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« Tom at Quantico | Main | China's insularity is bad for them, good for the US »
6:47AM

Obama Targets Jack Bauer, but Who Takes the Fall?

The closer you read the newly released CIA reports and read into the Justice Department's torture probe, the more you realize nothing much is going to come of them -- except more enemies for the inheritor-in-chief.

Continue reading today's World War Room column at Esquire.com.

Reader Comments (7)

Tom,

Why can't the current President and his advisers get their heads around the fact that they won?Election over. Bush not in charge. All Bush cronies lecturing or doing whatever it is that they do.Launching this investigation will do nothing but make things worse for the people out on the sharp end and cloud up any issues, criminal or otherwise, related to terrorism prosecutions or intel collection.

We need the intel and occasionally have to resort to odd or extra ordinary means to get it. It sucks but it just is.

Launching this probe will more than guarantee a conservative sweep in upcoming elections, especially coupled with the heatlthcare issue. (Which personally I'm not opposed too.)

Keeping the country safe means, from time to time, getting your hands dirty. Now accept the fact that the rest of the world plays by different rules and get over it.
August 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMark Fragale
Personally I'm quite conflicted by all of this.

I mean how can we, as a nation actually assign criminal blame to, well, criminal acts that so many were complicit in? A fairly large chunk of our system failed as this happened.
August 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDirk2112
I still haven't seen any indication that any intelligence actually came out of these "enhanced interrogations." The IG report seems to refer to the memos Cheney previously alluded to, but they seem to indicate that whatever valuable intelligence came from these detainees was the product of conventional interrogations, not torture. One thing seems clear: the CIA agents were lousy torturers, which is to their credit. If we look at authoritarian regimes that practice torture, they don't generally do it to get information. They do it to terrorize political opponents and to extract sham "confessions" for use as propaganda. The North Vietnamese did not torture John McCain because they wanted to find out about US operations - they did it to force him to make statements they could use for propaganda. I remain troubled because I don't really understand what was going on here, and most troubling of all, what was Cheney's involvement with it. And why is Cheney the one who keeps dragging this subject into the public eye, like a kid poking a stick at a beehive.
August 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstuart abrams
When I finally got around to reading Alistair Horne's, A Savage War of Peace - Algeria 1954 - 1962, that, aside from being the definitive work on that war IMO, really nails the tortuous, pardon the pun, ambiguity of torture.
August 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam H Standley
I’m with Stuart here – all of this angst generated and for what really. I’m still a student in these matters but most of what I have read by those who have been there and done it dictates that if you hurt someone badly enough, scare them enough or defile them in whatever way they will tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to here.

We need less power drills and more George Smiley’s
August 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Sutton
Part of the issue is that the AG had to launch an investigation after he read the IG report. He could not, in good conscious, fudge over law breaking -- which was the hallmark of the Gonzales years.
August 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRick Price
I usually agree with your viewpoint Tom or I should say, usually your viewpoint educates me but, I'm having a hard time seeing your side of this other than it being a calculation. Which, I understand given the politics of this situation. Perhaps you can explain how this freezes any agency? Given what I've read, nothing that has been gained from interrogation was gained using anything near what is in question. And what was in question is now explicitly forbidden.

I understand the fear of "potential" wrong doing creating a constraint on action but, everything I've seen simply supports the productive actions that were already AOK.

And dangit! - I want someone in power to hang for this!

Which..umm... may be clouding my judgment slightly.
August 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMark Denney

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