Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Gift Giver

..."high-value information came from interrogations in which those (enhanced interrogation) methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qaeda organization that was attacking this country."

That statement was made by Dennis Blair, President Obama’s director of national intelligence.

His boss says, so what?

Apparently, With Obama’s need to placate the left and present himself as the un-Bush, the nation’s security becomes a secondary priority. Keeping his base happy is now number one, in a virtual tie with Obama’s seeming pathological need for adulation. Adulation from the left, from our European “allies”, even from freedom denying, war mongering dictators. For this he desecrates the honor of his country and reveals sensitive national security information to its enemies.
Ostensibly, Obama released the “torture” memos to improve our moral standing in the world and among the terrorists. Released them to make it more difficult for al-Queda and related groups to recruit martyrs for jihad. Obama apparently believes the following scenario is taking place in caves along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Jihad Recruiter : We need you, my son to give your life for Allah, and help us wipe the Great Satan from the face of the earth.
Potential Recruit : Uh, well, but the Great Satan, he has a new President who has set a different tone and has outlawed coercive interrogations. I think I’ll just go tend the sheep.
Then there’s Obama’s relentless, pathetic obeisance. He apologizes for and castigates our past “arrogance” and “insensitivity”. To the Iranians, to the Russians, to the Muslim world, to Europe. In his effort to make the Europeans feel our equal in the global endeavor to promote peace and prosperity, he manages to diminish and debase the role of the U.S. and inflate Europe’s beyond reason. As Mark Steyn recently put it,

The European Union exists only because for half a century they’ve been under American military protection: Promoted as a counterweight to the U.S. hegemon, the EU in fact exists only because of it.

That’s not the narrative Obama or his adoring legions believe.

During the campaign, Obama and his supporters dismissed and ridiculed claims that Reverend Jeremiah Wright was his mentor. Supposedly, Obama was unmoved by having spent two decades listening to Wright’s hateful, bigoted, anti-American rants. That Obama was merely an acquaintance of terrorist Bill Ayers. That Obama didn’t hold the radical beliefs of revolution advocate Saul Alinsky. Obama’s words and actions tell a different story. His words are gentler, more mannerly, but every time Obama decries our “immoral” past, he’s shouting “God Damn America!” just as loudly as Wright ever did.

Obama’s been handing out gifts – and I’m not referring to the tacky DVD set he passed along to British PM Gordon Brown. His more valuable gifts are the recognition and respect he showers on the detestable and despicable of the world – Putin, Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro. He flatters feckless European nations with undeserved deference and offers them confessions of America's past sins. Now he may have rewarded Republicans with two priceless offerings.

Dorothy Rabinowitz argues eloquently (link below) that Obama’s mea culpas will come back to haunt him. She believes that many Americans (I hope this is true) are quietly seething over Obama’s continuing disdain of our country. Republicans should spotlight that disdain.

And let the administration give the GOP and the country the gift of their “investigations” of Bush era antiterrorist policies. Let it all come out. Let everyone see (as Dick Cheney has suggested) exactly what intelligence was obtained, exactly what attacks were prevented. Expose those Democrats, (Nancy Pelosi among them) who knew all along what steps were being taken to safeguard the country. Spotlight the left’s aversion to taking these steps. Here’s Jeff Jacoby in today’s Boston Globe.

Suppose the CIA had been denied permission to use brutal interrogation tactics, and Al Qaeda had consequently gone on to murder thousands of additional victims in California. What kind of conversation would we be having once it became known that the refusal to subject KSM to waterboarding had come at so steep a price? How many of those now blasting the Bush administration for allowing torture would be blasting it instead for not preventing a second bloodbath?

Related articles

Rich Lowry in National Review Online makes the point that far from being a source of shame, the “torture” memos should be regarded with pride.

“They represent a nation of laws struggling to defend itself against a savage, lawless enemy while adhering to its legal commitments and norms. Most societies throughout human history wouldn’t have bothered.”

Incidentally, Lowry invokes Torquemada in this piece, just as I did in my post, April 17, and in the same context. Maybe someone is reading this blog.

Another National Review editorial on the meticulous effort that went into crafting interrogation policy following 9/11.

WSJ editorial today detailing how the reporting of the memos’ release has been distorted and taken out of the context of national security

And the sagacious Rabinowitz in a WSJ op-ed.

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