Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Waterboarding – the Bottom Line

“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds
and scars of war.”

—General Douglas MacArthur

Since former CIA employee and interrogator, John Kiriakou, just went to the media after I already wrote about torture v. interrogation, I’m going to have to—rather, I’d like to—re-address the waterboarding issue.

First, he said, “We do not torture”; and “We also know that this program has saved lives by disrupting terrorist attacks.” In fact, the information obtained from Abu Zubaydah helped lead to the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (think 9/11). Moreover, it “disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks.”

Furthermore, approvals for the technique were cabled back and forth from Langley at the highest levels! Look, it just doesn’t happen that often.

Here’s the bottom line. At some point in the future there may be so many horrific and gruesome attacks that we, as a free and civil people, will finally admit: we don’t care how it’s done, just stop the attacks; stop the death; keep us safe.

And, of course, interrogation won’t stop ALL of the attacks, but it will stop DOZENS of them.

Through the advent and power of the now-ubiquitous media, the world is slowly being exposed to the horrors of war. The consciousness of all people—not just those on the front lines—are being exposed to things that are otherwise censured or kept deep within the bosom of the warrior. Some things are better left alone. I would know. There is no one who wants peace more than the soldier who has wept and cried and who holds the scars and burdens of war.

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