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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

'Torture' Techniques Revisited

There are a lot of stories swirling these days about what took place leading up to the elimination of Osama bin Laden.  Some must be false because they often contradict one another.  Is this one the truth?  You decide:
Bin Laden's death rekindles 'enhanced' interrogation debate
By Michael Isikoff, NBC News

The trail that led to the doorstep of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan began years earlier with aggressive interrogations of al-Qaida detainees at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and CIA “black site" prisons overseas, according to U.S. officials.

It was those sometimes controversial interrogations that first produced descriptions of members of bin Laden’s courier network, including one critical Middle Eastern courier who along with his brother was protecting bin Laden at his heavily fortified compound in Abbottabad on Sunday. Both the courier and his brother were among those killed, along with bin Laden, in the dramatic raid by U.S. special forces.

“Multiple sources of intelligence led us to where we are,” one senior U.S. intelligence official, who like the others spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters on Monday. “Key information was gleaned from detainees (and) that detainee reporting provided insight into the (bin Laden) courier network.” [link]
The sad truth is, we'll never know for sure what "techniques" were employed to gain information from the terrorists we warehouse at Gitmo and prisons in eastern Europe that brought our helicopters to bin Laden's doorstep in Abbottabad.

If this is true, though, it shoots holes in the arguments put forth by all those "experts" that "enhanced interrogation techniques" don't work.

Stay tuned.

Maybe Bin Laden Should Have Surrendered

He might have inflicted a whole lot more damage on the USA had he been sent to Gitmo. The latest from Club Med Cuba:
I was stunned to learn while researching Mastermind that Guantanamo detainees succeeded in convincing prison officials to no longer raise the American flag anywhere they could see it. Each morning on every U.S. military base around the world, the American flag is raised to a bugle. But in the interests of not offending the detainees, it was stopped at Guantanamo.
For the love of God.

Credibility, Fellas. Credibility.

As one might expect, there are a whole lot of people out there - especially in the zany Muslim world - who don't believe the story that's been put out about the slaying of Osama bin Laden. Many of them won't be persuaded even when photos of his bullet-riddled carcass are put on display, while others might be convinced ... if Obama wouldn't pull this stunt:
White House struggles to get story right on raid
By Erica Werner, Associated Press

Washington (AP) — Killing Osama bin Laden was a big victory for the U.S., but how exactly the raid went down is another story — and another, and another.

Over two days, the White House has offered contradictory versions of events, including misidentifying which of bin Laden's sons was killed and wrongly saying bin Laden's wife died in gunfire, as it tries to sort through what the president's press secretary called the "fog of combat" and produce an accurate account.

Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that officials were trying to get information out as quickly as possible about the complex event witnessed by just a handful of people, and the story line was being corrected. [link]
The very use of the phrase "story line" will encourage the doubters and conspiracy theorists.

We don't need this.

To those massaging this ... story: Get it right.  Or shut up.

How Embarrassing

The Canadians are kicking our ass:
Canada Makes a Right Turn
By David Gratzer, Wall Street Journal

While his governance style has been quiet, [Prime Minister Stephen] Harper has established an impressive track record. He's cut Canada's value-added tax (the GST) as well as the corporate tax. He's deregulated the telecom industry. And despite strong pressure, he's only modestly given in to the temptation of stimulus spending.

The result is that the Conservative Party has credibly promised to cut spending further and to balance the federal budget by 2014. Moreover, based on International Monetary Fund projections, in 2015 Canada's debt-to-GDP ratio will be less than 30%, largely unchanged from the start of the recession—and a third of the projected U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio in that year.

Today, much of the country is more prosperous, dynamic and resource-rich. The welfare state itself looks tired. Regional transfers meant to empower poorer regions have, in fact, trapped them in poverty.

Nowhere is the exhaustion of the welfare state more evident than in Canada's government-run health care. The system is plagued by long waiting lists for specialist consultations and diagnostic tests, and some four to five million Canadians can't find a family physician.

Perhaps the ultimate undoing of the Liberal Party has been the rise in Canadian confidence. Canada boasts a dollar that trades over parity with the U.S. greenback, a housing sector that remains robust while America's is still a mess, and the strongest growth rate in the G-7 countries in 2011. The welfare state and its Liberal Party boosters seem less relevant. That's why Mr. Harper and his Conservative Party won big. [link]
So Canada, having adopted and implemented conservative principles, prospers.  While we here in the U.S. do just the opposite. We expand the welfare state, and, subsequently, witness crushing joblessness, sluggish growth, and a debt burden that accelerates out of control.

We were once smarter than this.

Does This Mean They LOVE Dick Cheney Now?

Ya gotta love the entertainment value provided by this bunch that runs the country:
Team Six: From Cheney’s Secret Assassination Squad to Obama’s Super-Awesome Cleanup Crew
By Jim Treacher, The Daily Caller

As if it weren’t ironic enough that the Nobel Peace Prize-winning, staunchly anti-war President Obama is taking personal credit for killing Osama Bin Laden, he actually sent the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, AKA DevGru, AKA Team Six to do it.

But wait. Dick Cheney is bad and Obama is good, right? So… how will our moral, ethical, and intellectual superiors avoid giving The Evil Dick Cheney any credit for this? What rhetorical gymnastics will they perform to praise the brave men they once slandered as the instruments of Satan? How can they celebrate this victory for their beloved Obama without reversing themselves on the methods he used to achieve it?

Aw, they’ll find a way. If all else fails, they can just pretend they never said any of that stuff. [link]
Sure they'll find a way.  And they'll look foolish in doing so.  As they always do.

This is more fun than one ought to be allowed to have.