President Who Got Bin Laden Still a Jerk

May 5, 2011

I am as pleased and proud as everyone else that President Obama managed to get Osama bin Laden. It was a day America has been looking forward to for nearly a decade now. Obama deserves a great deal of credit for manning up and ordering the kill. But then…

After a photo-op/victory lap at Ground Zero in New York City today where he glad-handed families of 9-11 victims, the President pointedly snubbed Debra Burlingame, sister of the pilot of the plane which crashed into the Pentagon.

Ms. Burlingame met with the President briefly, congratulated him on his achievement, and then asked him about whether he would suggest to his Attorney General, Eric Holder, that Mr. Holder cease the prosecution of the CIA interrogators who gleaned vital intelligence which ultimately contributed to the finding of Osama bin Laden. In her words:

“As a former attorney I know you can’t tell the Attorney General what to do, he said, ‘No, I can’t.’ And I said, but that shouldn’t stop you from giving your opinion. After all, we wouldn’t be here celebrating today if they hadn’t done their job. And they have the hammer of a possible indictment over their head. Can’t you at least give him your opinion?’ And he said ‘No I won’t,’ and he turned around and walked away.” [Video at the link above]

Or as Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal said in an opinion piece today,

“…[L]et us pause to remember some of this celebrated event’s most forgotten men: the Central Intelligence Agency officers who sit under the cloud of a criminal investigation begun in 2009 by Attorney General Eric Holder into their interrogations of captured terrorists.

“That’s right, the Americans whose interrogation of al Qaeda operatives may have put in motion the death of this mass murderer may themselves face prosecution by the country they were trying to protect.

“It is time for the Holder CIA investigation to end. The death of bin Laden 10 years after 9/11 makes the Holder investigation of the CIA interrogators politically, emotionally and morally moot.

“But it lives.”

What are the chances that Obama will order Holder to drop the investigation into the very people who ensured his success on Sunday?

My guesses: slim, and none.


Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: Reductio Ad Absurdum

May 22, 2009


Yeah, yeah, yeah… The debate rages about Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EIT). And as with all too many debates (no matter how stupid), the answer can be found via “reductio ad absurdum” – the debating technique that destroys a particular opinion by looking at the necessary ramifications of that position.

So let’s say that we catch Bin Laden. Obviously, he’s going to be a treasure trove of info about terrorist activity. I think it’s safe to say that no one will debate that. And once again, it’s obvious that immediate national and global security issues are hanging in the balance. So what do we do to get info out of him? (All you liberals out there… What would you do?) Should we play nice? Keep him warm safe, fed, and well-cared for? Or should we scrape the intel out of the piece of excrement come discomfort or high water (pun intended) and in doing so perhaps save tens of thousands of innocent lives?

Look… If you say that we don’t use future EIT (like waterboarding which we use on our own United States Navy Seals by the way) on folks like Bin Laden, so be it. I think that you’re nuts… But so be it.

On the other hand, if  you do condone EIT’s future use on UBL, but condemn its past use on slime like Khalid Sheik Mohammed (mastermind of 9/11 and braggart who boasts of cutting off reporter Danial Pearl’s head)… Well… Your debate has been reduced to the absurd.


Alan Speakman