Defending Vice President Cheney
Unbelievably, the New York Times Editorial Board is calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor to conduct a criminal investigation of Vice President Dick Cheney and other members of the Bush administration. They call the enhanced interrogation techniques (EIT) “sadistic” crimes and cite that 25% of those detained are innocent.
How quickly they forget what happened to their fellow New Yorkers on September 11, 2001. They worry about the 25% supposedly innocent yet ignore the approximately 30% who were released and returned to the battleground, a figure cited by Obama administration officials. For example, Baghdadi, who was in the custody of the U.S. military in Iraq and released, now heads ISIS. Maybe the New York Times should be more concerned with those released instead of the few innocents.
Sharyl Attkisson writes in her book Stonewalled that journalists should play the “substitution game.” She wishes reporters would be aware of how their own prejudices can affect their stories, and she recommends that reporters exchange people using the same scenario. Here is a good example for the New York Times. Did the NY Times ever consider having President Obama and his administration tried because of all the innocents they have killed along with American terrorists without due process? I say that sarcastically, since there is a place for drones. Yet the New York Times does not seem to comprehend the contradiction that exists between killing and capture. Taking the substitution game to an extreme, what would the NY Times editorial staff have said if there was a second wave of attacks after 9/11? Jose Rodriguez, Jr., a former director of the National Clandestine Service of the CIA, speculates that he would have been hung from the Washington Monument.
Today, the editorial staff is playing armchair quarterback. They look at EITs such as the insult slap, done with an open hand; sleep deprivation; stress techniques; and waterboarding and call them torture. But Rodriguez makes a compelling case that the terrorists were not tortured because they were not subjected to severe pain, but instead were made to feel very uncomfortable and to experience a sense of hopelessness. Rodriguez is hopeful that most Americans do not consider these techniques torture and understand that they were employed to protect Americans from cold-blooded terrorists.
The critics of the program are not looking at the overall picture: these techniques were used shortly after 9/11, people were afraid of an imminent attack, and quick answers were desperately needed.
What becomes obvious is that the NY Times is out of touch with reality. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll recently released found that 51 percent of Americans believed that the harsh interrogation tactics detailed in the committee's report were warranted, while 28 percent said they went too far. The results virtually matched a Pew Research Center poll that also found 51 percent believing that the CIA's methods were justified, while 29 percent said they were not. A Washington Post/ABC News poll released recently found that 59 percent approved of the CIA's tactics, while 31 percent disapproved. These are almost a two-to-one margin.
The point needs to be made of the hypocrisy of the Senate Democrats, the Obama administration, and the New York Times. All of the techniques were authorized by President Bush and approved by the Justice Department as well as the Office of Legal Counsel. As Vice President Cheney previously commented to American Thinker, “[t]ell me what intelligence you were willing to give up or whose life were you going to sacrifice in order to be true to your beliefs. I think the vast majority of American people would say 'waterboard them' and supported it. I would eventually like to run a campaign against candidates on the other side of the issue. I think those of us that believe in putting Americans first in terms of protecting and safe guarding American lives would win that kind of a competition hands down.”
The New York Times should consider the point the former vice president also made recently on Meet the Press regarding the terrorists: “I haven't seen them waterboard anybody. What they did is cut their heads off. What they did to 3,000 Americans on 9/11 – that was brutal, bloody murder. It absolutely can't be compared with what we did with respect to our enhanced interrogation program.”
Americans should consider how the vice president is constantly standing by his principles and stepping up to the plate. He has been awesome in defending the programs that kept Americans safe since 9/11. Rodriguez Jr. noted to American Thinker, “President Bush finally came out two to three weeks ago, but Vice President Cheney has been there for us all along. He was the stand-up guy that came to the CIA’s defense. I never heard any support from anybody else. He came out strongly for us. I remember thinking, 'Well, at least Mr. Cheney is willing to, because nobody else is.'"
Vice President Cheney and others were the shields that protected America. They should not be given a special prosecutor’s investigation; they should be awarded a medal.
The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.