President Obama personally ordered the release of some CIA memos on tough interrogation techniques in play after the 9/11 attack, and I say good. I want a national debate on the issue.
Here are the headlines Friday in The New York Times and The Washington Post. The Times opining: "Memos Spell Out Brutal CIA Mode of Interrogation." The Post bannering: "New Interrogation Details Emerge." Quite a difference, right?
The Times takes the far-left view that any rough stuff is torture. That newspaper wants no coerced interrogation at all. If you go beyond posing questions in an even voice, you are torturing, according to The Times.
Although a left-leaning paper as well, The Washington Post at least presents both sides of the story and does not use editorial opinions in its headlines, as The Times did Friday.
By the way, that is a breech of journalistic standards. I'm sure the Columbia Journalism Review will point that out in its next edition.
The debate is fairly simple. No rough stuff at all, as opposed to the limited use of harsh techniques which have produced lifesaving information.
According to the memos, water-boarding was used on just three people and produced good intel. A doctor was standing by during the process, which lasted less than 40 seconds. Sleep deprivation, cold rooms, and the threat of a caterpillar were also used on captured terrorists — about 30 of them — the CIA questioned.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal Friday, former CIA Chief Michael Hayden and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey say:
"The (harsh) techniques themselves were used selectively against only a small number of hard-core prisoners who successfully resisted other forms of interrogation, and then only with the explicit authorization of the director of the CIA ... fully half of the government's knowledge about the structure and activities of Al Qaeda came from those interrogations."
But the Obama administration now says it will not use those techniques. So if Americans are killed again by terrorists, the process of striking back will obviously be much harder.
It is your duty as citizens to make the call here.
The left-wing media has sold the world a brutal falsehood: that we are a torture nation, that the USA indiscriminately and sadistically harmed human beings on a massive scale. The New York Times and NBC News have made a campaign out of this propaganda.
To his credit, President Obama has shut down any mechanism that would allow a witch hunt over harsh interrogations. But it is clear that the president is playing to his committed left-wing base by sympathizing somewhat with the witch-hunters.
It is the president's job to protect Americans from harm, and like him or not, President Bush did that after 9/11. It remains to be seen whether Mr. Obama's anti-terror vision will be more effective.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Late Friday afternoon, Captain Richard Phillips arrived back home in Vermont. As you may know, the captain gave himself up to those pirates so his crew members could remain free. Then he was dramatically rescued by Navy SEALs.
This is a terrific story. Hopefully we'll be able to talk to the captain next week, and he is definitely a patriot.
On the pinhead front, 59-year-old Ann Bruno, who runs a costume shop in Rhode Island, has been charged with cyber-stalking one of her competitors. When a local TV news crew went to ask Ms. Bruno about it, here's what happened:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wanted to ask you about the — OK, seriously, ma'am, I wanted to ask you about the police charging you with cyber-stalking.
ANN BRUNO, COSTUME SHOP OWNER: What does that mean?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to take the bunny head off, please?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to take that mask off, please?
BRUNO: My name is Bootsy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you please take the mask off, please?
BRUNO: This isn't a mask. I'm Bootsy. Bootsy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Hope she shows up to court that way. And I think it's safe to say Ms. Bruno is a pinhead, and so are the masks.
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org