The better to kill them?

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We have just seen a preview of how a news media that worked very hard to elect a president will be building fortifications around his presidency in 2012.

That the “mainstream” media skewed the 2008 election in Barack Obama’s favor is not in dispute, nor is it a matter of opinion or speculation. Even honest members of the major national media have admitted it, and studies have documented it, while Saturday Night Live paid satirical homage to it.

Even in the midst of this administration’s epic failure – again, the economic and polling data make it clear enough, and those who are paying attention know that’s just the tip of the iceberg – the media are going to defend this man to their last breath.

Dan Lothian of CNN didn’t just toss a softball over the plate to Mr. Obama at a press conference over the weekend, but he also moved the fences in. Asking about several Republican presidential candidates’ support for waterboarding of terror suspects, Lothian’s question went this way:

“I’m wondering if you think that they’re uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible.”

Swing away, Mr. President! Aren’t White House correspondents supposed to be a little less cuddly and a little more challenging?

OK, we’ll do it for them.

First off, Mr. President, it’s more than curious that you would seek to claim the moral high ground in the matter of the war on terror. While you decry waterboarding of a few select terrorists – the worst of the worst, in an effort to get life-saving information, and in a way that actually does no lasting injury – your administration actually stepped up lethal bombing attacks by unmanned “Predator” drone aircraft. The BBC reported last year that drone attacks more than doubled under the Obama administration.

The president is right about one thing, though: There is no moral equivalency between putting a guy’s head in the toilet, which scares terror suspects, and lobbing missiles from aircraft – which kills them dead, along with anyone else who happens to be in the vicinity. It’s just that this president is on the wrong side of the equation.

So Mr. Obama is self-righteously against waterboarding. When’s he going to come out against killing people from the sky? How is doing that better than capturing and interrogating them without causing injury? You don’t get a trial, military or otherwise, after the Predator’s been to see you.

And how is it that the media are going to not only let him get away with this galactic hypocrisy, but actually prod him into it?

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allhans
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allhans 11/15/11 - 12:26 am
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A dead, bloody and battered

A dead, bloody and battered body is so much nicer than taking prisoners and water boarding them I suppose. (BTW..The total number of those waterboarded was I think three(?))

Craig Spinks
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Craig Spinks 11/15/11 - 01:08 am
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Wait a minute. You're

Wait a minute. You're criticizing the POTUS for directing the use of technologies which have killed several key al-Qaeda operatives and hundreds of their subordinates as well as have saved countless American lives.

Well, if you ACES editorial staffers don't like what you've seen so far, wait until the Obama/Pinetta/Petraeus trio rev up the use of said technologies in Afghanistan, Pakistan. Yemen, Somalia and other terrorist hotspots throughout south-central Asia and the Horn of Africa. You'll really "like" what you read and see then.

faithson
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faithson 11/15/11 - 02:01 am
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Al.. they did it over 125

Al.. they did it over 125 times. Yeah.. that's TORTURE, I'll have no part in that.

shrimp for breakfast
5011
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shrimp for breakfast 11/15/11 - 02:12 am
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I don't know about

I don't know about waterboarding but if you want information from a terror suspect it's amazing what you can accomplish with a 12 volt car battery!

carcraft
20743
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carcraft 11/15/11 - 04:27 am
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Interresting to is the fact

Interresting to is the fact that Obama still retains the use of rendition. Brilliant, just let another country torture them so America can maintain the moral high ground! LOL when is Obama gonna close Gitmo?

Riverman1
70723
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Riverman1 11/15/11 - 05:33 am
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I don't quite see the point

I don't quite see the point the Chronicle is trying to make either. There's nothing wrong with using drones to kill the enemy.

As far as waterboarding, the truth is outright torture has ALWAYS been used by this country with select prisoners who had vital information. What's different now is we publicized it and openly debated whether it was right. You don't think in the past Germans, Japanese, North Koreans and Vietnamese were totured? Ha.

grouse
1586
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grouse 11/15/11 - 08:54 am
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Short memories on so many

Unpublished

Short memories on so many levels. I seem to remember a gay porn actor masquerading as a journalist in the Bush White House, a plant to ask the then-President leading questions at news conferences. And exactly how many of the people "detained" under Bush got trials? One, I think. (unfortunately, Mr. Obama has continued this pattern). I guess The Chronicle is sorry that Osama didn't get a fair trial and I guess they would rather have troops on the ground in harm's way rather than using remote-controlled missiles. Had this been Bush or a Republican President, The Chronicle would be touting its use a sacrament and saying how that President "kept us safe." A quick kill is not as much fun as torture, is it?

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 11/15/11 - 08:56 am
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I wish that we had drones

I wish that we had drones during WWII so that we could have killed the suckers while sitting in an easy chair. Sure beats having to look them in the eye while doing it.

Granddaddy John
101
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Granddaddy John 11/15/11 - 08:58 am
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Have any of you ever

Unpublished

Have any of you ever witnessed waterboarding,well it works very well in just a few seconds so whats the problem.

TParty
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TParty 11/15/11 - 09:02 am
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Torture is wrong and illegal.

Torture is wrong and illegal. John McCain, who has first hand experience, can verify it. He was tortured, and no information was gained from it. As cool as that show '24' is, torturing doesn't work. We put Japanese people on trial and executed them for water boarding US Soldiers.

By saying America water boards people, you're allowing other countries to water board American soldiers, and even citizens. Would ACES or America be okay if Iran water boarded those three Americans who were hiking in or around Iran/Iraq boarders?

The NYPD and other police departments do not water board or torture, and they can get information from people, and build cases, and put people away.

The way we treat people after the battle is over is very important. Some of my favorite parts from war have been after a fire fight, when people would attack soldiers or marines, only to be wounded for their poor decision. And once they lost, and firing stop, our medics would treat the wounded of the people who initiated the attacked. Those captured are given food, water, medical care, and allowed to keep private items, like pics of their wife or kids.

We do that because Americans are good people.

War is a funny thing. There are a lot of weird rules on how you can kill people. Sounds funny when the end result is the same, however there are rules. If we break them, we are no better than the evil people who do.

If you are ever confused about why there should be rules, just look at what the Japanese and Nazis did during WWII.

With all that said, yes, the media sucks for giving Obama softball questions like that. The military has already established they won't torture- so it was a meaningless question. He should have asked about the jobs and economy, or why the congress is exempt from insider trading laws and other tough questions. Not this distraction.

seenitB4
72926
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seenitB4 11/15/11 - 09:13 am
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scooby...You always make

scooby...You always make sense out of nonsense...nice pics btw!

seenitB4
72926
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seenitB4 11/15/11 - 09:16 am
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I hope in this election cycle

I hope in this election cycle every time the media gives Obama a softball question the audience booos & boos.....

harley_52
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harley_52 11/15/11 - 09:20 am
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Riverman1 said "I don't quite

Riverman1 said "I don't quite see the point the Chronicle is trying to make either. There's nothing wrong with using drones to kill the enemy."

Well, my take is that they're highlighting the abject hypocrisy of Obama and his fellow travelers who get all huffy and self-righteous about waterboarding (a harmless activity, inflicting no scars) a terrorist, but have no problem killing the very same individuals and everybody in his general area.

harley_52
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harley_52 11/15/11 - 09:22 am
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You are correct, allhans, the

You are correct, allhans, the number of people waterboarded was three.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 11/15/11 - 09:50 am
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So, are you volunteering to

So, are you volunteering to be waterboarded Harley, so you can prove how safe it is? Don't worry, it won't leave a scar.

harley_52
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harley_52 11/15/11 - 09:56 am
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scoobydoisback said "I wish

scoobydoisback said "I wish that we had drones during WWII so that we could have killed the suckers while sitting in an easy chair. Sure beats having to look them in the eye while doing it."

Ain't that the truth. In WWII people understood

Swampman
46
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Swampman 11/15/11 - 10:00 am
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For the record, the first

For the record, the first three paragraphs absolutely ARE disputable, if totally predictable from this editorial staff. I've said it before - if you're far enough to the right, everybody else is to your left. That doesn't make it an objective reality. The only germ of truth in this incessant claim is that journalists are obsessive about news, and it serves your interests if you make news. Therefore, to the extent that media coverage was responsible for Barack Obama's election, it was equally (at least) responsible for the rise of the Tea Party and the outcome of the 2010 elections.

There is no hypocrisy in opposing torture while supporting military action against America's avowed enemies. Come on, people, seriously, has our political discourse become so deranged that we can't all agree on that? President Barack Obama agrees, Senator John McCain agrees, and so do most mainstream Americans.

harley_52
19546
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harley_52 11/15/11 - 10:08 am
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Techfan said "So, are you

Techfan said "So, are you volunteering to be waterboarded Harley, so you can prove how safe it is? Don't worry, it won't leave a scar."

Thousands of American soldiers and pilots have been waterboarded. All survived. None claim it is pleasant, but isn't that the point?

Waterboarding scares the bejesus out of the waterboardee with the expressed purpose of getting said waterboardee to provide information. It works. Even the current Defense Secretary admits it helped us get Bin Laden.
I find that most people against waterboarding have only an academic view of war. They're operating under some abstract view of fighting and killing and have chosen to use waterboarding as an issue to demonstrate their moral superiority. They've never had to fight a war themselves and are pretty sure they never will.

All of which is precisely the point of this Editorial. Stand there pompously and brag about being so morally superior and humane that you'd never stoop so low as to scare somebody by waterboarding them while simultaneously killing them (and those around them) with remotely piloted drones.

It's a perfect demonstration of stunning liberal hypocrisy and inconsistency.

Swampman
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Swampman 11/15/11 - 10:13 am
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Right, Harley. John McCain is

Right, Harley. John McCain is an inconsistent liberal hypocrite. Gotcha.

This editorial is pathetic reactionary whining that conflates two completely unrelated subjects in a fatuous and illogical attempt to smear a President this editorial board and a bunch of its readers despise. Nothing more.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/15/11 - 10:15 am
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Thanks, seenitb4. I hate to

Thanks, seenitb4. I hate to admit how old those pics are.

allhans
21960
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allhans 11/15/11 - 10:17 am
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I know that drone attacks

I know that drone attacks were used as far back as the Clinton administration (and maybe, before?) but I shudder to think of the civilians who are killed for no good reason. At least with "torture" you are face to face with one person and know your enemy.

Techfan
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Techfan 11/15/11 - 10:20 am
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So, in others words, you're

So, in others words, you're afraid and try do deflect the question. I don't recall you or the AC griping about bombing the heck out of civilians with "shock and awe", but now you're against selective surgical strikes? Talk about hypocrisy. The question is, are we better than our enemies? Obviously many of you don't think we are and should sink to their levels. Let's just line them up in "showers" and gas them, it won't leave a scar.

harley_52
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harley_52 11/15/11 - 10:27 am
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Swampman said "Right, Harley.

Swampman said "Right, Harley. John McCain is an inconsistent liberal hypocrite. Gotcha."

Your words, not mine. John McCain is wrong and I think I know why.

Then he said "This editorial is pathetic reactionary whining that conflates two completely unrelated subjects in a fatuous and illogical attempt to smear a President this editorial board and a bunch of its readers despise. Nothing more."

That's an opinion you're free to hold. Mine is what I said earlier. To be against waterboarding (which clearly isn't "torture") but for killing the very same individuals from afar is hypocrisy in spades and logically inconsistent.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/15/11 - 10:36 am
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allhans, I understand your

allhans, I understand your concern. In every war innocent bystanders are killed. That is the nature of the beast. I would like for us to concern ourselves more about the innocent young Americans that have been killed or disabled because of the people in this world that would like to destroy us. Focus your thoughts on them rather than the civilians who are citizens of our enemies' countries. I remember the uproar a few years ago when a group of do gooders protested Harry Truman's decision to drop the first atom bomb on Japan. It so happens I was on a ship stationed in Pearl training with the marines in preparation for the attack on the shores of Japan. Most would never have seen home again. If these protesters had been amongst that group of marines I am sure that they would have seen things differently. War is hell. Nobody wins.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 11/15/11 - 10:37 am
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I'm not real crazy about the

I'm not real crazy about the drone strikes and was TOTALLY against the war of choice in Iraq. I did support the war in Afghanistan to get the Taliban and Al-Qaeda out but the previous administration took its eye off the ball and Obama is continuing the same drag it out forever policy. I'm for bringing them all home. I fail to understand the AC's and your position that a drone strike "from afar" is any different than a B-52 carpet bombing from 50,000 feet. Oh wait, it's Obama, that's why y'all are against it. If it was the previous adminstration, it would be saving truth, justice, and the American way while keeping our troops out of harm's way. There's your hypocrisy.

harley_52
19546
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harley_52 11/15/11 - 10:47 am
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Am I "afraid," Techfan?

Am I "afraid," Techfan? Nope. I'd volunteer to be waterboarded just to prove a point. I know it's scary, but I've been scared before.

I'm not against bombing in a war. I'm all for it. I believe you go to war to win. Winning means killing people. Sometimes there is collateral damage. Sometimes that includes civilians. In past wars we purposely bombed major cities with the intent of killing civilians. At least we now make some effort to avoid it. Our enemies (the ones you folks are unwilling to scare) purposely attack our innocent civilians and it apparently leaves you unimpressed.

Ask people who've actually fought in wars and seen their buddies killed whether they think it's okay to scare somebody in order to gain information that might save lives.

allhans
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allhans 11/15/11 - 10:49 am
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I did not support 'shock and

I did not support 'shock and awe". I voted for and still like G.W. but I did not agree with those acts. I had no say-so, it happened while I yelled, NO, NO.

scoobydooisback. I know. My brother in law was on a ship when Pearl Harbor was attacked and was one of the officers sailing their damaged ship back home. He has been gone now for a number of years, but he could certainly command an audience with his memories.
As Harry said, 'war is hell".

bjphysics
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bjphysics 11/15/11 - 10:50 am
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No drone strikes under

No drone strikes under Clinton, the drones were purely for reconnaissance; upgrade of the sensor package to support fire control didn’t start until about 1998. Over the next three years we added the laser designator with sensor boresight for Hellfire delivery. Fully loaded birds were good-to-go by mid 2002.

harley_52
19546
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harley_52 11/15/11 - 10:53 am
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Techfan said "I fail to

Techfan said "I fail to understand the AC's and your position that a drone strike "from afar" is any different than a B-52 carpet bombing from 50,000 feet. Oh wait, it's Obama, that's why y'all are against it."

I'm not against bombing. I thought I said that already. And I haven't differentiated it from B-52 Carpet bombing. If I had, I'd definitely say Drone strikes are far more effective against small targets.

The real point is......is scaring somebody worse than killing them? Obama and liberals apparently think it is. We think it isn't. I suspect if you asked the terrorist, he'd choose waterboarding over death every time.

TParty
6003
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TParty 11/15/11 - 10:56 am
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John McCain, who has been

John McCain, who has been tortured said water boarding is torture. People on the internet said it's not. I wonder which one carries more weight...

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