want.
With the release of the CIA interrogation memos, we learn that men like Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, one of the principal architects of the September 11 attacks that killed over 3,000 Americans (note to those keeping score at home: this is incontestably a war crime) and Abu Zubaydah, who the CIA told OLC had “been involved in every major terrorist operation carried out by Al Qaeda” and “wrote Al Qaeda’s manual on resistance techniques” to interrogation, were approved for subjection to techniques like the following:
Facial grasp: “Used to hold the head immobile. One open palm is placed on either side of the individual’s face.”
Insult slap: “The purpose of the facial slap is to induce shock, surprise and/or humiliation.”
Cramped confinement: The suspect is placed in a confined space that “is usually dark.” Some spaces allow a subject only to sit down; confinement in those spaces “lasts for no more than two hours.”
Wall standing: Subjects are forced to lean with only their fingers for support against a wall 4 to 5 feet away from their bodies in a tactic “used to induce muscle fatigue.”
Stress positions: They include “kneeling on the floor while leaning back at a 45-degree angle” and “sitting on the floor with legs extended out in front of him with his arms raised above his head.”
Sleep deprivation: This is meant to “reduce the individual’s ability to think on his feet and, through the discomfort associated with lack of sleep, to motivate him to cooperate.”
Faced with such revelations, President Obama’s heart overflows with tenderness for these men’s plight, compelling him to pronounce to the world that the memos “reflect, in my view, us losing our moral bearings.”. The thought of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, cold and alone in a dark room, moves the president to action and to call for a nation’s penance.
Now consider the testimony of registered nurse Jill Stanek on the lack of care given in Obama’s own state to unborn children who survive an effort at an abortion and are left to die to complete the process:
One night, a nursing co-worker was taking an aborted Down’s syndrome baby who was born alive to our Soiled Utility Room because his parents did not want to hold him and she did not have time to hold him. I could not bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone in a Soiled Utility Room, so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived. He was about 22 weeks old, weighed about a half a pound, and was about 10 inches long, about the size of my hand. He was too weak to move very much, expending any energy that he had trying to breathe. Toward the end of his life he was so quiet that I couldn’t tell if he was still alive unless I held him up to the light to see if his little heart was still beating through his chest wall. After he was pronounced dead, we folded his little arms across his chest, tied his hands together with a string, wrapped him in a tiny shroud, and carried him to the hospital morgue where all of our other dead patients go.
The mark that this little person’s untimely death left on my heart will never go away. In large part, I ended up here today because of that baby.
Other co-workers have told me upsetting stories about live aborted babies whom they have cared for. I was told about an aborted baby who was supposed to have spina bifida, but was delivered with an intact spine. Another nurse is haunted by the memory of an aborted baby who came out weighing much more than expected—almost 2 pounds. She is haunted because she doesn’t know if she made a mistake by not getting that baby any medical help. A support associate told me about a live aborted baby who was left to die on a counter in our Soiled Utility room wrapped in a disposable towel. This baby was accidentally thrown in the garbage. Later, when they were going through the trash trying to find the baby, the baby fell out of the towel and onto the floor.
Then-Illinois State Senator Obama, you may recall, heard similar testimony from Ms. Stanek, yet voted repeatedly against bills to require – among other things – additional medical oversight to prevent such barbarities. For all of his self-proclaimed “moral bearings” when mass murderers and war criminals are involved, Obama when dealing with the most innocent and defenseless among us slips into the cold-eyed worldview of utilitarianism. Unlike Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, such helpless infants – with a developing brain, a beating heart, and a unique and irreplaceable human genetic code marking them as a scientifically identifiable and distinct human being – are to be treated as mere inanimate objects with no dignity, no mercy for their pain, no claim on our consciences, nothing but an obstacle to the accomplishment of a procedure:
As I understand it, this puts the burden on the attending physician who has determined, since they were performing this procedure, that, in fact, this is a nonviable fetus; that if that fetus, or child – however way you want to describe it – is now outside the mother’s womb and the doctor continues to think that it’s nonviable but there’s, let’s say, movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just coming out limp and dead, that, in fact, they would then have to call a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved.
[T]he only plausible rationale, to my mind, for this legislation would be if you had a suspicion that a doctor, the attending physician, who has made the assessment that this is a nonviable fetus and that, let’s say for the purposes of the mother’s health, is being — that — that labor is being induced, that that physician (a) is going to make the wrong assessment and (b) if the physician discovered, after the labor had been induced, that, in fact, he made an error, and in fact this was not a nonviable fetus but, in fact, a live child, that the physician, of his own accord or her own accord, would not try to exercise the sort of medical procedures and practices that would be involved in saving that child.
Now, if — if you think that there are possibilities that doctors would not do that, then maybe this bill makes sense, but I — I suspect and my impression is, is that the Medical Society suspects that doctors feel that they would already be under that obligation, that they would already be making these determinations, and that essentially adding a — an additional doctor who the has to be called in an emergency situation to come in and make these assessments is really designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion.
Now, if that’s the case –and — and I know some of us feel very strongly one way or the other on that issue — that’s fine, but I think it’s important to understand that this issue ultimately is about abortion and not live births. Because if these children are being born alive, I, at least, have confidence that a doctor who is in that room is going to make sure they’re looked after.
Or listen to the same words in Obama’s own flat, emotionless voice, as well as his hemming-and-hawing statement at the end of this clip – just last August – that his moral bearings could not be located to do anything about the unborn because determining who is and isn’t a human being deserving of the most basic human rights was “above my pay grade” (this hasn’t stopped Obama from supporting, throughout his career, taxpayer funding to encourage abortions):
One can argue, of course, as I do, that a just and humane society must treat innocent and defenseless members of the human family better than one treats mass-murdering war criminals who seek the destruction of one’s country. One can argue that an elevated moral sensibility commands elevated treatment of the just and the unjust alike. One can argue that the greater good must triumph over treatment of either.
But a man who is driven to grand moral pronouncements when we do things to terrorists that he would not bat an eyelash at when the same and worse is done to the unborn can only be described as morally depraved. In a perverse way, Frank Rich is on the right track when he asks how the banality of moral evil helps lull us into accepting it and treating it as respectable, but he’s looking in the wrong end of the telescope. Treating a man with this worldview as if he has any moral bearings whatsoever is obscene.