Cherubic torture fanboy Marc Thiessen does not like people talking smack about his weekend hobby, and he uses the valuable space given to him by genocidal maniac enabler Fred Hiatt to continue to argue that even though “waterboarding can cause extreme pain, dry drowning, damage to lungs, brain damage from oxygen deprivation, other physical injuries including broken bones due to struggling against restraints, lasting psychological damage and death” it’s totally cool when we do it because …. U-S-A! U-S-A! :
It would be illegal for a foreign adversary to waterboard a U.S. soldier, even if the technique did not amount to torture. American troops are lawful combatants. They wear uniforms or distinctive insignia, follow a clear chain of command, do not hide among innocent civilians, and do not target innocent men, women and children. Because they follow the laws of war, when captured they receive full privileges as Prisoners of War under the Geneva Conventions — which means it would be illegal for their captors to coerce them in any way, much less waterboard them.
Terrorists, by contrast, are unlawful combatants. They do not wear uniforms or distinctive insignia, or follow a clear chain of command. Not only do they hide among innocent civilians, their primary means of attacking us is to target innocent men, women and children for death. Because they violate the laws of war, they do not receive the privileges that a lawful combatant receives as a POW under Geneva. As a result of their own choices, the United States may lawfully coerce them to provide information about imminent terrorist attacks.
So there. Just like it says on the door: No uniform shirt, no uniform shoes, no reasonable expectation that a country that holds itself up as a beacon of human rights and freedom won’t inflict extreme pain and suffering that might cause death upon your ass.
Thiessen adds: [cont’d.]
Indeed, it is precisely because they target the innocent that we must coerce them. When an American soldier is captured and taken off the battlefield, he has been effectively disarmed and rendered unable to cause harm to the enemy. But when a terrorist like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is captured, and he has set in motion a series of terrorist plots, he has not been disarmed. Even in captivity, he still holds the power to kill thousands simply by withholding information. We have a moral obligation to stop him.
Whereas a captured US military officer would never have any idea of any major or minor combat operation that might still be in the planning stages because the one thing you can say about our military is that they are impulsive and wacky and totally unpredictable just like a sitcom.
The Post writes that waterboarding “has been considered torture since at least the Spanish Inquisition.” As I document meticulously in my book “Courting Disaster,” waterboarding as practiced by the CIA bears no resemblance whatsoever to the water torture employed during the Spanish Inquisition, or for that matter by Imperial Japan, the Khmer Rouge or Nazi Germany. I am certain The Post can make an effective case against waterboarding without comparing the men and women of our intelligence community to Medieval torturers.
Thiessen: My bosses hate the military. There I said it. Also, buy my book (link provided, operators are standing by).
But wait, let’s hear from one of those men who actually were involved in interogations:
The use of torture by the US has proved so counter-productive that it may have led to the death of as many US soldiers as civilians killed in 9/11, says the leader of a crack US interrogation team in Iraq.
“The reason why foreign fighters joined al-Qa’ida in Iraq was overwhelmingly because of abuses at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and not Islamic ideology,” says Major Matthew Alexander, who personally conducted 300 interrogations of prisoners in Iraq. It was the team led by Major Alexander [a named assumed for security reasons] that obtained the information that led to the US military being able to locate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of al-Qa’ida in Iraq. Zarqawi was then killed by bombs dropped by two US aircraft on the farm where he was hiding outside Baghdad on 7 June 2006. Major Alexander said that he learnt where Zarqawi was during a six-hour interrogation of a prisoner with whom he established relations of trust.
Major Alexander’s attitude to torture by the US is a combination of moral outrage and professional contempt. “It plays into the hands of al-Qa’ida in Iraq because it shows us up as hypocrites when we talk about human rights,” he says. An eloquent and highly intelligent man with experience as a criminal investigator within the US military, he says that torture is ineffective, as well as counter-productive. “People will only tell you the minimum to make the pain stop,” he says. “They might tell you the location of a house used by insurgents but not that it is booby-trapped.”
So who are going to believe? Someone who was actually there doing the dirty work or the guy who has consistently been proven to be a complete and utter fraud who selectively quotes people while omitting inconvenient facts ?