Obama and the possible investigations for waterboarding

Obama has “opened the door” to the investigation of of those who made the decisions to use waterboarding for interrogation. If you’ve been living in a dark cave, waterboarding was successfully used to gather information regarding possible terrorist attacks in America. Los Angeles, the target of a 9/11 type attack, was spared because of information from this technique. But now there’s a renewal to punish anyone associated with the decision to use that particular interrogation technique.


What we have here is Obama’s sick headline-a-day addiction. If there isn’t any news, by golly, make something up to put the President front and center. Staff members have to be shaking their heads. They know nothing will come of this. If they prosecute a past administration, they become vulnerable in the next cycle.

I linked to the Chicago Tribune article above because I really liked this analysis:

Increasingly, human-rights groups and many liberal members of Obama’s base have been demanding investigation—and possible prosecution—of those involved in what these critics see as the illegal and immoral use of torture. The demands have only grown more intense since the administration’s release last week of memos prepared by the Bush Justice Department that set out in graphic detail what tactics were permissible.

The man is simply rallying the base and grabbing a headline at the same time.

Think about it. If we’ve started recognizing a Populist vs. Political Class movement, you can bet his advisors have, too. They don’t want to risk losing a portion of those Populists labeled Democrats to a little thing like waterboarding. The administration is already at risk with this group from spending decisions they’ve supported. If Obama can successfully pass the buck by sending the issue to the Attorney General, he’s told the tight core of Bush hater’s he’s still the man. Later when nothing comes of it he can tell everyone he tried so hard!

About saving LA – a girlfriend chuckled this morning it may not have been the better use of America’s resources after all…


  1. “The mind-set of Germany prior to the second World War terrifies me. The atrocities that the world allowed then could be repeated, you know. That’s why diligence in America’s current transition is not out of line. Every country should guard against the careless thinking that allowed Hitler to destroy millions of lives through outright murder and the war that followed.”

    You were on the right track Tuesday. Diligence is ALWAYS in order. When we reach the point that any means is justified by our intentions alone, we are in for a hellish ride. Torture isn’t a technique, it’s a step toward the abyss.

    Political Class is nothing new. It is a different name for what we commonly call by elitism or insiders. We’ve had that tension forever.

    As for your political analysis, I agree.

  2. Waterboarding is a technique for interrogation. Whether or not waterboarding is torture is still in debate.

  3. J. Strupp says:

    How about waterboarding someone 183 times in less than a month? Still up for debate? I guess I’ve been living in a dark cave because it sure looks like we gave up “intellligence gathering” and just flat out tortured the guy. All off American soil in a pro-torture country of course.

    “If you’ve been living in a dark cave, waterboarding was successfully used to gather information regarding possible terrorist attacks in America.”

    Wrong. Waterboarding was used later. The LA attacks were extracted before the guy was tortured.

    Read the memos. They are boring and difficult to understand but one thing becomes clear. Our government made torture standard policy during the run up to the Iraq invasion, primarily to squeeze bogus information out of Al Qaeda operatives in a futile attempt to find some link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.

    P.S. it appears the word “liberal”, which doesn’t quite have the insulting punch as it used to, is being replaced by the word “populist”. Is that accurate? I haven’t been watching the guys on Fox or listening to WISN lately. Is this the new “word”?

  4. What is obvious is that if the tables had been turned, this 7th-century savage KSM would have been chopping our heads off while making a video of it. Irresponsible grandstanding on the left is to be ignored, these people don’t know -or don’t want to know- what it takes to keep America safe… nor do they understand the nature of the enemy, apparently.

    And waterboarding is not a near-drowning technique- the subject is never in danger of drowning. Water boarding is not torture- there is no physical harm to the subject.

    Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed is a BAD guy, wouldn’t talk, and was taunting US interrogators with “you’ll see”… so they obtained valuable info from him using this technique, which we now find-out prevented a 9/11-scale attack on Los Angeles. Who cares how many times it took?

    It was up to him how long before he decided to cooperate, didn’t have to be this way- looks like he clung stubbornly to a bad decision.


  5. I guess that’s another vote against the survival of LA from J. Strupp.

    You’ll have to source your claim that the LA plan was revealed before the technique. The link above claims otherwise as described in the documents. The assertion there is that our government used an enhanced waterboarding technique on 3, count them 3, detainees. All three yielded important information.

    You’re wrong about populist – As I’ve used it that includes approximate equal portions of R, D, and I.

    BTW – what level of torture would you assign to having to listen to you whine?

  6. Yeah, we forget that these terrorists allow themselves to be waterboarded. I don’t feel sorry for the SOB that won’t talk to the guy holding the bucket of water. You only have to answer the questions they ask of you and magically you don’t get waterboarded.

  7. The Lorax says:

    Fair enough Dan. What if you don’t have answers for the questions being asked?

    Like if someone is innocent and they say “I didn’t do it.” clearly they will continue to be tortured.

  8. Moot point because these guys gave real information.

    Some of you propose our government will pull three funny looking guys off the street and waterboard them. I believe trained military used hard techniques to get information from terrorists, and that information saved American lives.

    I like my answer better.

  9. The Lorax says:

    Some of us believe that the value of human autonomy and freedom must be upheld and that otherwise, any effort to protect humans is a moot point.

  10. Fat chance of human autonomy and freedom if you’re dead by a terrorist’s hand.

    I love ideals as much as the next guy, but real life demands something more – like hard choices. I’m grateful to leadership that will make them for my protection.

  11. The Lorax says:

    Oh, i agree. But I think the middle ground is protecting people while upholding human rights. In other words, i’m not as willing to compromise my rights. And to that end, i’d rather die by terrorism than by my own government.

    Different priorities.

  12. You can’t cause someone definite pain for an indefinite result. Terrorists are humans. Interrogation, not torture.

  13. If we’re going to make public some memos, let’s make them all public. Every. Single. One.

  14. Intewedm says:

    For the life of me I don’t understand all the whiners who act as if waterboarding is the same as cutting of one’s head. I remember when I was in high school reading a book about the torture the Japs inflicted on prisoners. As I recall, it was titled “The Black Book of Torture”. Some of the things I remember are:
    1. Driving splinters under fingernails.
    2. Tearing off finger and toenails.
    3. Putting hands in boiling water and then
    peeling the skin off like gloves.
    4. Rape
    5. Disemboweling

    Here’s a quote from a Jap soldier:
    We had fun killing Chinese. We caught some innocent Chinese and either buried them alive, or pushed them into a fire, or beat them to death with clubs. When they were half dead we pushed them into ditches and burned them, torturing them to death. Everyone gets his entertainment this way. Its like killing dogs and cats. –Asahi Shimbun, Japanese soldier, describing Japanese atrocities during the Rape of Nanking.

    Now that you know what real torture is, and it’s being done for purely inhuman reasons, maybe waterboarding doesn’t seem like it’s in the same category. I suggest that you consider that if your 3 year old daughter is kidnapped by a known child molester and someone knows where they are but isn’t talking…do you offer them polite conversation and a cup of coffee? I’d hang them by their genitalia until they talked! Remember, the people who got waterboarded would kill you and your bleeding heart cohorts in a heartbeat if they had the chance. Tyrants do not respect weakness. Obummer is Jimmy Carter on defense, Karl Marx on economics, and Osama bin Laden on religion!

  15. How about this: if one really really KNOWS that one MUST torture somebody to save the world, or the three-year-old, one does it. Then one mans up and goes to jail for the good of the country. It might give the deciders a little perspective on their choices.

  16. Let’s pretend I’m the interrogator and it’s your kid. I like my kids enough I don’t want to go to jail to save yours.

    Oh, well…

  17. I kinda agree with Kathryn and it applies to lots of situations; if you have a conviction and act on it, don’t be afraid of the consequences.

  18. Anonymous says: