Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hypocrisy, History & The Sleep Of The Righteous

Intelligence is the key to stopping terrorist plots. Ask the 9-11 Commission to describe 9-11 in three words and they would no doubt be "an intelligence failure." Ask Dick Cheney, Michael Hayden, George Tenet or Mike McConnel what has kept us safe these past eight years, and their answer would no doubt be "actionable intelligence." In the shadow war we are in - one which could conceivably at some point involve nuclear or biological attacks on the U.S. - to forego opportunities to collect and act on intelligence would be a grotesque dereliction of duty.

Thus it is troubling indeed to learn today from the NYT that the CIA, limited as it is to non-coercive means of interrogation and no longer able to run holding facilities for terrorists, both thanks to the January executive order of President Obama, is now outsourcing virtually all interrogations of captured al Qaeda members to other countries. The only benefit of this that I can tell is that it allows President Obama to maintain his illusory position atop the moral highground, his conscience pristine. Meanwhile, we have lost control of intelligence sources, and the job of breaking them now falls to nations whose historical methods of interrogation have been coercive indeed. It is then up to those nations to decide what intelligence to share with us.

When it comes to waterboarding and other evils, necessary though they may be to keeping us safe, we are told by Obama that these things are immoral and must not be done - by us at least. It is a measure of the boundless hypocrisy of President Obama that he presents himself as the supreme moral being and will take no position that will sully his utopian self, but then he allows captured al Qaeda operatives to be interrogated by other countries for whom waterboarding would, historically at least, be viewed as mild.

What is the price we must pay so that Obama and the far left can sleep each eve with pristine conscience, secure in the knowledge of their own superior self-righteousness? For if the bill comes due, the price will be in the blood of innocent Americans.

For those who buy into Obama's vacuous utopian moralizing, know that the harsh realities of history paint a very different picture. One example I find incredibly grating is Obama's oft repeated claim that we won World War II because we "stayed true to our values."

In making that claim, Obama never defines the "values" to which he refers, though it is implicit that he defines them as the values du jour that he is pumping in his speech that day. Nor does he explain the nuance of our supposed fidelity to such values in the context of such things as interring all Japanese Americans for the duration of the War, the fire bombing of Dresden, the decision to drop the atomic bomb, nor the execution of German spies. And neither does he explain the seeming dichotomy in how our fidelity to his value du jour that he would have us believe caused us to win over Germany did not conversely cause the Soviet Union to lose to Germany, given that the Soviet's values in terms of civil liberties, torture, etc. were antithetical to ours.

At any rate, I will go to sleep tonight with a small worry deep in the back of my head over the safety of my family and my country. Obama will go to sleep tonight apparently untroubled, his conscience pristine. Are not those roles dangerously reversed?

Update: And do see the 'better late than never' Dafydd ab Hugh's take on this at Big Lizards. As he notes, even this turn of events is not enough to satisfy the hard left base of Obama who are "hoping to achieve their life goal of completely disarming the United States in the midst of an existential war."


cdor said...

Obama exhibits time and again limited, if any, knowledge of history. His references are regularly inaccurate at a minimum or so distorted with his leftist Alynskyite glasses, that one wonders if he is reciting some fable he learned from a rabid idealogue professor so prevalent on our college campuses of the last 30 years.

This hypocrisy with regards to interrogation (I won't get my hands dirty, but I will happily ship these prisoners off to let someone else squeeze them until they pop) reminds me exactly of the left's attitude towards energy. For 25 years they, through the courts and legislation and bureaucracy have prevented the US from developing any of our own energy sources. We can't drill for oil, build new refineries, build nuclear reactors, or build coal fired electrical plants. Instead of using our own highly developed ability to source and extract oil and natural gas in the most efficient and safest ways for the environment, with the ability and the will to clean up any unfortunate miscues, we ship this "unpleasant chore", like the prisoners, off to some unseen area of the world to do the dirty work for us. Out of sight, out of mind, we can all feel very high and mighty now. In the meantime, where are these miraculous alternatives to carbon based energy? I thought that the whole concept of restricting use was to pave the way for some great discovery of "green" energy. It hasn't happened and mankind is doomed without energy.

Just like the left's moral preening over interrogation techniques, it's indignation with fossil fuel and so-called global warming wreaks with hubris.

Yes, if we are nice enough, for long enough, we might get some malignant creep to explain the plans of which he knew, which led to the destruction of one of our cities and the suffering and deaths of thousands of our citizens, after the fact. And yes, if we destroy our civilization by choking off all of our ability to develope energy with current known sources, we might at some time in the next 100 years magically uncover the never ending source of renewable non carbon energy.

But will it be too late?

billm99uk said...

Well for God's sake don't send them over here (the UK). We can't even be mildly rude to our Islamist fruitcakes ;)