1) When Democrats talk of coverup and torture, we know they're referring to waterboarding, but the world doesn't know that. People in the Middle East and elsewhere naturally assume that torture is torture -- the kind that al Qaeda was grimly practicing in Muqdadiya and elsewhere. And the more dark insinuations that issue from Capitol Hill and the New York Times, etc., the more certain the rest of the world is that we are doing similar things. I was recently invited, for example, by the Oxford Union in England to debate (for the affirmative) the proposition "Resolved: This House Would Torture to Save Lives." I declined but counter-offered on David Frum's advice to debate "Resolved: This House Believes Terrorists Deserve the Full Protection of the Geneva Conventions." I await their reply.
2) The unending controversy about waterboarding has completely obscured the reality of what is going on at Guantanamo, where inmates are gaining weight on the culturally sensitive diet, having surgeries to repair old injuries, reading their Korans and praying on the U.S.-supplied prayer mats, and conferring with their lawyers while troops of journalists, politicians and human rights activists parade by.
All of this comes against the backdrop of Iraq, where at long last the violence has been contained, al Qaeda is in retreat, and refugees are returning home. If present trends continue, Iraq will not be the failure and disaster for the United States our enemies were hoping for. Could it be that the Democrats too are disappointed, and are seeking in the CIA story another way to undermine the progress?