February 15, 2010

Being "anti-torture" kills...

This news is bad for the war, but it also points up the serious moral error of the anti-torture (so-called) crowd, who have gummed-up the interrogation process to the point where the administration would rather just kill people. To put it simply, the only reason to snatch terrorist leaders rather than kill them, is to squeeze info out of them. Therefore the Mark Shea types are effectively putting a gun to the heads of people like Saleh Ali Nabhan and executing them.

And the moral error is double because every one of those anti-torture types, if offered the choice between death and water-boarding, would himself chose the latter. But they are making the opposite choice for other people, and condemning them to death. And feeling smug about it!

And they are triply wrong, because they, and pacifist types in general, are always slippery about their own responsibility. None of them ever comes out and honestly says, "My policies will result in deaths, and I take responsibility for that." And quadruply wrong because the brute fact is that Islamic terrorists kill about 10 Moslems for every Westerner. So the small extent to which the pacifistic crowd does acknowledge that they want less done to protect us still leaves most of the iceberg underwater: A little less protection for us is a lot less for wretched folk in the Third World.

This is a specific instance of my more general point that the sort of people who call themselves "pacifists" are always engaged in turning someone else's cheek. They are happy to let some niggers in Pakistan do the suffering and dying, while they toddle home to a comfy bed. And if hoodlums are breaking their back door at night, they instantly call the cops, to come with guns and protect them! I'll believe there is such a thing as "Christian pacifism" when I start to hear stories of pacifists dying rather than protecting themselves.

Washington Post Confirms We Are No Longer Capturing & Interrogating High-Value Terrorists:

The Washington Post reported yesterday morning front-page, above the fold that the Obama administration has stopped capturing and interrogating senior al-Qaeda leaders, killing them instead with Predator drones. This confirms my story last week in Foreign Policy, "Dead Men Tell No Tales," explaining the danger of this approach.

The Post tells the story of a senior leader of al-Qaeda in East Africa named Saleh Ali Nabhan who was located last September. The White House was given the choice of either killing him or capturing him alive for interrogation. The military wanted to take him alive. But the White House chose instead to take him out. A senior military officer is quoted as saying: "We wanted to take a prisoner. . . . It was not a decision that we made."

The Post adds: "The opportunity to interrogate one of the most wanted U.S. terrorism targets was gone forever."

And the paper quotes a senior military officer explaining why the opportunity to interrogate this senior al-Qaeda leader for intelligence was sacrificed: We "don't have a detention policy or a set of facilities" to hold high-value terrorists.

A former intelligence official briefed on current operations tells the Post that killing, instead of capturing terrorists is far from ideal, saying "now there's an even greater proclivity for doing it that way."...
Posted by John Weidner at February 15, 2010 8:03 AM
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