A random, purely unscientific survey of the editorial pages from around the country on Sunday clearly indicate that the infamous “torture memos” are on the minds of the pundits and newspaper talking heads. The general theme is slowly changing from a debate about torture to how best handle the publication of memos and investigate those evil fiends in the Bush administration for writing them. Hence, if the dying print media had its way, Patrick Leahy’s Truth Commission/kangaroo court would be in session already, subpoena power in hand. Luckily, they- the print media- are a dying breed. Then there is this collateral conspiracy stuff being bandied about- what did Congress know and when? Did they question it? If they didn’t, does that constitute tacit approval? Who cares? What I find most interesting about the debate is that it is a portal into the workings of the liberal mind, if such is possible given the utter lack of simple common sense coupled with hypocrisy.
Part of the problem, I think, is this phrase “war on terror.” The actual phrase in its current context is traced to Bush’s Congressional address on September 20, 2001. Perhaps the word “war” was too strong. Maybe “on-going battle” would have been a more apropriate phrase, or even “struggle.” I say this because those on the left seem to have missed the point entirely and now apply “the rules of war” to this attempt to thwart and counteract terrorist acts against Americans. The “rules of war” are, in and of themselves, laudable and laughable. The Geneva conventions state how war is to be conducted as if in the heat of battle, or given the circumstances of the situation, anyone is expected to rip out a copy and cite the appropriate passages to guide their “appropriate” way to wage war. Additionally, they are written as if they apply to the conventional concept of war- one nation against another nation. That is not the case here with terrorism where there are no clear-cut borders. Because this is a new type of “war,” an old type of ground rules, generally ignored under the best of circumstances anyway, cannot apply. Yet, the liberals view this as a conventional war and therefore, by golly, we have rules and we have to play by those rules. And suppose the United States unilaterally follows the “rules” while the other side does not? Does taking that alleged high moral ground save the lives of any American? The Islamic terrorists come from a completely different mind set alien to most Americans and it is time that liberals wake up to the fact that they play by no rules! Example: waterboarding and stress positions pale in comparison to, let me think…. beheading?
On the one side, you have Dick Cheney and his “ends justifies the means” line of thought. Fair enough, but how far do we take those “means?” This is the reason he is insisting that more memos are released by the CIA to prove that actionable intelligence was obtained by these methods, that we disrupted or thwarted terorist acts and saved American lives. Again, the liberals attempt to seize the high moral ground by saying that we are above such methods (suggesting those methods are somewhere down there). What could be more immoral, however, than allowing more Americans to die at the hands of terrorists? Does the high moral ground include accepting terrorist attacks, losing American lives, then sitting back and reveling in the fact that we stuck to the liberal’s high moral ground and that therefore makes us a better country? Tell that to the families of those who could or would have been killed. While the liberal media have laughed off the alleged plot on the Brooklyn Bridge, the City of New York did not consider the plot that outlandish and took steps to prevent an attack like that was unearthed (through those “warrantless wiretaps” incidentally). While the liberal media was laughing off the Fort Dix plot, would they be laughing if innocent American soldiers- no matter how many- were killed? While the liberal media laughs off some Muslim being arrested for taking pictures of landmarks, would there be laughing if there was an attack on one of these landmarks? And here is the hypocrisy of the liberal mind at work. Quick to judgment and criticism of the Bush administration for “not connecting the dots” prior to 9/11, now every move to connect the dots is a civil rights violation or a violation of international law.
What liberals call for is combating the threat of terrorism as if it is a legal matter. We are to capture and coddle and house these dirt bags, then put them on trial and let the criminal justice system do its job. They cite that this line of attack worked quite well with the 1993 WTC bombing. They often state that it was a “triumph” of our legal and criminal justice systems. I beg to differ otherwise the World Trade Center would still be standing. Imagine if that blind sheik from Newark had been waterboarded in 1995. Would the WTC still be standing, would close to 3,000 Americans still be alive, would the dots have been connected by the Clinton administration?
What liberals and those on their alleged high moral horse fail to realize, and never will realize, is that this “struggle” against terrorism is totally new territory. It does not involve soldiers in one uniform shooting at soldiers in another uniform. There are no boundaries between countries being fought over. There are no “key bridges” to control and grand strategies involving tanks and artillery. The Geneva rules were written for conventional wars, something this clearly is not. Hence, those rules do not apply. This is a “war” fought in the shadows and better left in the shadows. The fact that these memos were even contemplated indicate that these were no amoral evil lawyers plotting the overthrow of the Constitution. The liberal view, best expressed by Obama’s press secretary on Meet the Press, that torture of captives put our soldiers at risk because this is was a recruiting tool for terrorists turns this whole argument on its head. This is typical liberal double-speak and hypocrisy, the type of reasoning one would expect of the Obama administration. The fact is that in the abstract Dick Cheney is correct: this politically-motivated act by the Obama administration has not made this country stronger or safer by acknowledging our “sins,” confronting our past and engaging in some perverted form of self-flagellation. Quite the opposite- it has weakened us not in the abstract, but in the real world where real people can be really killed at the hand of real terrorists. Theories of justice, of the “rule of law,” of rules of war, of the Geneva conventions, etc. are all well and good. But just remember that theoretically speaking, the morning of Tuesday September 11th, 2001 was just another beautiful, typical morning in New York City and Washington DC. All those theories went out the proverbial window at 8:47 a.m. that morning. Perhaps, instead of theory, Leahy and company need to look at reality more closely. If waterboarding or putting insects in a box with some scum bag makes my family safer, then that is the ultimate reality. If you want the only “rule of war,” then perhaps liberals should bear this is mind: All is fair in love and war.