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Dennis Prager
Dennis Prager
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President Has “More Effective” Method to Get Intel from Terrorists – What Is It?

Comment

In his latest address – on Guantanamo detainees – President Obama said something of extraordinary importance that seems to have been missed by the media:

“I know some have argued that brutal methods like water-boarding were necessary to keep us safe. I could not disagree more…I reject the assertion that these are the most effective means of interrogation.”

As this President chooses his words carefully, these claims need to be understood.

Note that Mr. Obama did not say what nearly all opponents of water-boarding say – that water-boarding is not an effective method of extracting reliable, life-saving, information. He took no issue with former Vice-President Dick Cheney's claims that water-boarding or “enhanced interrogation” saved American and other lives. Indeed, he clearly leaves open the possibility, even the likelihood, that this claim is accurate. Rather, what he says is that “methods like water-boarding were not necessary to keep us safe” – not necessary, not ineffective. And why does he believe this? Because they are not “the most effective means of interrogation.”

In other words, the President's view seems to be that water-boarding the three terrorists did elicit vital, life-saving, information. However, he contends that we could have obtained all that information using means of interrogation that were both non-brutal and more effective.

I pray the President is right. I would love America to be able to say “America never uses brutal methods of interrogation, let alone tortures” while simultaneously obtaining information it needs from captured terrorists to save thousands of innocent people from death and maiming.

But if in fact, these methods exist, they have never been revealed.

President Obama needs to share this discovery with the American people, or, if they must be state secrets, with a select few individuals from Congress and the intelligence community.

It is as if the President, or anyone else, announced that brutal methods of combating cancer like chemotherapy and radiation were “not the most effective means” of combating cancer – and then refused to say what non-brutal means were more effective.

This is the paramount issue in the water-boarding debate. As Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said five years ago, it is essentially a no-brainer that we must “do what you have to do” if we apprehend a terrorist who has the information that can prevent an imminent terrorist attack.

Most opponents of water-boarding terrorists rely on the belief that such a method is as unnecessary as it is illegal. Therefore, if it is shown that water-boarding did in fact provide information that saved many innocent lives, opponents have to argue one of two positions: that there was a better, non-brutal, method available; or that it is morally preferable to have innocent Americans and others killed, brain damaged, blinded, and paralyzed rather than water-board a single terrorist.

Given that just about all of us – proponents of rare water-boarding and opponents of all water-boarding – want both security and not to water-board – the President can do the country and the world an extraordinary service by revealing – if necessary, only to a select few – what those non-brutal methods are that he knows to be “more effective.”

This would end the debate, give America more security, and enable us to say we never water-boarding or torture.

I, for one, pray those methods exist. But I don't believe they do or that the President has a clue what they are.



Comments

2 Comments | Post Comment
Dennis Prager -- Your ignorance of non-torture interrogation methods has lead you to write an ignorant article. Please go to your local library and check out "How to break a terrorist : the U.S. interrogators who used brains, not brutality, to take down the deadliest man in Iraq" by Matthew Alexander with John R. Bruning. Reading this book will give you a practical start on learning how really to get information from terrorists. When you have informed yourself, please rewrite this silly article.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Zyrus Dortch
Tue May 26, 2009 7:24 AM
The Great Secret to getting needed information from despicable terrorists has been hidden in the White House closet.
I will open the secret for all to be apprised:

To get even the most hardened criminal type to spill the beans, waterboarding won't work.
What will work is forcing that prisoner to spend 24 hours confined in a cell with Michelle Obama; that'll get 'er done.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Juanito Verde
Tue May 26, 2009 8:35 AM
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