Regarding ‘Torture’ – Some Perspective

CIA interrogators waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of the masterminds of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and at least two other Al Qaeda operatives. Senator Dianne Feinstein, President Barack Obama and the rest of the left-wing echo chamber are indignant about it.

Osama bin Laden, another mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was hunted down and killed by U.S. commandos (might he have been captured and brought to trial?), under direct order of President Obama. How did those on the left react? Perhaps you remember Vice President Biden rejoicing at the Democrats’ national convention in 2012, “GM is alive, and Osama bin Laden is dead!” to thunderous applause.

Scores of suspected terrorists avoided the CIA’s harsh interrogation techniques, by virtue of the fact that they died in U.S. drone strikes (as noted here by Victor Davis Hanson), alongside often innocent bystanders, also under orders from Mr. Obama. However, this has gone largely unreported by the U.S. news media.

Now, on a scale of uncivilized behavior, which is the greater indiscretion? Enhanced interrogation or summary execution?

And another thing. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed suffered enhanced interrogation at a time when the United States was under immediate threat of further terrorist attacks. Americans didn’t know what to expect, or when to expect it. Those charged with protecting America in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 acted within that context. Quite to the contrary, Mr. Obama ordered the deaths of bin Laden and many others several years later, when there was no longer the same immediate threat. The killing of bin Laden, for instance, was apparently an act of revenge more than one of self-preservation; certainly it was celebrated as such.

Even setting aside the extraordinary case of bin Laden, one is left to wonder what motivates indifference over the outright killing of scores of suspected terrorists coupled with indignation over subjecting several known terrorists to harsh interrogation? Could it be politics? Or sheer hypocrisy?

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