Debra J. Saunders

But do Democrats really want to ban the potential to use waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques? Already news outlets are reporting on the downside to barring these techniques.

The Washington Post ran a story on the "perilous balancing act to fulfill his pledge to make a clean break with the detention and interrogation policies of the Bush administration while still effectively ensuring the nation's security." Newsweek reported on a Senate vote last year to require that CIA use only interrogation methods from the Army Field Manual: "These are extremely restrictive: strictly speaking, the interrogator cannot ever threaten bodily harm or even put a prisoner on cold rations until he talks. Bush vetoed this measure, not unwisely. As president, Obama may want to preserve some flexibility. (Suppose, for instance, that after a big attack the CIA captured the leader who planned it; there would be enormous pressure to make the terrorist divulge what attack is coming next.)"

Suppose? No need. The CIA waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

Ah, but that was under Bush. With Obama in the White House, the lexicon will change, from "torture" to "flexibility" to interrogate in the interests of national security.

Debra J. Saunders

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