Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It's a good thing Obama wasn't president in 2003

From CNS News - h/t Ace:
The Central Intelligence Agency told CNSNews.com today that it stands by the assertion made in a May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that the use of “enhanced techniques” of interrogation on al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) -- including the use of waterboarding -- caused KSM to reveal information that allowed the U.S. government to thwart a planned attack on Los Angeles. [I'm assuming this was in 2003 based on an 2003 article in Time Magazine]

Before he was waterboarded, when KSM was asked about planned attacks on the United States, he ominously told his CIA interrogators, “Soon, you will know.”

According to the previously classified May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that was released by President Barack Obama last week, the thwarted attack -- which KSM called the “Second Wave”-- planned “ ‘to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into’ a building in Los Angeles.”...

After KSM was captured by the United States, he was not initially cooperative with CIA interrogators. Nor was another top al Qaeda leader named Zubaydah. KSM, Zubaydah, and a third terrorist named Nashiri were the only three persons ever subjected to waterboarding by the CIA...

This was because the CIA imposed very tight restrictions on the use of waterboarding. “The ‘waterboard,’ which is the most intense of the CIA interrogation techniques, is subject to additional limits,” explained the May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo. “It may be used on a High Value Detainee only if the CIA has ‘credible intelligence that a terrorist attack is imminent’; ‘substantial and credible indicators that the subject has actionable intelligence that can prevent, disrupt or deny this attack’; and ‘[o]ther interrogation methods have failed to elicit this information within the perceived time limit for preventing the attack.’”

Indeed, before the CIA used enhanced techniques in its interrogation of KSM, KSM resisted giving any answers to questions about future attacks, simply noting, ‘Soon you will know.’”... After he was subjected to the “waterboard” technique, KSM became cooperative, providing intelligence that led to the capture of key al Qaeda allies and, eventually, the closing down of an East Asian terrorist cell that had been tasked with carrying out the 9/11-style attack on Los Angeles...
Indeed, had Obama been president in 2003 and instituted his new guidelines for CIA interrogations, thousands of additional Americans would have likely been killed in another 9/11 style attack.

I doubt that even the media and all of Obama's die-hard fans would still be fawning over him after an attack of such magnitude occurred as a result of his inept policies.

Which is why I say, it's a good thing Obama wasn't president in '03. It's good for us, and good for him too!

But what happens if Obama is faced with a similar dilemma in the future? Will he sacrifice thousands of American lives to protect "his core values"? Or will he sacrifice "his core values" - and allow harsh interrogation techniques to be used - to protect his Presidency and his "rock star" status?

I'm not sure, but I suspect the latter....

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