Last week the Obama Administration released a selected batch of memos detailing the Bush Administration's scrupulous efforts to maintain humane, yet effective interrogations of the most vile Al Queda terrorists in our custody. That move was opposed by former CIA Chief Michael Hayden as well as four current and former CIA chiefs and others who realized that it only served to help future captured terrorists resist providing the information needed to save American lives.
In an interview with Sean Hannity on Monday, former Vice President Cheney called on the Obama Administration to release additional memos which prove how effective advanced interrogation methods were in preventing future attacks:
CHENEY: "I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country.However, there was some evidence tucked away in the memos which hasn't been highlighted by the sensationalist media reporting over so-called "torture:"
And I've now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was, as well as to see this debate over the legal opinions.”
The CIA's Questioning WorkedThere is more here and you will want to read it all.
By Marc A. Thiessen
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
In releasing highly classified documents on the CIA interrogation program last week, President Obama declared that the techniques used to question captured terrorists "did not make us safer." This is patently false. The proof is in the memos Obama made public -- in sections that have gone virtually unreported in the media.
Consider the Justice Department memo of May 30, 2005. It notes that "the CIA believes 'the intelligence acquired from these interrogations has been a key reason why al Qaeda has failed to launch a spectacular attack in the West since 11 September 2001.' . . . In particular, the CIA believes that it would have been unable to obtain critical information from numerous detainees, including [Khalid Sheik Mohammed] and Abu Zubaydah, without these enhanced techniques." The memo continues: "Before the CIA used enhanced techniques . . . KSM resisted giving any answers to questions about future attacks, simply noting, 'Soon you will find out.' " Once the techniques were applied, "interrogations have led to specific, actionable intelligence, as well as a general increase in the amount of intelligence regarding al Qaeda and its affiliates."
Specifically, interrogation with enhanced techniques "led to the discovery of a KSM plot, the 'Second Wave,' 'to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into' a building in Los Angeles." KSM later acknowledged before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay that the target was the Library Tower, the tallest building on the West Coast. The memo explains that "information obtained from KSM also led to the capture of Riduan bin Isomuddin, better known as Hambali, and the discovery of the Guraba Cell, a 17-member Jemmah Islamiyah cell tasked with executing the 'Second Wave.' " In other words, without enhanced interrogations, there could be a hole in the ground in Los Angeles to match the one in New York.
In September 2006 President Bush described how enhanced interrogation techniques spared us from the horror of another day like September 11th but few listened. The Democrats with their allies in the "news" media were more interested in scoring cheap political points by accusing Bush of "torture" for his treatment of the worst of the worst Al Queda terrorists which included Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man who personally sawed the head off a screaming Daniel Pearl (pictured moments before in photo at right) and held it up to the cameras for all to see.
Democrats Fully Informed on Interrogations
In the selective memory of Democrats and their media allies it's easy to forget that Democrats had a much different attitude towards what some now call "torture." Via Peter Wehner at Commentary Magazine we are reminded of this:
Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002Saved Lives Bush's Legacy and Democrat's Shame!
In Meetings, Spy Panels' Chiefs Did Not Protest, Officials Say
By Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen
Sunday, December 9, 2007
In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.
Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.
"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.
President Bush's finest legacy will be the thousands of lives saved as a result of foiled terrorist plots many of which were foiled because of intelligence we gained as a result of enhanced interrogations. Every day, the people who work in the Library Tower in Los Angeles (pictured above) or those who cross the Brooklyn Bridge into New York should contemplate how different their lives would be had the planned attacks succeeded.
And yet every day, Democrats pretend that these successes never happened and that Bush's policy made us less safe. What a shame they are not held to the same standard of accountability that Bush has been.