Politics & Policy

The True Victims of Torture

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The Democrats, suddenly shocked by the CIA’s tactics, dishonor the people who died on 9/11.

New York — I personally pledge to purchase for the Central Intelligence Agency as much Kleenex as needed so that those whom it waterboards can dry their noses after detailing their plans to exterminate Americans. This signals how little I am bothered by the “torture” alleged in Senate Democrats’ borderline-treasonous “report” on the CIA’s post-September 11 interrogation techniques.

Democrats’ highly convenient collective amnesia has erased their memories of being briefed on these probes. As a giant hole replaced the World Trade Center and Americans feared follow-on attacks, top congressional Democrats did not wail that interrogations of al-Qaeda suspects “are a stain on our values and our history,” as Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) now moans. Instead, top Democrats told the CIA to squeeze these scum even harder.

As the December 9, 2007, Washington Post explained, congressional leaders from both chambers and parties — including then-House Democratic boss Nancy Pelosi of California — received “graphic and detailed” updates on the CIA’s questioning efforts, including waterboarding, as early as September 2002. While then-representative Jane Harman (D., Calif.) counseled caution, the overwhelming response was applause.

“Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing,” Porter Goss, former House intelligence chairman and then director of Central Intelligence from 2004 to 2006, told the Post. “And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement.”

According to an American official who attended these sessions, “The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough.” One official also observed that “there was no objecting, no hand-wringing. The attitude was, ‘We don’t care what you do to those guys as long as you get the information you need to protect the American people.’”

“I can remember going back to hearings and meetings with the Congress back in 2002,” Jose Rodriguez, the CIA’s then-director of clandestine services, told Chris Wallace on the December 14 edition of Fox News Sunday. “Their biggest thing they told me was, ‘You know, your problem is that you guys are risk-averse. You got to go out and use the authorities that you’re given to protect America.’ . . . So, all of these people knew exactly what we were doing.” Rodriguez explained in the December 5 Washington Post that congressional leaders were briefed on these interrogations at least 40 times between 2002 and 2009.

When it came to crushing al-Qaeda, none other than Dianne Feinstein said in May 2002: “We have to do some things that historically we have not wanted to do to protect ourselves.”


It is beyond nauseating to see yesterday’s hard-as-nails Democrats today weep over the discomfort of vermin such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, al-Qaeda’s former military chief. KSM personally orchestrated the incineration of 2,958 innocents on September 11, 2001. Among his other atrocities, KSM brags that he “decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl.”

Despite the Democrats’ claims that “torture” yielded bupkis, waterboarding KSM finally made him talk, after months of answering interrogators’ queries with thoroughly useless quotes from the Koran. Waterboarding enticed KSM to give up Hambali, the mastermind of the October 2002 Bali nightclub bombings. That attack murdered 202 vacationers, including seven Americans, and injured 209 others. Waterboarding encouraged KSM to rat out Iyman Faris. He was busy acquiring welding torches, with which he planned to sever the cables that suspend the Brooklyn Bridge. Waterboarding also inspired KSM to reveal Jemaah Islamiyah’s conspiracy to fly jumbo jets into Los Angeles’ 73-story Library Tower. September 11 — The Sequel was unraveled, thanks to “torture” that Senate Democrats (with backup vocals by GOP Senator John McCain of Arizona) now argue “was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence.”


‐ The word torture recalls those poor souls who were trapped in the Twin Towers as smoke billowed into the sky. Faced with either being burned alive or leaping 100-plus stories onto the sidewalks of New York, scores picked the latter as the less excruciating option.

That is what torture looks like.

‐ The family of FDNY firefighter Michael Ragusa never recovered his body after the 29-year-old was murdered at the World Trade Center on September 11. However, he had donated a vial of blood to the National Marrow Donor Program. That vial was returned to Ragusa’s parents. They placed it in a casket and, thus, laid their son to rest after the 343rd funeral among the 343 FDNY members killed on 9/11.

That is what torture looks like.

‐ In one sense, though, the Ragusas are fortunate. They had something to bury. According to New York City’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner, the loved ones of 1,114 people killed at the World Trade Center never received body parts or anything else from those they mourn. The fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, boyfriends, girlfriends, and best friends who were stolen from them vanished — utterly and completely. These people were vaporized, and nothing whatsoever remains of them. When those who miss them every day wish to leave roses on their graves, they cannot. Each one is a child left behind.

That is what torture looks like.

Too bad Senate Democrats do not seem especially bothered by any of this. Despite being begged by Secretary of State John Kerry to sit on this document, they released it, and Obama applauded as they did so. “I have consistently supported the declassification of today’s report” Obama said on December 9.

The CIA’s so-called “torture” methods that so enrage Democrats included, according to the paper, “facial slap,” “loud noise or music,” “blowing cigarette or cigar smoke into a detainee’s face,” and “using cold water to interrogate detainees.” Also, “The CIA led several detainees to believe they would never be allowed to leave CIA custody alive.”

Wow. This sounds like the Spanish Inquisition.

The Islamic State last week reportedly beheaded four Christian children in Iraq, none older than 15, for declining its invitation to denounce Jesus and convert to Islam. A pro–Islamic State website that endorses such butchery suggested that the terror group “try to acquire the same torture methods used by the CIA against any Western — including American — hostages,” Marwan Khayat of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) told the Washington Times. He added that these Islamic State supporters want these bloodthirsty killers to release videos of such encounters “to show the world what the U.S. is capable of.”

Absent the Democrats’ high-profile document — which numerous authorities implored Democrats to withhold, lest they provide aid and comfort to America’s enemies during wartime — the Islamic State would lack the fresh details needed to mount such a devastating propaganda onslaught.

Furthermore, this manifesto has enraged this country’s enemies in combat. “A Taliban spokesman in Afghanistan told CBS News that the group plans to retaliate by intensifying its attacks against Americans,” the network reported Wednesday.


If anyone anywhere gets injured or killed because of this dangerous, damaging, and now possibly deadly report, the ensuing blood should engulf Feinstein, Obama, and other Democrats who produced this one-sided, partisan attack pamphlet — devoid of interviews with the CIA officers accused of atrocities — and insisted on publicizing it.

This is a snapshot of today’s Democrat party: It is so steeped in political correctness and hostile to American interests that it constitutes a clear and present danger to this republic. In November 2016, American voters should remember this key moment and dispatch Democrats to the same political oblivion to which the Whigs were relegated by 1860.

Meanwhile, America’s premier intelligence agency should offer this deal to everyone on Earth: “If you don’t want the CIA to waterboard you, just say, ‘No!’ to jihad.”

— Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor, a contributor to National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.


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