Would You Waterboard Someone to Save American Lives?

The battle lines are drawn between Americans who believe that authorities have a responsibility, a responsibility to use tough interrogation methods on captured terror suspects and those who say rough treatment can never be used.

"Talking Points" believes firm legal boundaries must be set, but the president should have the legal authority to order things like waterboarding. For years, opponents of harsh methods have said they don't lead to reliable information. But that is not true.

Last night on ABC News, the CIA agent who supervised the waterboarding of al Qaeda bigshot Abu Zubaydah said the interrogation method broke him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And was it successful?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what happened as a result of that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He resisted. He was able to withstand the waterboarding for quite some time. And by that, I mean, probably 30, 35 seconds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's quite some time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which is quite some time. And a short time afterwards in the next day or so, he told his interrogator that Allah had visited him in his cell during the night, and told him to cooperate because his cooperation would make it easier on the other brothers, who had been captured. And from that day on, he answered every question, just like I'm sitting here speaking to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a willing way?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a willing way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So in your view, the waterboarding broke him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it did, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And did it make a difference in terms of...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It did. The threat information that he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks.


And that means the waterboarding saved lives, perhaps thousands of lives. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was broken the same way. But despite that, some American politicians continue to condemn the procedure.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I would hope that we would understand, my friends, that life is not "24" and Jack Bower. Life is interrogation techniques, which are humane and yet effective.



HARRY REID (D), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Waterboarding is torture. It started in the 1492 inquisition. It's a hideous process. It's something that America should not be associated with.


And that is Democratic line — that's the party line for the Dems. The Republicans are split.

The media, of course, is largely against harsh interrogation methods, but I believe every opponent of waterboarding would use the technique if it would save their children, their spouse, their mother and father from death. So why should other people die while politicians debate ethics?

In my opinion, it is immoral to allow terrorists to kill people when you can stop them. If you capture someone who knows the inner workings of a terror outfit, you make life very uncomfortable for that person within boundaries set by Congress.

But let's stop the nonsense here. America's not a bad country because it waterboarded Zubaydah. The Bush administration has done its job. We haven't been attacked since 9/11.

The liberal press, politicians, the ACLU can't stop any wrongdoing. They're all lost in a fog of misguided indignation, crazy with hatred for Bush, but we the people must take a stand here. This isn't a game. This is life and death. And if you don't believe it, I know scores of people right here in New York City that will tell you about their dead loved ones.

Waterboarding should be a last resort, but it must be an option.

Pinheads and Patriots

As you know, there is no shortage of pinheads in the rock world, but John Ondrasik, a member of Five for Fighting, is giving away 200,000 CDs to American troops. For that, Mr. Ondrasik is a patriot.

On the pinhead front, former Clinton advisor Paul Begala said this.


PAUL BEGALA, FORMER CLINTON ADVISOR: Hillary Clinton in some Republican areas is unpopular. George W. Bush across America, he polled behind several different forms of venereal disease in most of this country. They hate Bush.


Now that kind of gross disrespect for the office of the presidency is now a hallmark of the far-left. Mr. Begala is a pinhead.