Finally, the Bush administration is fighting back after getting hammered for months over using harsh interrogation methods on captured Al Qaeda big shots after 9/11. Former Vice President Cheney is angry, saying the tactics were necessary to keep Americans safe:
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DICK CHENEY: I have now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was.
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Ultimately, you, the American citizen, have to make the call on this.
I've already done that. Harsh interrogation methods approved by the president alone must be an option when an attack on America is likely. That is my point of view. Human lives are more important than the temporary discomfort of a captured terrorist.
But the far left and much of the media disagree, and they often use smears to defend their point of view. If you support tough interrogation, you are a brutal human rights violator. However, if you support the left-wing view, you are an enlightened good person.
So let's be clear about this. NBC News, The New York Times and many in Congress want only Army Field Manual techniques to be used when questioning terror suspects. That means nothing other than polite conversation. You can't even raise your voice.
When lives are on the line, that strikes me as insanity.
Leading the charge to investigate and possibly prosecute the Bush administration over this controversy are House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Senators Patrick Leahy, Sheldon Whitehouse and Dianne Feinstein. And Tuesday, President Obama said he might support a bipartisan investigation.
"Talking Points" believes that would polarize the country and damage Mr. Obama's presidency big time. I think folks are getting fed up with all this stuff. It is obvious harsh interrogation methods were used to keep Americans safe, but that is rarely acknowledged. And if you disagree with the left in this country, they will attack you.
There will be a backlash against that nonsense, and Mr. Obama should realize it. Prosecuting the Bush people will be a disaster for the president.
It did, however, take the Bush administration far too long to defend itself in this area. Mr. Cheney and the former president should have made their case in a much stronger way a long time ago.
But now the battle lines are drawn, and Americans need to take a side. We are fighting a war. Our lives were in danger after 9/11. That is the context of the interrogation debate. Where are you on it?
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
We like actor Hugh Jackman, an Australian. He seems like a talented guy. And now Mr. Jackman wants to donate $72,000 to charity, so he has asked people to Twitter him with ideas.
Since I do not Twitter, stammer or falter, I can only say to Mr. Jackman, Doctors Without Borders is a terrific charity. For his efforts, Hugh Jackman is a patriot.
On the pinhead front, "Slumdog Millionaire" won Best Picture, but there is a nasty scandal surrounding some people involved in it.
Apparently the father of a little girl who appeared in the movie tried to sell her. Authorities are investigating the man, seen allegedly offering his daughter for sale in an undercover video. After that, a brawl broke out between the girl's mother and stepmother. The birth mother believes the other woman was involved in the attempted sale. So things are not good in "Slumdog" land.
There are a number of pinheads involved.