December 18, 2014

Waterboarded or Vaporized?

Victor Davis Hanson: “Most people would prefer to be waterboarded than vaporized. Drones blow up everybody nearby. Waterboarding does not affect other nearby prisoners who are not being interrogated. If the wrong suspect is waterboarded, he can be exempt from further such interrogation. If the wrong target is blown up, he has no second chance. Did saving American lives distinguish between the two practices? We do not know. But the suspects incinerated by drones never had any opportunity to be interrogated. Their knowledge of terrorist networks went up in smoke with them. However, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the waterboarded mastermind of 9/11, may have offered information about several supposed copy-cat operations to follow. Was President George W. Bush more nonchalant about enhanced interrogation techniques than was President Obama about drone killings? Not really. The charge against Bush is one of laxity. Supposedly, CIA interrogators freelanced without proper executive-branch supervision. In contrast, Obama is said to go over the drone hit list himself. In 2010, Obama publicly joked about sending predator drones after any would-be suitors of his two daughters: ‘But boys, don’t get any ideas. Two words for you: predator drones. You will never see it coming.’ He also reportedly bragged to aides of his stepped-up drone program, ‘Turns out I’m really good at killing people.’”

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