So what if we didn't water board those 3 prisoners. (Yes, the CIA only ever used it on 3 prisoners). What if we didn't force the issue and use enhanced techniques, and the thwarted attack on Los Angeles was allowed to happen? And then imagine that it was discovered that we had prisoners in custody with knowledge of the pending event. Then what if Bush appears in front of the country and said, "we could have used harsher techniques to get the information from him, but America doesn't torture." Calls for his impeachment would have come immediately.
The press and the bloggers accused President Bush of "allowing" the 9/11 attacks to happen because there was intelligence that something, not what, but something, was being planned. If the second wave, revealed through water boarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was allowed to succeed because KSH was not talking and we weren't forcing the issue, what would the hue and cry have been? Had that happened, the press would not be asking the question of why we engaged in "torture" via water boarding, but would instead be asking why we didn't do everything in our power to find out the information. There would have been Congressional hearings on why exactly we didn't go Jack Bauer on their asses. President Bush would have been accused of being weak and unable to protect the United States.
Because the attack didn't happen, people have the audacity to second guess the CIA and the President in a very tough situation. If the attack had happened, what interrogation methods would have been called for?
Do we really value our lofty values and principles more than the lives of our citizens? If you find that another 3,000 Americans could be killed, is standing on your principles really the right thing to do? Personally, if I thought somebody had that knowledge, I'd be prepared to do way more than water board them. I'd far rather save lives than say we don't torture.
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