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House Committee Endorses Bush's Detainee Interrogation Plan

Updated

We can count on the House conservatives to fight the good fight for reason and common sense:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In an abrupt reversal, a U.S. House of Representatives committee narrowly voted on Wednesday to endorse President George W. Bush's plan for tough interrogations and trials of foreign terrorism suspects after Republicans rounded up enough members.


About an hour earlier, the House Judiciary Committee rejected Bush's plan, with three Republicans joining committee Democrats. Embarrassed Republicans then summoned absent members, called for another vote, and approved it 20-19.

Bush's bill, which critics said would result in inhumane interrogations and unfair trials, has met even stiffer resistance in the Senate, and the White House is trying to work out a compromise.

We cannot afford to be soft on terrorists who have information we need to protect our country and citizens. Using tough interrogation techniques is not torture. We're not talking about pulling out detainee's fingernails or strapping them to "the rack" or having them drawn and quartered.

According to Brian Ross, who was on Bill O'Reilly tonight, the harshest technique is water boarding, which most of the detainees can't tolerate for more than 20 or so seconds. Apparently, Ramzi Binalsheibh broke down very quickly and started sobbing. Khalid Sheik Muhammed took almost 2 1/2 minutes before he broke. Because of water boarding, fourteen plots were thrwarted and, as a result, countless American lives were saved.

Update: Hot Air has the video of Brian Ross' interview on Bill O'Reilly tonight.

Update II: Mary Katharine Ham is also covering Brian Ross' appearance on Bill O'Reilly.

Added: Some people still insist calling water boarding torture. Not true. Did anyone see the second episode of "24"? The very first scene of the first episode included a man who was tortured for information. He was strapped to a table, I think, and his feet were in bags of what I assumed was acid and various parts of his body where terribly beaten and bloodied. I think even some of his teeth were pulled out.

That is torture. Having water poured over your face to mimick the sensation of drowning may be scary as hell, but it's not torture.


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Comments (39)

If the bills do not advocat... (Below threshold)
sam:

If the bills do not advocate summarily executing terrorists, the terrorists have already won.

We're not talking about ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

We're not talking about pulling out detainee's fingernails or strapping them to "the rack" or having them drawn and quartered.

Oh, then I guess it's ok then. Tell it to Maher Arar.

frankly I don't care what i... (Below threshold)
cubanbob:

frankly I don't care what is done to Jihadi. whatever needs to be done to them to get to provide useful intel is fine by me. then hang them.

People should understand th... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

People should understand that 'water boarding' is not dangerous to anyone as you are not placed under water. It is a procedure used for years to control people in mental facilities (wrapping in a wet sheet) and probably still is. It consist of placing you on a board with a cloth over your face and then turning you face down and pouring water over you to give the indication that you are drowning. Thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of American lives have been saved using this procedure.

The human rights nuts and the democrats indicate that if someone kidnapped, or was planning an attack to kill all of your family the police should not be able to do anything other than ask you to tell them the truth. A petty criminal may fall for theis but with no worry about anything a terrorists will not tell you anything and your family will die. It's that simple, the democrats and their supporters could care less about the safety of you or your family or for that matter their own family. They pander to the lowest slime on earth for a vote.
Democrats are definetly more interested in protecting the terrorist than in protecting America.
Do the members of congress still wonder why the American citizens rate them and their performance in office somewhere below baby rapist and child killers?

Sooner or later, the Americ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Sooner or later, the American people will demand effective interrogation to protect us all. It's futile to stand in the way of that.

McCain and the moral vanity crowd are ironically hastening the day of another terrible attack which will then usher in a new era of even worse "civil liberties" abuses.

Let me see....they chop off... (Below threshold)
Thor-Zone:

Let me see....they chop off our heads - we give them a swirlly.

People here better wise up, unless you want to go through life like the headless horseman.

Torture leads to a higher n... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Torture leads to a higher number of false confessions, with the confessor agreeing to sign anything or say anything to stop the torture. They will lie to stop the pain.

In advocating the torture of detainees Bush is just looking for more lies to tell the American people. Since little has been accomplished by this administration it's time for some fakery. It worked in the past....

I guess I can ssupport the ... (Below threshold)

I guess I can ssupport the President until we start filming decapitation of detainees (I think that P.C. for prisoners) and circulating it around the world.

"The amendment might have p... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"The amendment might have passed had two Democrats not missed the vote; the two were at a news conference on the Medicare drug benefit."

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2006/09/20/one-vote-short/

Our poor democracy. I shouldn't say "our" I guess. Most readers and writers as this blog are leaning towards one-party rule. Shameful.

Btw, this might be my favorite ever quote from a Wizbang writer, as it shows really how they truly view the world:

"Some people still insist calling water boarding torture. Not true. Did anyone see the second episode of "24"?"

When we behead someone or m... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

When we behead someone or make them listen to ted Kennedy, then I might say let's cut back a little on the torture...

JP2, Lee, troll brigade, et... (Below threshold)
Luke:

JP2, Lee, troll brigade, et al.

The President, with help from the House now ........ still saving your sorry asses whether you like it or not.

Don't be so scared Luke. It... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Don't be so scared Luke. It's going to be OK.

Lee: No one is seeking a c... (Below threshold)

Lee: No one is seeking a confession. What is being sought is information. There is a difference.
If coercive methods were being used to obtain a mere confession I would be whole-heartedly against them, as a coerced confession is useless.
Coercive methods are, however, effective at getting information not already known, as the subject knows that a lie will only bring him back for more.

You can argue the moral implications, but to argue the effeciveness of coercive methods in such a way as you have is to deliberately miss the point.

Random: Actually, you are m... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Random: Actually, you are missing the point.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30909-2004Jul31.html

"Coercive methods are, however, effective at getting information not already known, as the subject knows that a lie will only bring him back for more."

Sheesh, is all your know about intelligence from 24 as well? Coerced information isn't sound either. Read the article and reflect. You're dead wrong.

Using tough interr... (Below threshold)
jpe:
Using tough interrogation techniques is not torture.

Are you saying you'd be against torture if it would save lives?

"preying mantis"--to bad th... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

"preying mantis"--to bad they didn't send your whimpy ass with him.
Old "pucker puss" (lee lee)--he is right on schedule with his same o, same o. (sounds like a broken record)
jp2 (short for "just (a) prick 2)--there only one party now as the "left one" is just a front for the terrorist

Hey jpe, look over here, ye... (Below threshold)
Luke:

Hey jpe, look over here, yeah way in the back, Luke here & I have my hand raised.... in answer to your question:

Are you saying you'd be against torture if it would save lives?

I'd be for clamping their "you know whats" to a freshly charged 12 volt and cranking the amps up a bit. Torture, yeah I'd be for it to save American lives, even Lee's.

I see a lot of anonymous at... (Below threshold)

I see a lot of anonymous attributions and "according to"s on that story, but my point is otherwise made stronger by it rather than taken down.
Under questioning, al-Libi provided the CIA with intelligence about an alleged plot to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Yemen with a truck bomb and pointed officials in the direction of Abu Zubaida, a top al Qaeda leader known to have been involved in the Sept. 11 plot.

Both of which checked out.

Try again.

"Coercive methods are, howe... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"Coercive methods are, however, effective at getting information not already known"

Did you read the article?

"Al Qaeda-Iraq Link Recanted
Captured Libyan Reverses Previous Statement to CIA, Officials Say "

Under "coercive" methods, getting information was ineffective. If you aren't able to see this, I guess there is no way though. I tried though.

Now luke saving old "pucker... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Now luke saving old "pucker puss"(lee lee) also is going a bit far.

Now luke saving old "pucker... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Now luke saving old "pucker puss"(lee lee) also is going a bit far.

Yeah jhow66, I really didn'... (Below threshold)
Luke:

Yeah jhow66, I really didn't think that one completely through. I was being a bit too generous.

:)

Mantis... Do you belive tha... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Mantis... Do you belive that story word for word? (serious question)

Syria? "and then kept in a coffin-size dungeon for 10 months"

If he where in a coffin size enclosure for 10 months he'd never be able to stand again.

ANd whose word is this? His? It's like the the CIA is going to back the story.

I read it a few days ago and I called bull shit after about 5 paragrpahs.

And you?

Of all people , ABC news in... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Of all people , ABC news investigations show that the CIA 'tame' method of questioning the terrorist worked on all 14 of the badest of the bad recently transfered to GITMO.

I love the human rights response: Who can say they wouldn't have gave up the same information if your had gave them cookies and milk? or something in that line. What a bunch or worthless fools that have gathered in the democratic party. Who said this week that they are as worthless as tits on a stud horse?

Let's get the coerced info ... (Below threshold)

Let's get the coerced info thing straight. If you ask someone "did you steal the money?" they'll admit it under torture even if they didn't. If you ask them "where is the bomb?" under torture they can't tell you if they don't know. We're not asking for confessions, we're asking for information that could save lives, even the worthless lives of liberals. There's a big difference between the two and it's not that hard to understand, even for liberals. So even if you think loud music and belly slaps are torture quit telling us that the information gotten isn't any good. Come up another reason next time, a plausible one if you manage it.

jp2: It seems to me that i... (Below threshold)

jp2: It seems to me that it is you who is unable to read the whole article or comprehend what it says in total. The rumored recanted information was unverifiable no matter what methods were used. It was therefore useless on it's face. The verifiable information, however checked out wonderfully and helped stop a bomb plot in Yemen and led to the capture of Abu Zubaida.

Random, the lefties don't n... (Below threshold)

Random, the lefties don't need to read no stinkin' articles. They have their talking points, and they are sticking with them.

They are determined to submit American security to UN pre-approval. We already know how that will come out where Castro and Chavez have the same vote as Germany and Australia.

Once again, they underline why Democrats cannot be entrusted with our national security.


First of all, you have to u... (Below threshold)

First of all, you have to understand that "waterboarding" is a technique that has been regularly practiced by the U.S. on our own people. It was (is?) standard for pilots and others taking SERE training to undergo the technique so they would know what to expect.

Secondly, the waterboarding and other techniques are used to 'break' the terrorists. Once they talk the first time it is easier each subsequent time.

Thirdly. The information gained does not exist in a vacuum. Information gained is crosschecked against that already known or from other prisoners. It is just one piece of the puzzle and is treated as suspect unless it is supported from other sources. They don't just say "go here and this guy is doing something" they just get indicators that this person might warrant a closer look and clues about what and where to look.

"First of all, you have ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"First of all, you have to understand that "waterboarding" is a technique that has been regularly practiced by the U.S. on our own people. It was (is?) standard for pilots and others taking SERE training to undergo the technique so they would know what to expect."

What a moron. You call that "practiced by the U.S. on our own people"? Training someone in how to withstand torture is "practicing" waterboarding on our own people?

Let me guess - you voted Republican in the last election, right?

"If the battle for civiliza... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

"If the battle for civilization comes down to the wimps versus the barbarians, the barbarians are going to win."
- Dr. Thomas Sowell

Coercive methods are effect... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Coercive methods are effective for extracting information. The reliability of the information is questionable. HOWEVER, it does yield accurate informations intermingled with bad. It's up to intelligence to sort through it.

I'm perplexed at the 'armchair quarterbacks' that seem to be claiming that it holds no value. How about if we let military intelligence decide if the process is fruitful ? Given that it is used, I believe I know the answer...

Lee:And you didn't v... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

Lee:
And you didn't vote Republican? I'm shocked!

Just goes to show what a moron you really are - as if how you voted on a particular election day has anything to do with the logic of this situation.

Your Mommy is calling you Lee - it's time for your milk and cookies.

Kim,If you want to... (Below threshold)
jp:

Kim,

If you want to see video of real Torture, you don't have to go to fictionalized 24....there is a documentary called, "Buried in the Sand" which chronicles Saddam's Torture of his own people....It is the hardest thing I've ever watched bar none, it will give you nightmares.

To compare our interrogation methods to torture is an insult to human intelligence and common sense themselves.

"How about if we let mil... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"How about if we let military intelligence decide if the process is fruitful ?"

How about we require court approval before torture is used?

Mantis... Do you belive ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Mantis... Do you belive that story word for word?

It's hard to say at this point, as our government did not cooperate with the Canadian inquiry (shocker). What that inquiry did find, however, is that the man was indeed detained and sent to Syria, where he was born, though he had been a Canadian citizen for more than a decade. The inquiry concluded he was tortured, but whether this is based only on his own testimony I don't know. I do know that the Canadian House of Commons voted unanimously to apologize to the man, and the Prime Minister called it a "tremendous injustice". No formal government apology from Canada, but then he is suing them. If Canada releases the 1200 page report from the inquiry, maybe some doubts will be laid to rest.

What I do believe is he was detained in New York on shoddy evidence, and we sent him to Syria, where he was born. What happened to him there is hard to know. I don't take "coffin-sized" cell to be literal (the NYTimes described it as 3x6x7'), and I don't believe that is a direct quote. Is he exaggerating his treatment in Syria? I don't know, but I wouldn't put much past the Syrians. Did he really confess to training in Afghanistan under torture though he'd never been there? Maybe not, but considering the Canadians believe his story, based on a 2-year inquiry, I'm inclined to believe him. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

As the recent example of Ma... (Below threshold)

As the recent example of Maher Arar shows, innocence or truth is no defense against torture. A determined torturer will get you to say anything he wants to hear. If there is a single example of timely, lifesaving information being developed through torture, I'm sure we would have heard about it by now, and in that absence we can be sure it's just a Hollywood myth.

Maher Arar had not done anything wrong, but he confessed to everything he was asked to. Since torture is ineffective in determining guilt or innocence or truth, let's call it what it is. A sick revenge exacted by a sociopath on a helpless person who has been DESCRIBED as an "enemy," and whether or not that description is accurate is not an issue.

Torture can be defined as any act you would not want ME to perpetrate on YOU.

I have to agree with Jesus on this, "Inasmuch as you have done this to the least of these, my brethren, you have done it to me."

Anyone who approves of torture hates Jesus, that's for sure.

Seems to me that 14 thwarte... (Below threshold)
Thrush:

Seems to me that 14 thwarted terrorist attacks show there's value in interrogation (including torture).

The information we get via torture (as much as waterboarding is torture) may have some issues. But our court system's not perfect either (innocents jailed, etc), and we keep that around.

If it helps save lives, do it. How hard is that? There's not lasting physical damage from the techniques decribed. With counseling, any mental trauma can be soothed! heh.

Repack Rider:<blockqu... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Repack Rider:

As the recent example of Maher Arar shows, innocence or truth is no defense against torture. A determined torturer will get you to say anything he wants to hear.

Everything points towards Arar being innocent, which in turn makes this a grave error. You, however, point to innocence not being a shield against torture in very general terms, as if it's a widespread problem, which I think we can all agree, it is not. We don't even have the manpower to make it a widespread problem.

As I said, from what we know, it was a mistake...hopefully one that all involved will take into account for the future.

You're thinking of torture in very "Inquisitional" terms though, as if someone is tied to a rack and stretched until they agree they are a heretic or a witch. This is not how it's done, and many have explained it better than I could. The information sought from these people is very specific and can't be answered with 'yes' or 'no'.

If, as you say, he confessed everything he was asked to...he would not be a free man right now. You also seem to think the interrogators don't know how to analyze the information they're getting.

If there is a single example of timely, lifesaving information being developed through torture, I'm sure we would have heard about it by now

This is an assumption.

Torture can be defined as any act you would not want ME to perpetrate on YOU.

Faulty definition. I don't like people ignoring me, and I wouldn't want you to do it to me. If you do, that does not make it torture. If we were to adopt those terms we wouldn't even be allowed to imprison people for commiting a crime.

In the end Repack, I think what I want your opinion on is this: Given the fact that it is obvious prisoners or detainees will have vital preventative information...how to you propose we get that information? Do you think asking them nicely will yeild results? You know it won't, so how is this to be done? How do you apply Jesus' ideals to the real world?

Note: I'm defining torture as sleep depravation, water boarding, light exposure etc.

Some of methods of shifting... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Some of methods of shifting out which coercive information is true or false are not that complex. It gets a bit tedious but it works. Think about it and anyone with have a brain should be able to figure out at least one or two ways to doe it.




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