Saturday, January 30, 2010

Comparing Apples and Rocks

Here is Newsweek's Michael Isikoff's opening paragraph of a short article telling us about the Justice Dept.'s review of the legal work of OLC attorney's:

For weeks, the right has heckled Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. for his plans to try the alleged 9/11 conspirators in New York City and his handling of the Christmas bombing plot suspect. Now the left is going to be upset: an upcoming Justice Department report from its ethics-watchdog unit, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), clears the Bush administration lawyers who authored the “torture” memos of professional-misconduct allegations.

Having actually read the memo's on enhanced interrogation - not "torture" - I would have been amazed to find a result by any neutral agency that was different. What really struck me about the above paragraph was Isikoff's incredibly inappropriate comparison between complaints about dangerous procedures with far left complaints about an outcome that they wanted. It is comparing two completely different things as if they were mere polar opposites along a linear scale.

The right's complaint as regards the Undiebomber is that valuable intelligence of the kind that could save American lives was not farmed. We now know that is because, after a year in office, Obama has utterly emasculated our national security apparatus, at least as regards interrogation of captured enemy combatants. As to KSM, the complaint was about giving him a civilian trial that would risk exposing national security secrets and that would provide KSM with the world's greatest platform to spread al Qaeda propaganda. The right's complaint, in both instances, is about what procedures will best protect our nation.

The left's complaint is of a wholly different cloth. The left wants an outcome - the lynching of the OLC attorneys. They want the blood of those attorneys and they do so wholly irrespective of the law regarding what does and does not constitute "torture." The left, from Obama on down, have demagogued this issue, slapping a bald label on enhanced interrogation of "torture." They have used it as a tool to crush the right politically, regardless of the ramifications for our national security. Thus Isikoff forecasts their unhappiness that the final bloodbath will be denied them.

How Isikoff conflates these complaints and casually reduces them to their lowest common denominator is troubling indeed. It gives moral relevance to two things that stand on wholly different moral planes. But then again, that seems to be a habit of those on the left.

1 comment:

O Bloody Hell said...

I commented over on Fausta's blog about something related to this:

> Blair later had to explain that the HIG was not deployed because it does not yet exist. After a year! ....(snip)... to establish a single operational HIG team to interrogate at-large miscreants with actionable intelligence that might save American lives.

People are missing the critically important subtext:

They haven’t interrogated ***ANYONE*** substantially in a YEAR now.

How Obama plans to stay in office after Iran sets off a nuke in NYC in mid-2012 I’m rather curious. Maybe he figures on suspending the elections “indefinitely” at that point…