Tuesday, May 15, 2007

5 out of 7 Republican candidates asked, endorse torture

In the recent FOX news presidential debate, Brit Hume created a fictional scenario straight from the pages of 24, a classic "ticking time bomb" plot: American shopping centers are hit by suicide bombers, hundreds dead. Other attackers captured and taken to Gitmo. Will you use enhanced interrogation techniques to prevent a second attack?

(Brit assures us that the best minds in the intelligence industry think these are the most valuable tools available - if not necessarily legal)

Only John McCain and Ron Paul were willing to call this for what it is. It's torture. McCain rejected it explicitly, while Ron Paul made an exception for the fantasy scenario.
McCAIN:We do not torture people.

It's not about the terrorists, it's about us. It's about what kind of country we are. And a fact: The more physical pain you inflict on someone, the more they're going to tell you what they think you want to know.
Rudy Giuliani, the man who survived 9/11, disagrees. He doesn't want to see another 3000 dead.
GIULIANI: I would tell the people who had to do the interrogation to use every method they could think of. It shouldn't be torture, but every method they can think of --
Of course, anything that doesn't cause organ failure is no longer considered torture. Giuliani gives waterboarding the thumbs up.

Romney isn't so coy. In fact he's nearly giddy at the idea. Apparently worried that the ACLU will try to spring bin Laden's boys, he puts them safely in an expanded Guantanamo, far from prying eyes.
ROMNEY: I want them on Guantanamo, where they don't get the access to lawyers they get when they're on our soil. I don't want them in our prisons. I want them there.

Some people have said, we ought to close Guantanamo. My view is, we ought to double Guantanamo... And enhanced interrogation techniques have to be used -- not torture but enhanced interrogation techniques, yes.
Senator Brownback assures us that he won't let the U.N. get in the way of American safety and he'll worry about the morality of his decision after the crisis is over.
BROWNBACK: I will do it. I'll move aggressively forward on it. If we have to later ask and say, "Well, it shouldn't quite have been done this way or that way," that's the way it is.
Hunter and Tancredo, apparently worried that Mitt is stealing the John Wayne vote, decide not to mince words.
HUNTER: I would say to SECDEF, in terms of getting information that would save American lives, even if it involves very high-pressure techniques, one sentence: Get the information. Have it back within an hour, and let's act on it.

TANCREDO: Well, let me just say that it's almost unbelievable to listen to this in a way. We're talking about it in such a theoretical fashion. You say that nuclear devices have gone off in the United States, more are planned, and we're wondering about whether waterboarding would be a -- a bad thing to do? I'm looking for "Jack Bauer" at that time, let me tell you. (Laughter, applause.)
Hume didn't actually mention nukes, and of course the question was theoretical, but Tancredo seems to know who's network he's on.

Unfortunately, it's left to Paul to point out the obvious. Brit Hume is asking questions in a fantasy world, while a real war rages on.
PAUL: [Y]ou know, I think it's interesting talking about torture here in that it's become enhanced interrogation technique. It sounds like Newspeak.

Nobody's for the torture, and I think that's important. But as far as taking care of a problem like this, ... If we're under imminent attack, the president can take that upon himself to do it.

[W]e forgot about [Osama], and now we're over in Iraq in a war that's bogging us down, and we have forgotten about dealing with the people that attacked us. And here you have a hypothetical attack that you're dealing with; we ought to be dealing with the one we have right now on our hands.

No comments: