The Corner

Waterboarding Bad, Assassination Good

So, as NBC News’ Michael Isikoff reports, according to an Obama/Holder Justice Department memo, it’s okay for the U.S. government to authorize the extrajudicial killing of American citizens who are believed to be senior operational leaders of al-Qaeda, even if there’s no intelligence that they’re involved in an active plot against the U.S. According to Jay Carney, such killing is “legal, ethical, and wise.”

On the other hand, it’s inarguably torture and a war crime to waterboard a non-citizen who’s the confirmed No. 2 leader of al-Qaeda and who actually planned the most horrific terrorist attack in American history. CIA officers involved in enhanced interrogations are kept in fear of possible criminal prosecution for years by the same Obama/Holder Justice Department. The author of memos on the legality of enhanced interrogation (the felicitously named “torture memos”) is the subject of endless vitriol and opprobrium from the Left. Leftist foreign leaders call for the arrest of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld as war criminals. And if you depict waterboarding in a movie without explicitly condemning such waterboarding as torture most heinous, you don’t get an Oscar.

Got it. When engaged in wet work, make sure it’s the permanent kind. And that the rest of your policies are favored by the Left.

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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