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  • Obama's Elimination of CIA Detainee Program Puts Americans in Danger

    President Barack Obama

    Between the 9/11 terrorist attack and the inauguration of Barack Obama, the CIA’s detention and interrogation program yielded intelligence that foiled several terrorist attacks, according to author Mark Thiessen. That program, according to Thiessen, uncovered plots for attacks on high-rise apartment buildings; the U.S. Marine Camp in Djibouti, the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles – the tallest building on the West Coast; and London’s Heathrow Airport and downtown buildings.

    On the second day of Barack Obama’s presidency, he signed an executive order ending the CIA program. Marc A. Thiessen, author of Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama is Inviting the Next Attack. explained why this decision compromises American security at a Heritage Foundation event on February 23.

    Obama claims that his Executive Order #13491 put an end to “torture,” even though the Bush Administration had already taken waterboarding off the table by 2003. The interrogation techniques Obama eliminated by his Executive Order included “the facial hold, attention grasp, tummy slap, facial slap, a diet of liquid Ensure and mild sleep deprivation (a maximum of four consecutive days).” According to Thiessen, none of these methods constitute torture, or even inflict more suffering than training for a typical high school football team.

    Critics say the interrogation techniques cannot yield good intelligence because the detainees will say anything to satisfy the interrogators. This criticism fails to understand the function of the CIA interrogations. Interrogators asked the detainee for information they already knew until he answered truthfully, demonstrating that he was ready to cooperate. Once the detainee begins cooperating, the interrogation ends and the debriefing begins.

    Abu Zubaydah, a key al-Qaeda operative captured in Pakistan in March of 2002, was the first of only three terrorist detainees to be waterboarded. Afterward, he actually thanked the CIA for waterboarding him, and encouraged it to waterboard other terrorist detainees. He explained that waterboarding had lifted from his shoulders a moral burden.

    Since terrorists believe Allah is ultimately destined to win, they are free to provide information to interrogators once they have made an effort to resist. This means that detainees will cooperate with interrogators once they have been given something to resist. Two-thirds of the 100 or so CIA detainees did not even need enhanced interrogation techniques to convince them they had fulfilled their duty to Allah.

    Only three required waterboarding. One was 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who initially refused to talk. After being waterboarded, he lectured interrogators on al-Qaeda operations with a chalkboard full of diagrams. The information that he and other detainees provided saved thousands of lives, and that’s what the CIA’s critics have to deny, Thiessen said.

    If they can’t knock down the effectiveness of the program, then they have to admit that the cost of their position would be thousands and thousands of dead people, men, women, and children, if we hadn’t waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. And they won’t admit that, because it makes them monsters, and they want to paint us as the monsters. To argue that we should have sacrificed those lives in order to spare Khalid Sheikh Mohammed the experience of waterboarding, which is not torture, that’s the monstrous argument.

    Kelly Miller currently is a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Obama's Elimination of CIA Detainee Program Puts Americans in Danger

    1. Alex, Washington DC says:

      This blog post just reinforces further my opinions about Obama – that his policies have made this country more vulnerable to further attacks, and that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the policies of President Bush when it comes to detaining and interrogating dangerous terrorists. Kelly, a well-researched article.

    2. Bobbie Jay says:

      This man is a crazed fool. He admits he isn't big government and yet he does nothing to stop it's growth? He increases it? He is wasting dollar after dollar clearly destroying the economy and the dollar. He is putting the innocent lives of Americans in danger with his big government. He punishes those who have worked their way to earn their pay! He opens the door to more American vulnerability. He is mentally unstable! He is incapable of acting according to the truth. His skill is to distort, manufacture crisis', destroy lifestyles that mind their own. This country, Americans doesn't deserve this. His removal will remedy much! He is also provoking violence as he remains as ignorant, as he exists.

    3. Neel123 says:

      Muslim terrorism is no longer an Afghan issue. It has assumed the proportion of a well doctrinated global phenomenon, fuelled and sustained primarily by the elements in Pakistan and Saudi Arbia. These hardline muslims are barbarians that deserve no civil treatment.

      The US is being led on the wrong path by its associates in Pakistan. It is committing a grave mistake in its hour of crunch by trying to appease the muslim world, by eleminating CIA's detainee program.

      The whole world is watching, and Americans will never be safer that way. Time will prove that this was one of the series of mistakes that led to its downfall in the 21st century.

    4. Anne Claire Brown says:

      Dear Kelly,

      I am soooo proud of you. We were just talking about you and your work in DC at girls club last night. Rachel is in my small group. She regularly brings you up as a prayer request. I think she is very proud of her big sister.

      Keep up the great work.

      Suzie has just been offered a scholarship to study Chinese in Taiwan this summer. She will go directly to Beijing afterwards for a semester with Calvin's program there.

      All the best,

      Anne Brown

    5. Donald,North Carolin says:

      He is a "DANGER TO THIS COUNTRY" in every way!!

    6. M. Delphia Block, La says:

      The 9-11 Report stated that the attack on the WTC and the Pentagon was to protest the presence of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia and our support for Israel. Bin Laden pressed Mohammad to stage the attacks as early as mid-2000 after Ariel Sharon offended many Muslims by visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. He tried to accelerate the operation again when he learned Sharon would be visiting the White House in June or July 2001. We have removed our U.S. forces from Saudi Arabia and it would be prudent to stop supporting Israel if that support encourages another terrorist attack on our country! To jeopardize our security by supporting Israel is un-American!

      Bin Laden was not ambiguous about the reasons for the 9-11 attack. We addressed one of his stated reasons – ‘we removed our forces from Saudi Arabia.’ Instead of addressing the second stated reason – ‘our support for Israel,’ our freedoms have been diminished through the PATRIOT ACT, which is un-American and citizens are being murdered and abused at airports by security personnel, telephone companies are providing information on customers, i.e., warrantless eavesdropping program for which they are seeking immunity, etc. This is unacceptable! Most of those who are eroding our cherished freedoms didn't fight nor sacrifice for those freedoms. Our freedoms are not theirs to squander.

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