This week, the Obama administration released top secret documents that outlined the interrogation tactics used by the U.S. on captured terrorists. The administration has defined loud music, sleep deprivation, and a slap on the face as “torture.” This is a tortured definition.
The outcry from the intelligence community has been vociferous. Release of these details will let terrorists know what to expect and how to prepare. The worst action was “waterboarding,” which makes a person feel like he is drowning. According to the documents, it was used on only three persons, all of whom were key Al Qaeda personnel.
In one case, this tactic led to knowledge of a planned attack on Los Angeles, which was thwarted. The individual was not injured by this technique, but he did divulge the plan that could have killed countless more American citizens. Lives were spared.
Nothing the U.S. has done to terrorists really rises to the level of old-fashioned torture. Yet now Obama is contemplating the prosecution of Bush administration officials who decided to use these tactics (a few days after he said he would not do so). There was no law against these interrogation techniques; in fact, both parties were informed ahead of time what might be done, and both approved.
If anyone is prosecuted for carrying out these legal methods of interrogation, it will be tantamount to an ex post facto action—punishing someone for doing something that was not illegal at the time the act was committed. That is specifically banned by the Constitution.
But that’s a document this administration seems to know nothing about. All this will do is embolden terrorists and lead to the loss of more American lives. It is the height of foolishness.
I expected bad things from an Obama administration, but the list of immoral, foolish, and downright dangerous policies has become a steady stream ever since inauguration day. It is worse than I expected.