Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You Would Have Done The Same

This is the thing regarding the interrogation techniques we used after 9-11. It's all fine and good that we step back and look at what we did and decide not to do that anymore. But I have about had it with the self righteous left that thinks anyone should be prosecuted because of it, including the lawyers who formed the legal opinions at the time that saw intense interrogation techniques (or torture, whatever you wish to call it) as legal under our constitution.

The left can insist they were wrong and that is fine. We can move forward differently, if that is what we decide. But let's not pretend that things were quite different right after 9-11. We had just watched as innocent America citizens had to decide between burning to death or jumping from the World Trade Center to an equally horrific death. We heard the goodbyes on voice mails as the news played them over and over, and we cried. We all cried. It was almost too painful. Even those of us who didn't lose anyone personally felt the deep grief within us.

So we catch one of the planners. We know he knows a lot because of information gathered on his computer. He tells us that we will soon see another 9-11. That is the atmosphere that the CIA agents and the Bush administration found themselves in. Because of waterboarding this man ( a technique our own Navy and Air Force are trained in by the way), we saved people in L.A. (and ourselves) from another horror show courtesy of Al Qaeda.

There are thousand things you and I would never do. But if someone puts a gun to the head our child, there are a thousand things we suddenly would do. And if you tell me you wouldn't, you lie.

Bush had a choice. Prevent more dead Americans or skate the line of torture. You are telling me you wouldn't have done the same?

Was it wrong? Was it unconstitutional? We can argue that point. We can say it was or wasn't and move on. But you cannot prosecute people for doing what they thought was right at the time. We cannot make a circus of the tough decisions made at the time.

Of course, if Bush hadn't made that tough decision and another 9-11 would have occurred, we wouldn't be talking about torture right now, we would be talking about how Bush couldn't keep us safe and the horror of another day watching Americans die.

I think that is why Pres. Bush sleeps well every night.

Update: Jeff Jacoby, who has all along been against any kind of torture, gives a thoughtful ccomment on the politics surrounding the memos.

Update2: Obama's top man in intelligence sends memo that "enhanced interrogation" techniques worked.