Shorter Krauthammer: Pelosi’s Inaction WORSE Than BushCo’s Actions
And torture is impermissible- well, with some exceptions…
From yesterday’s Washington Post:
By Charles Krauthammer
Torture is an impermissible evil. Except under two circumstances. The first is the ticking time bomb. An innocent’s life is at stake. The bad guy you have captured possesses information that could save this life. He refuses to divulge. In such a case, the choice is easy.
The second exception to the no-torture rule is the extraction of information from a high-value enemy in possession of high-value information likely to save lives. This case lacks the black-and-white clarity of the ticking time bomb scenario. We know less about the length of the fuse or the nature of the next attack. But we do know the danger is great.
Under those circumstances, you do what you have to do. And that includes waterboarding.
More below…Okay, so we get the gist of his views… now the explanation as to why it’s okay to do the “impermissible” aways”
Did it work? The current evidence is fairly compelling. George Tenet said that the “enhanced interrogation” program alone yielded more information than everything gotten from “the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together.”
Could we not, as the president repeatedly asserted in his Wednesday news conference, have obtained the information by less morally poisonous means?
There are two problems with the “good cop” technique. KSM, the mastermind of 9/11 who knew more about more plots than anyone else, did not seem very inclined to respond to polite inquiries about future plans.
The other problem is one of timing. We didn’t have that luxury in the aftermath of 9/11 when waterboarding, for example, was in use. We’d been caught totally blind. We knew there were more plots out there, and we knew almost nothing about them. We needed to find out fast. We found out a lot.
Oh, okay. The ‘ends justify the means’ argument.
But look here- when you know your premise is flimsy, you attack someone else- in this case, Nancy Pelosi and infer that she is in an even worse position than the Bush administration:
In December 2007, after a report in The Post that she had knowledge of these procedures and did not object, she admitted that she’d been “briefed on interrogation techniques the administration was considering using in the future.”
Today Pelosi protests “we were not — I repeat — were not told that waterboarding or any other of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used.” She imagines that this distinction between past and present, Clintonian in its parsing, is exonerating.
On the contrary. It is self-indicting. If you are told about torture that has already occurred, you might justify silence on the grounds that what’s done is done and you are simply being used in a post-facto exercise to cover the CIA’s rear end.
But Pelosi did nothing. No protest. No move to cut off funding. No letter to the president or the CIA chief or anyone else saying “Don’t do it.”
On the contrary, notes Porter Goss, then chairman of the House intelligence committee: The members briefed on these techniques did not just refrain from objecting, “on a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.”
More support, mind you. Which makes the current spectacle of self-righteous condemnation not just cowardly but hollow.