Politics, Not Ethics
I’ve generally stayed away from the whole debate around our government using coercive methods to get information from terrorist detainees. However, Andy McCarthy makes a valid point in this post that is similar to some of the thoughts I’ve had in the past… of course, he articulates them much better. That’s why he’s a great writer, and I blog for six people.
If you were to take everyone in America who is serving a minor jail sentence of say, 6 to 18 months, and you were to ask them whether they’d rather serve the rest of their time or be waterboarded in the manner practiced by the CIA post 9/11 (i.e., not in the manner practiced by the Japanese in World War II), how many would choose waterboarding? I am guessing, conservatively, that over 95 percent would choose waterboarding.
Now, if you take the same group of inmates and ask them whether they’d prefer to serve the remainder of their time or be subjected to Obama’s drone program (where we kill rather than capture terrorists, therefore get no intelligence from the people in the best position to provide actionable intelligence, and kill bystanders – including some children – in addition to the target), how many would choose the drone program? I am guessing that it would be … zero.
Long before any details of the OBL raid came out, I commented that there was never any intent to bring him back alive. Alive he’d be too much of a political football for the current administration to stomach, and it was a lot easier to knock him off, claim a great victory, and then remind people about it for years. Let me see, what was one of the 2012 campaign slogans again…?
What I think most people forget is that we’re at war with a shadow entity that is not a nation, plays by no standard rules, and is uninterested in traditional victory. I can’t tell you how to fight back, but it’s not through random strikes that leave us further in the dark.