Protect our protectors

So let's sum it up.

The Obama administration wants to close the enemy combatant prison at Guantanamo Bay, doesn't want us to use the words "war on terror," and has suspended the trials of suspected terrorists.

Yet, the administration has released secret memos detailing U.S. interrogation methods for our enemies to digest and adjust to, and is on a witch hunt to demonize and possibly indict the people who were trying to protect us.

Could our enemies have asked for more?

Talk about torture: The Obama administration seems prepared to beat the United States over the head, flog the Bush administration - and stab our intelligence officials in the back - by creating a Nuremberg-style climate surrounding our interrogations of some of the world's most ruthless terrorists.

We're not yet convinced that any of the enhanced interrogations met a reasonable definition of torture. But the self-loathing far left is certain that this country is bad, and that any loud music or physical discomfort the detainees experienced is "torture."

The techniques include forced nudity, sleep deprivation, cramped confinement, waterboarding (which has been part of some U.S. military training) and putting an insect such as a caterpillar inside a suspect's enclosure.

Certainly compared to what our enemies have done, this is hardly torture - which is normally described as leading to severe or lasting injury.

"Let's not get too sanctimonious about how awful it was that we indulged in these techniques," says commentator Christopher Buckley, "after watching nearly 3,000 innocent Americans endure god-awful deaths at the hands of religious fanatics who would happily have detonated a nuclear bomb if they had gotten their mitts on one."

Moreover, if extreme measures that don't result in injury protected perhaps hundreds of thousands of American lives, they are inarguably useful.

Bush-era memos detailing the valuable information extracted from the world's worst terrorists have not been released, interestingly enough; no sense in embarrassing the terrorists, who sang like a little girls' choir. But Obama's own Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair has said the interrogations yielded "high-value" information - information that one can easily presume saved American lives while causing the terrorists some discomfort.

Yet, the hysteria is building for possible indictments of top Bush administration officials, including lawyers who advised the administration and CIA.

What damage will such a witch hunt do to current and future intelligence gathering, if our agents in the field and those advising them have to fear an ungrateful nation and a political show-trial for their trouble?

The president could have nipped all this hysteria in the bud, if he had just stuck to his initial policy of looking forward, not backward. Within a day he was washing his hands of the whole issue, leaving it in the lap of his attorney general - red meat for the frothy left.

This is too important to delegate. The president needs to protect the people who protect us. Institute whatever interrogation policies you want going forward. But don't change the rules after the game is over and hold our protectors to standards that weren't in force at the time.

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Wed, 12/07/2016 - 23:19

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