The politics of the torture agreement

Posted by: ST on December 16, 2005 at 10:07 am

I wanted to blog a bit this morning about the President’s reversal in position on Sen. John McCain’s call for a law banning ‘torture’ to foreign suspects in the war on terror but John Hawkins’ post on the subject pretty much sums up my feelings on this switch in position by the President. John writes:

Because we’ve been able to use techniques like stress positions, sleep deprivation, and waterboarding on terrorists for the last few years, we have undoubtedly had a lot of success in getting information out of key terrorists that we’ve captured. In fact, the use of those sort of interrogation techniques probably has a lot to do with why Al-Qaeda hasn’t been able to follow-up on 9/11 in the United States.

However, now that we’ve put political grandstanding above national security and completely handcuffed our military investigators, we can expect a big slow down in the amount of intelligence we’re getting from captured Al-Qaeda operatives…

Yep. Not only that, but think about somewhere down the line in the future, you know there’s going to be a Republican president who will want to repeal this ban on the grounds that it is “too broad.” The usual suspects, including grandstanding Democrats and moderate Republicans, will jump at the opportunity to hold press conferences denouncing that president as a “supporter of torture” – even though we all know what one person’s definition of “torture” is not necessarily someone else’s.

Because of the massive amount of attention the liberal media has given to unfortunate and embarassing incidents like what happened at Abu Ghraib, the bandwagon jumpers in DC took the opportunity it presented to call for what is essentially a ‘feel good’ law that states via implication that the US is mandated to ‘not be baddies like the terrorists’ – like we needed a law like that in the first place!! This law is one of those laws that not many politicians want to be seen as not ‘suporting’ because they don’t want people believing they are pro-‘torture’ so they’ll go along with McCain and co. on the ban so the ‘support’ on this ban, in my opinion, is not really so much about ‘supporting’ a ban on ‘torture’ but caving in to the moderate Republicans and liberal Democrats who knew going into this that they had the upper hand as far as the press was concerned in terms of how the opposition would be portrayed.

The President caved to people who, in the end, he will never please. And our intelligence agencies … and obviously our national security … will pay the price.

Update: Andy McCarthy at National Review is calling it the “Al Qaeda Bill of Rights” – sounds about right. (Hat tip: Bryan Preston)

RSS feed for comments on this post.

27 Responses to “The politics of the torture agreement”


  1. PCD says:


    Please archive this in a safe place. When we get hit because we did not have these interrogation techniques available, I want to remind the wailers that they caused this, especially nutcase McCain.

  2. Severian says:

    I’m beginning to think that McCain is the real “Manchurian Candidate.” This will come back to bite us in the behind, no doubt.

  3. steve says:

    bush “caved in” to the moral position. The neo-con warmongers were finally told to take a hike. Peace

  4. “The neo-con warmongers were finally told to take a hike.”

    That’s BS, steve. Do you ever have anything to add that doesn’t sound like a DNC talking point?

  5. PCD says:

    Steve, why don’t you put yourself where your posts come from? Go to Iraq and preach your peace message to them. Tell them no more beheadings or bombing.

  6. scmommy says:

    When we are attacked, these idiots will need to look in the mirror and blame themselves. They want nothing more than the destruction of this country.

  7. tommy in nyc says:

    AWWWWWHHHHHH this is a B.S. post people. Sen McCain was tortured for 5 years in a cage what the hell do you think his opinion on torture will be? Man please if the U.S.A. ever got their hands on a ticking bomb terrorist believe me they interrorgators will get him talking by any means possible. What this legislation is meant to do is to try to prevent inexperienced interrorgators from crossing the line.

  8. PCD says:

    Tommy, yes, McCain was tortured AFTER John Kerry made his Lying Testimony to Congress giving the North Vietnamese license to call American POWs war criminals and such, also the NVA didn’t treat our POW according to the Geneva Conventions because of Kerry.

  9. Baklava says:

    Steve, Since this is a supposed change in policy that stood over decades do you think The Democrat controlled Congress and Bill CLinton were neo con warmongerers also?

    BTW, torture was already against the law. What the change is is adding degrading treatment. If that is subjective and torture wasn’t subjective, do you recognize that there was room for debate as people think that terrorists can simply say “you are degrading me

    I think your comments on this website are degrading. Should yo be prosecuted?

  10. PCD says:

    I still don’t see the difference between the Abu Ghraib pictures and a Ted Kennedy boozer.

  11. CavalierX says:

    >Sen McCain was tortured for 5 years in a
    >cage what the hell do you think his
    >opinion on torture will be?

    You keep using that word, but I do not think it means what you think it means. Define “torture,” please. Also define “degrading.” As long as those two ambiguous words are used in it, this bill will doom us all.

  12. tommy in nyc says:

    Yo I think what the special forces go through their SERE training should be the benchmark. The key to getting a prisoner to talk from what i’ve read is to disorient and cause temporary physical discomfort. This way you just not hearing what the terrorist wants you hear….. you get the truth. That’s the point IMHO.

  13. PCD says:

    Tommy, what SF goes through would be banned by McCain.

  14. tommy in nyc says:

    some of it yes that’s true but it is also B.S. that they won’t use temporary pain to get info if they need to. The important thing is to never have have another Abu Gharib. That stufff is inexcuseable.

  15. PCD says:


    I refer you to the case of Col. Allan West. The good Col. finding a “Double Agent” Iraqi his unit was dealing with made the Iraqi think West was blow his head off with his sidearm. The Iraqi believed and spilled the beans about an ambush set up for the unit.

    Col. West was forced into retirement. I don’t think West did a thing wrong, yet the Liberals called for the man to be jailed and stripped of his rank and pension.

    All you and McCain are doing is hog tieing the hands of our troops and intelligence. Their blood is on your hands.

  16. Severian says:

    Col. West is the prime example of how we chastise and punish the soldiers we should be rewarding, and a case in point of how this kind of hand wringing is detrimental to the war effort and protecting the US from attack.

    The same idiots who are saying “well, we need to outlaw torture, but we know if it’s an important case they will do what they need to get the info” turned around and tried to crucify this honorable soldier for doing exactly that, treating a prisoner a bit roughly and getting the required info that saved his patrol and men from ambush. Didn’t stop the leftists from whining and attempting to castrate him did it?

  17. tommy in nyc says:

    Get bent PCD. What Col West did was scare the dogs–t out of some kid in his unit and the kid got spooked and snitched him out. If you are actually reading to what I am trying to express is that these guidelines are being put in place to prevent another Abu Gharib. The blood of American soldiers are on THEIR HANDS and some on the right think what those assholes did was the right tough thing to do. sh*t bro.

  18. Very good points, PCD and Severian.

  19. PCD says:

    Tommy, are you saying an E-3 knows better about all things than an O-whatever?

    Tommy, why are you so angry that when a real life example matchs up to one of your nuanced hypotheticals, and the outcome isn’t to your liking, you tell us to get bent?

  20. PCD says:

    Also, tommy, thank you for being another example of a Liberals who can’t take responsibility for what you say, advocate, and do.

  21. Severian says:

    “If you are actually reading to what I am trying to express is that these guidelines are being put in place to prevent another Abu Gharib. The blood of American soldiers are on THEIR HANDS and some on the right think what those assholes did was the right tough thing to do. ”

    Gee, if you leftists and your allies in the press think this is so, maybe you shouldn’t have gone hog wild publicizing it, blowing it out of proportion, and going on and on about it for months, thereby further inflaming the gentle Islamofascists to take revenge against our troops (especially since it had already been found out by the military and an investigation and charges were already underway when you all decided to go ape over it). But then, what’s the deaths of a few baby killers compared to the ability to rub the Bush admins nose in something and make Chimpy look bad eh?

  22. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Would some of the Feather Merchants out there tell me why a soldier would ever bother to take prisoners any more?
    That is the ultimate consequence of this law.

  23. steve says:

    America doesn’t torture people. America doesn’t spy on it’s own citizens. America doesn’t invade other countries based on phony intelligence. North Korea might do those things but America must hold the high ground or sink into the swamp with all the rest of the losers. Sometimes you have to do hard things to stay moral. Peace

  24. PCD says:


    oh were that Liberals were moral.

    I just got this off of Drudge:

    Fri Dec 16 200 11:27:16 ET


    Newspaper fails to inform readers “news break” is tied to book publication

    On the front page of today’s NEW YORK TIMES, national security reporter James Risen claims that “months after the September 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States… without the court approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.”

    Risen claims the White House asked the paper not to publish the article, saying that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny.

    Risen claims the TIMES delayed publication of the article for a year to conduct additional reporting.

    But now comes word James Risen’s article is only one of many “explosive newsbreaking” stories that can be found — in his upcoming book — which he turned in 3 months ago!

    The paper failed to reveal the urgent story was tied to a book release and sale.

    “STATE OF WAR: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration” is to be published by FREE PRESS in the coming weeks, sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.

    Carisa Hays, VP, Director of Publicity FREE PRESS, confirms the book is being published.

    The book editor of Bush critic Richard Clarke [AGAINST ALL ENEMIES] signed Risen to FREE PRESS.


  25. steve says:

    Capitalism…don’t ya just love it? Completely immoral but fun just the same. Peace

  26. Lorica says:

    Does this mean that the NYT can no longer have an editorial page??? Talk about torture Good God!!!

    I am abit lost here. What country did we invade on phoney intel??? Ohhhh Yea that’s right Kosovo. – Lorica

  27. Bachbone says:

    Steve, would be please define for me what you mean by “neo con?” I’ve seen it used, but would appreciate knowing your take on the term. Thanks. (Other readers, please let Steve respond. Don’t speak for him.)