Friday, December 21, 2007


High Dudgeon Hypocrisy

Andrew McCarthy, writing at National Review, dismisses Congressional and Media maneuvers to generate a scandal ala Watergate as farce rich in high-dudgeon hypocrisy.” McCarthy further laments our failed experiments in “judicializing warfare.”

As McCarthy rightly observes and Democrats blindingly ignore, Congressional votes authorizing the use of military force in September 2001 were 420-1 in the House and 98-0 in the Senate. By 2002, America’s ardor for military response had not abated:

The atmosphere of 2002 was one of forcible action. The American people demanded it. Our representatives in Congress were insistent that we would get it. Their own jobs hung in the balance. It was in that atmosphere that this military response, this war, began to result, as all wars do, in the capture of enemy operatives.

McCarthy notes recent accounts, which confirm reveal that Speaker Nancy Pelosi, among other Democrats in 2002 worried that Bush Administration officials were not being tough enough on captured terrorists, in stark contrast to their revisionist views now.

McCarthy also places the activities of the CIA between 2001 and 2003 in an accurate context, something completely absent from mainstream media (MSM) reporting:

The program pushed to the margins of the law. Regardless of what the revisionist Left is now saying, the only bright-line limit on the treatment of alien enemy combatants held outside the United States in 2002 was the federal law against torture. The United States did not outlaw cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment when it ratified the international anti-torture treaty in 1994 — it was not until 2005 that such treatment overseas was outlawed, and even then only ambiguously, no matter what Senators John McCain, Patrick Leahy, and others now claim. Congress could easily (and accountably) have made simulated drowning — waterboarding — unlawful. But it didn’t. It wouldn’t have dared done so in 2002; it didn’t do so in 2005 or 2006 despite specifically addressing war crimes; and it hasn’t done so to this day.

McCarthy notes the one argument I’ve seen expressed in the so called torture debate that is the least credible: that of the present or future treatment of Americans and American Military based on recent US actions in fighting terrorists and terror groups.

I have utmost respect for John McCain, and I can’t bring myself to find him dishonest. I have to otherwise conclude he reacts to the torture and terror treatment on a purely visceral basis rather than from a position of logic. I won’t yield the same courtesy to other partisans who take similar positions and McCarthy articulates the refutation of such arguments better than I:

We weren’t violating any treaty obligations, and we weren’t laying the groundwork for any other nation that actually cares about its obligations to violate theirs. Al-Qaeda is not going to reciprocate humane treatment; you haven’t heard of any jihadist Gitmo because this enemy tortures and kills its captives — believe it or not, they don’t even let the International Red Cross come visit. But if we were fighting a nation-state entitled to Geneva Convention prisoner-of-war provisions, we would honor those provisions, demand nothing beyond name, rank and serial number, and expect our foes to honor them as well. The Left’s charge that we are international outlaws is as vapid as it is slanderous.

That’s the crux of my outrage with that portion of the debate that centers around how we’re perceived, how we will be treated in future, and so forth.

The so called ticking time bomb scenario will never apply with US military or citizens in the hands of “a nation-state entitled to Geneva Convention prisoner-of-war provisions,” because we don’t use terror and terrorists as proxy for our foreign policy, and never will.

Some critics, like McCain, may have serious objections to any perceived, potential use of anything that might be construed as torture, but such as they know the US will never be guilty of the inhumanity of our enemies. They know there will never be any real equivalency between the actions of our Government or military, and those barbarians among our enemies.

Labels: , ,

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]