President Obama, by his actions to date, has left the U.S.A. weakened. He has handed terrorists information that can help them better prepare their trained operatives to attack us and hold out when interrogated.
First, I banned the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques by the United States of America.
I know some have argued that brutal methods like water-boarding were necessary to keep us safe. I could not disagree more. As Commander-in-Chief, I see the intelligence, I bear responsibility for keeping this country safe, and I reject the assertion that these are the most effective means of interrogation. What’s more, they undermine the rule of law. They alienate us in the world. They serve as a recruitment tool for terrorists, and increase the will of our enemies to fight us, while decreasing the will of others to work with America. They risk the lives of our troops by making it less likely that others will surrender to them in battle, and more likely that Americans will be mistreated if they are captured. In short, they did not advance our war and counter-terrorism efforts – they undermined them, and that is why I ended them once and for all.
Still without a Gitmo plan, Obama claims high moral ground for himself while playing to the camera and Europe, who as Charles Krauthammer has pointed out has been sucking on the American teet for 60 years. Personally, in defending my country both morally and ethically, I’d rather see a machine gun on that high ground than pretentious rhetoric. Mich McConnell says what we need is a plan not another speech. No mention from Obama of a plan.
Michelle Malkin calls it Dueling Banjos and Politico writes:
In a remarkable split-screen presentation of opposing worldviews, former Vice President Dick Cheney spoke across town moments later, saying he supported the controversial policies “when they were made, and without hesitation would do so again in the same circumstances.”
“The point is not to look backward,” Cheney said. “A lot rides on our President’s understanding of the security policies that preceded him. And whatever choices he makes concerning the defense of this country, those choices should not be based on slogans and campaign rhetoric, but on a truthful telling of history.”
Dick Cheney in response to Obama’s speech struck at the yellow underbelly of belly-aching and defended the defenders of this country after 9/11. (Obama still doesn’t seem or won’t admit this country was kept safe on President Bush’s watch.) Cheney astutely and pointedly argued from a position of experience and knowing our country’s need for expediency at the time of 9/11;
“To the very end of our administration, we kept al-Qaeda terrorists busy with other problems. We focused on getting their secrets, instead of sharing ours with them. And on our watch, they never hit this country again. After the most lethal and devastating terrorist attack ever, seven and a half years without a repeat is not a record to be rebuked and scorned, much less criminalized. It is a record to be continued until the danger has passed.”
Obama for his part argued that water-boarding and other harsh interrogation methods “did not advance our war and counter-terrorism efforts – they undermined them.”
“I was and remain a strong proponent of our enhanced interrogation program. The interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts failed,” Cheney said during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.
“They were legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do. The intelligence officers who questioned the terrorists can be proud of their work and proud of the results, because they prevented the violent death of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent people.”
Cheney noted that Obama has reserved enhanced interrogation unto himself:
This might explain why President Obama has reserved unto himself the right to order the use of enhanced interrogation should he deem it appropriate. What value remains to that authority is debatable, given that the enemy now knows exactly what interrogation methods to train against, and which ones not to worry about. Yet having reserved for himself the authority to order enhanced interrogation after an emergency, you would think that President Obama would be less disdainful of what his predecessor authorized after 9/11. It’s almost gone unnoticed that the president has retained the power to order the same methods in the same circumstances. When they talk about interrogations, he and his administration speak as if they have resolved some great moral dilemma in how to extract critical information from terrorists. Instead they have put the decision off, while assigning a presumption of moral superiority to any decision they make in the future.
Missing words, addressed my Cheney:
President Obama’s own Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Blair, has put it this way: “High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al-Qaeda organization that was attacking this country.” End quote. Admiral Blair put that conclusion in writing, only to see it mysteriously deleted in a later version released by the administration – the missing 26 words that tell an inconvenient truth. But they couldn’t change the words of George Tenet, the CIA Director under Presidents Clinton and Bush, who bluntly said: “I know that this program has saved lives. I know we’ve disrupted plots. I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us.”
This is a curious administration – in love with America’s power and seizing it, while demeaning America before the world for Obama’s own aggrandizement as though morality began with his administration. Most countries on earth owe this country a debt of gratitude, which they can never repay; just as our citizens can never repay the men who defended this country with their limbs and lives. The Ivory Tower academic community organizer in the White House has yet to appreciate his country’s real history as told my the blood of it’s builders and martyrs.
Sam Stein in the Huffington Post : A Civil Libertarian rips Obama’s Speech: All Bells and Whistles
“Obviously, he is a very effective speaker, but of course we have major problems with what he is doing,” said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. “He wraps himself in the Constitution, talks about American values and then proceeds to violate them.”
Allah Pundit, “In a fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground.”
Karl Rove: Flip-flops and Governance-WSJ