It is Immoral Not to Allow Enhanced Interrogations

Though many Democrats insist that waterboarding is never effective, it appears that they would outlaw it even if proven effective since, to them, it is a stain on the reputation of the U.S., and nothing guides liberal policy more than how a particular policy effects their reputation among their liberal and left wing colleagues across the globe.  Indeed, the most often heard refrain from Democrat liberals throughout the War on Terror has been: How will this policy make the nations of the world feel about us?

What are some of the commonsense guidelines available to those who wish to do things according to a moral code yet value the lives of our children more than our reputation within left wing European salons?

There can be no doubt that temporary discomfort inflicted upon a particular terrorist is justified when done to save thousands of lives.  As reported in news accounts, waterboarding has done this.  Certainly, pain is not the equivalent of life itself, so that even saving one life takes precedence over the pain of the terrorist. 

A moral society does not stand by, doing nothing, while an innocent person is about to be killed.  It is our moral duty to stop those intent on killing innocent people, or those complicit and knowing of others who wish to kill, before the murder takes place.  The "dignity" of the would-be murderer, his treatment, should be inconsequential to those in position to stop him.  Indeed, by stopping the terrorist, through coercion, before he murders, we are saving the would-be murderer himself from the sin of murder.

Normal people understand their obligation to first protect and be concerned about the lives and safety of those for whom they are responsible: first, your family, then your community and nation.  As a consequence, these delineations should provide moral comfort.  But to child-like purists, the intellectually lazy, and those wishing to always be beyond criticism, anything harsh is unjustifiable no matter the catastrophic downside.  Worse are the trans-nationalists at the New York Times and the ACLU who long ago exhibited their psychological abnormality by refusing to root for the lives of their countrymen over the lives and "sensibilities" of our enemies.

Unlike what is happening in the Islamic and Palestinian world, we Americans do not torture for sheer barbaric enjoyment, or as a means of revenge, nor even as a way of frightening foes.  We employ momentary and isolated acts of physical or psychological coercion for the exclusive purpose of eliciting information we are convinced will save lives, thousands of lives.  These are important distinctions -- foundational moral differences.

In the world of radical Islam, on the other hand, victims are left with permanent defacing of the human body such as cut off fingers, ears, noses, gouged out eyes, and scars that remain with the victim for life.  Such torture is done for the sake of torture and suffering alone and does not end until the thug reaches self-satisfaction.  Such tortures incapacitate and cause excruciating pain for the remainder of that person's life.  We do not do any of that.  Waterboarding is far from that.

The psychological torture of victims watching their family members writhe in unspeakable pain or death is the enemy's way, not ours.  We carefully have chosen forms of minimal coercion that do not permanently deface and whose duration and effect are limited to that moment necessary to convince the terrorist to reveal his schemes.  While serious interrogation must be done, we still treat prisoners as human beings while the enemy does everything possible and imaginable to cause needless suffering and strip the person of human-hood.

Left-wing dilettantes notwithstanding, we have not become like the enemy; we remain in a category far above that practiced and preached by the jihadists.  We should not allow our hands to be tied and needlessly sacrifice American lives.  Enhanced interrogation is moral and consistent with the principles of our Constitution. 

Rabbi Spero can be reached at Caucus for America: 212-252-6861 or