Is Obama moving away from interrogation reform?

posted at 9:50 am on November 15, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

One of the few points of agreement between the two presidential candidates came on the issue of interrogation techniques.  Both Barack Obama and John McCain want to have greater restrictions on the use of harsh techniques, although they differed on a bill that would have placed the CIA under the same set of restrictions as the Department of Defense.  Now, though, aides to Obama now hint that Obama may not agree to using the Army field manual as the outer limit of CIA interrogation techniques:

Although Obama issued a statement during the campaign supporting the idea of applying the Army field manual interrogation standard to all agencies, not just the Pentagon, a senior campaign adviser to Obama left the door open to applying another standard.

“He [believes] torture not be allowed in any form or fashion in any part of the federal government, and he would make sure that was the case,” said John Brennan, who served under former CIA chief George J. Tenet in a variety of capacities at a time when the agency has since acknowledged it waterboarded a small number of terror suspects.

“Whether the Army field manual is comprehensive enough to cover all those tactics and techniques, that’s something I think he’d look to his national security advisers for,” Brennan said in an interview with CQ in August.

The Wall Street Journal, citing a “current government official familiar with the transition,” reported this week that “Obama may decide he wants to keep the road open in certain cases for the CIA to use techniques not approved by the military, but with much greater oversight.”

In February, the national media castigated John McCain for supposedly betraying his opposition to torture when he opposed the Dianne Feinstein bill that would have imposed the AFM as the gold standard for non-torture.  Columnists around the country accused McCain of pandering to the Republican base after having wrapped up the nomination for all intents and purposes.  They attacked his honor without understanding the issues involved in that particular bill and what it would mean for intelligence gathering.

Forcing the CIA to adhere to the AFM would have done much more than forbid waterboarding, which the CIA stopped using in 2003 anyway.  It went as far as blocking the CIA from using barking dogs to intimidate detainees, as just one example of a number of methods.  As I wrote in February, if you could save one life by having a dog bark at a detainee, would you do it? For Pete’s sake, who wouldn’t?  The AFM is not the ur-text of non-torture, and it’s designed for military intelligence, not overall intelligence efforts — and identifying it publicly as the outer limits of interrogation technique makes it very easy for our enemies to train against it.

If Obama now agrees with McCain on this issue, that’s an improvement — but will the press treat Obama like they treated McCain?  Will they start talking about him as though he was the reincarnation of the Marquis de Sade and Vidkun Quisling rolled up into one person?  The MoveOn/Code Pink fringe certainly will, especially after his reversal on FISA reform this summer, on which the media largely gave him a pass.

I suspect they will give him a pass on this occasion, too.  And that will speak volumes about their dishonest and vitriolic attacks on McCain in February, smearing his honor for partisan political purposes.


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I suspect they will always give him a pass. I truly can’t think of one thing that could happen that would tarnish the luster in the eyes of the faithful. Seriously, not one thing.

Cindy Munford on November 15, 2008 at 9:55 AM

The difference is that McCain would have reformed interrogation for enemy combatants captured on the battlefield.

Dear Leader will allow these techniques only on racists and hatemongers who oppose his policies. First up is Joe the Plumber.

rbj on November 15, 2008 at 9:57 AM

Cindy Munford on November 15, 2008 at 9:55 AM

Not even when Rev Wright and Bill Ayers spend the night in the Lincoln bedroom!

anniekc on November 15, 2008 at 9:59 AM

Cindy Munford on November 15, 2008 at 9:55 AM

Well not everyone voted for him because of some MoveOn fantasy world view that Obama would be the left wing’s dream president. I personally welcome every tidbit of news that shows Obama as willing to concede where his campaign ideas were wrong, given the flood of new information he is receiving as president elect. If anything, it shows he is willing to accept facts on the ground, not hunker down behind ideological positions. This, along with his keeping many senior intel staff on board, picking ideological centrists like rahm and podesta and (hopefully) clinton, is a good sign.

however, plenty of far left idiots will see this and cry, see an unwillingness to rescind the PATRIOT ACT and cry, see keeping Robert Gates on as SecDef and cry, cry cry cry all they want it wont make a president with a real mandate listen to them.

ernesto on November 15, 2008 at 10:00 AM

Oh they’ll give him a pass for sure. The press will just say “The One” now see’s what a dangerous world it really is.

I’m sure after meeting with W, Ol Barry has a new respect for the nature of the threats (daily) against this nation.

You’ll see him tack rightward on this stuff real soon. Of course the socialization of all things economic will continue full speed ahead though.

Tim Zank on November 15, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Uh oh, looks like Kos might have to “Primary Him” in 2012…

dglenn on November 15, 2008 at 10:01 AM

This is so crazy. Other Countries torture very brutally. We have to have a form of torture. Sorry, I am maybe a tad mean. But torture is important. Water Boarding is not a bad form of torture. Other Countries and do worse, maim, and even kill our Soldiers. We don’t do that.

sheebe on November 15, 2008 at 10:03 AM

but will the press treat Obama like they treated McCain?

Not in our lifetime. As for the “torture” option, he may need to have it to use on detractors, if you know what I mean. ;)
Gird your loins.

beththebaker on November 15, 2008 at 10:05 AM

sheebe on November 15, 2008 at 10:03 AM

Sheebe, you aren’t mean, just practical… and you have mail, btw.

beththebaker on November 15, 2008 at 10:06 AM

You know, you should keep a running board of every promise and stated position which Obama supports or which were on his campaign site(yes I know he can hold mutually exclusive positions simultaneously with somersault and triple twist) and just tick them off as they go by the way side. Would be interesting to recall his words vis-a-vis his actions in 4 years time.

saint on November 15, 2008 at 10:07 AM

If this is true, it’s a good sign. No matter what we might think of Obama generally, it’s in everybody’s interest that he gets the big things right in re national security.

Mr. D on November 15, 2008 at 10:07 AM

Don’t hold your breath waiting for the “press” to point out any inconsistancies in the messiah’s playbook. They sold out their role as watchdog during this campaign and I don’t see them coming back anytime soon.

Can you imagine how the terrorists must be laughing at us?

Wine_N_Dine on November 15, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Barking dogs are not torture.

Ernesto, where you will see the ideology will be in social issues: abortion, gay rights (with commensurate loss of relgious and civic rights) etc

saint on November 15, 2008 at 10:09 AM

Looks like Obama is making good use of the backpedal feature since he has now graduated to the two-wheeler.

sherry on November 15, 2008 at 10:14 AM

The media has much more important things to worry about than requiring Obama be true to his campaign promises. F’instance,…until the question of the type of new puppy for the Obama kids is settled, everything else is on the back burner, except, or course, continual trashing of Governor Palin.

a capella on November 15, 2008 at 10:15 AM

Those spoiled brats in the media wouldn’t want to criticize their messiah, would they?

Metro on November 15, 2008 at 10:16 AM

sheebe on November 15, 2008 at 10:03 AM

You forgot the “ayers” is not a bad guy diatribe… which leads to:

Not even when Rev Wright and Bill Ayers spend the night in the Lincoln bedroom!

anniekc on November 15, 2008 at 9:59 AM

Right on.

beththebaker on November 15, 2008 at 10:17 AM

Obambi has already a new interrogation policy in place. It’s called the “Joe the plumber” technique. He will be soft on terrorists, but don’t nobody ever ask THE ONE any tough question.. or else you will be “Joe the Plumbered” until you submit to the Dear Leader and his Red Guards. :(

poxoma on November 15, 2008 at 10:17 AM

Change!

swami on November 15, 2008 at 10:18 AM

Phew. Well looks like he will be OK after all. I was worried for nothing.

When does American Idol start?

angryed on November 15, 2008 at 10:20 AM

As I wrote in February, if you could save one life by having a dog bark at a detainee, would you do it? For Pete’s sake, who wouldn’t?

Who wouldn’t? Idiots on the Left….At least until their guy is in office. Then some of them might have an epiphany regarding common sense

tgharris on November 15, 2008 at 10:21 AM

Elected Democrats have pulled a nifty trick the past 7 years. Exploit fear and hatred of Bush, and in many cases fan that hatred. All the while letting Bush continue policies from Gitmo to Iraq. All the while screaming on how evil Bush is. Now in power they will no longer have that luxury, of course they will blame Bush for any problems they have.

rob verdi on November 15, 2008 at 10:22 AM

I think that we are about to learn that when a man is responsible for the safety of an entire nation, he has to make some unpleasant decisions.

The reasons Obama would approve of tough interrogation techniques would be for national safety. Of course, Bush and Cheney allowed them because they hate brown people.

MayBee on November 15, 2008 at 10:25 AM

Obama will give a press conference regarding his decision on the matter,.. the press might give a slight slap on the wrist.. but will express their opinions as in, ‘the way Obama says it, it sounds okay’

DaveC on November 15, 2008 at 10:25 AM

saint on November 15, 2008 at 10:09 AM

Well seeing as those are the issues I care the least about…that doesnt worry me all that much. But its yet to be seen just how much actual traction we’ll see on some of those social issues. Im beginning to believe that those issues never gain traction on either side, regardless of whose in power. Sure Bush RAN on some of those issues, but once in office and even with congressional majorities he never actually made any MOVES on those issues. Shyt he even appointed 2 judges and couldnt get movement on roe. I call red herring on those issues…when i actually see movement on those issues in a detrimental direction ill believe the hype.

ernesto on November 15, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Say anything, promise anything, promise to change everything: whatever it takes to get elected. After that, new ballgame.
The voters chickens are going to come home to roo-o-o-o-ost!
The MSM was complicit. So why would they care now?

Yoop on November 15, 2008 at 10:29 AM

One of the new torture techniques will be forcing combatants to listen to Susan Estritch 24/7.

They’ll be spilling the beans after 30 minutes, tops!

What a voice…

kingsjester on November 15, 2008 at 10:30 AM

anniekc on November 15, 2008 at 9:59 AM

Nope. Not that I think it will happen but I don’t think anyone will care.

ernesto on November 15, 2008 at 10:00 AM

I never thought he would make sweeping changes in the way State and Defense handle their duties. I have always suspected the first full blown National Security Update would be a WTF moment. Now if he attempts to reduce the spending levels on Defense to achieve social goals, we have a problem. It is not in my own self interest or our country’s that this man fail. That being said, this improving the economy from “the bottom up” is crap. And I wish I was good at math because I have a feeling the government would have gotten more bang for the buck if they had just given every tax paying adult a lump sum of money, a substantial lump of money, and allow them to fix their own financial problems. At least it’s their own money. We are doing some incredibly retarded things, that I, in my unlawyer like way, think might be illegal and we just can’t seem to stop DC from doing more.

Cindy Munford on November 15, 2008 at 10:30 AM

MayBee on November 15, 2008 at 10:25 AM

Do you really think Obama cares about national safety? Only thing Obama cares about is Obama.

angryed on November 15, 2008 at 10:31 AM

kingsjester on November 15, 2008 at 10:30 AM

lol… you are too funny, KingJ!

beththebaker on November 15, 2008 at 10:33 AM

kingsjester on November 15, 2008 at 10:30 AM

Now, now, it’s not like she can help the way her voice sounds. I like her. As a matter of fact, the libs the FOX employs at least give me a clue as to why people believe the stuff they believe. Of course it is probably not good to have that nonsense sound rational but I am past the age of being fooled.

Cindy Munford on November 15, 2008 at 10:35 AM

beththebaker on November 15, 2008 at 10:33 AM

Thankyaverymuch…

I’m a second-generation smart aleck. With almost a half-century of practice.

I agree there are some things Barry will not be able to do. But don’t forget he will have San Fran Nan and Dingy Harry backing him up. We are facing some INTERESTING times.
We all need to keep our chins up and our faith strong.

kingsjester on November 15, 2008 at 10:39 AM

Cindy Munford on November 15, 2008 at 10:30 AM

And i dont disagree. We’ve yet to see what actual moves he makes on any of these issues…but given his willingness to respect facts on the ground with regards to defense and intelligence, i’m optimistic he will recognize that priorities have shifted and his tax plan will have to be put on hold. however, this is a time in the world in which no one, conservative or liberal, has proven answers guaranteed to solve the worlds problems. let us recommend and analyze, but be careful not to get blinded by ideology if the facts read otherwise. it may turn out that the bailout is just what the financial world needed to keep it afloat and allow the G20 the opportunity to reshape the global economy. it may turn out that federal investment in things like renewed infrastructure produces high returns in jobs and efficiency. we just cant know for sure.

ernesto on November 15, 2008 at 10:41 AM

One of the new torture techniques will be forcing combatants to listen to Susan Estritch 24/7.

They’ll be spilling the beans after 30 minutes, tops!

What a voice…

kingsjester on November 15, 2008 at 10:30 AM

It makes me leave the room immediatly. I’d request waterboarding instead.

thomasaur on November 15, 2008 at 10:42 AM

Disclaimer: I’m a soldier in the US Army, and I speak only as a private citizen, not as a representative of the military in any form.

I, for one, hope that the US Field Manual on HUMINT gathering techniques becomes the SOP, not because of how we treat prisoners in detention centers, but because of how citizens in countries where we are boots on ground operating view the flag soldiers wear on their sleeve. Gen. Petraeus pointed out that citizens in Iraq were only willing to help when we hold the moral high ground in an absolute and unequivocal fashion. And commanders from the top to the bottom talk about how powerful a citizen with a cell phone is in the era of guerilla warfare.
So while I’ll agree that things like waterboarding aren’t “as bad” as beating a man to within an inch of his life, in the eyes of the citizenry, whose co-operation is required in order to mount successful counterinsurgency efforts, it might as we be as bad.

Spc Steve on November 15, 2008 at 10:47 AM

ernesto on November 15, 2008 at 10:41 AM

I can’t promise that I won’t let ideology get in the way, I have that little guiding light called The Constitution of the United States of America.

Cindy Munford on November 15, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Spc Steve on November 15, 2008 at 10:47 AM

99.9% of the time we will never be sorry for doing the right thing. You are there and I won’t argue with you.

Cindy Munford on November 15, 2008 at 10:52 AM

This is getting interesting!

Are the lefties building Obama puppets and printing up Obama=Hitler t-shirts?

Delicious!

PattyJ on November 15, 2008 at 10:57 AM

A terrorist thug should have no rights as compared to an enemy combatant, who should have the rights bestowed per the Geneva Convention. Terrorists used to be executed. Have we gotten that humane? What if one has information on the bomb that could wipe out 10 million people? To me it is ludacris to compare the rights of 10 million people to those of a terrorist. Don’t give me the BS that they have rights too; they forfeited them when they doned the terorist lifestyle. Give me a break….

DL13 on November 15, 2008 at 10:58 AM

I suspect they will give him a pass on this occasion, too. And that will speak volumes about their dishonest and vitriolic attacks on McCain in February, smearing his honor for partisan political purposes.

The press is partisan and dishonest? Quoi? Color me shocked!

HawaiiLwyr on November 15, 2008 at 10:58 AM

What! And risk losing the love and support of Andrew Sullivan?

Mr. Joe on November 15, 2008 at 11:03 AM

HawaiiLwyr on November 15, 2008 at 10:58 AM

The next thing you’ll be saying is that Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann are NOT objective reporters.

Quel surprise!

kingsjester on November 15, 2008 at 11:09 AM

Obama is putting people in place so he doesn’t have to do anything…I know the type. He is a campaigner that is all. he will avoid everything at all costs.

tomas on November 15, 2008 at 11:24 AM

The media will give Obama a pass on anything.
He probably knows that and will use it to his advantage.
Also in the works:
-Ignore Pelosi and Reid – check.

-Ignore Hillary – check.

-Send Biden on a 4-year, world tour to got to funerals of heads of state – check.

-Use huge data base of supporters and internet to go around the media (Obama will be known as the “YouTube” President – he will regularly speak directly to the people via the internet by passing the media)- check.

Obama seems to always abandon the horse he rode on and get on a new one.

albill on November 15, 2008 at 11:31 AM

Another double standard…Unacceptable!

mindhacker on November 15, 2008 at 11:42 AM

In the Wars that we have been involved in during the last 60 years, we are the only ones that have prescibed to the Geneva Convention. On top of that, when the Communists took over a country they executed millions of civilians that had opposed them or were educated. 30 million in Russia, 50 million in China, 2 million in Vietnam and Cambodia; the list goes on but I don’t have the numbers in front of me. Was this humane teatment?

DL13 on November 15, 2008 at 11:45 AM

DL13 on November 15, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Disclaimer: Military servicemember, speaking as private citizen, not representing the military in any way, shape, or form. I really need to get a script that says this.

Sounds like someone is mad that we don’t break the Geneva Convention. “It’s not fair! Why don’t we ever get to maim, torture, or kill anyone?!”

Someone said higher up the thread that 99.9% of the time, we won’t be sorry for doing the right thing. So we agree that the right thing is to not torture people. I figure you’re only off by .1%

Spc Steve on November 15, 2008 at 12:13 PM

As a former intel professional, I speak as a private citizen, and find this public discussion and disclosure and proposed “limits” to what the intel community can do and not do fairly inane.

First of all…having the entire intel community compelled to adhere to an Army Field Manual is laughable. I have in my hands the official 1914 Army Field Service Regulations…and there is a lot of what we did in WWI, just a few short years later, that became obsolete within days of our arrival in France. Cavalry tactics? Handling of mules? No privision at all for POW’s except to turn them over to the Red Cross or sanitary service units?

The second point is that an enemy not knowing entirely before engaging the US in the field what will happen to him should he become a captee, well, it certainly makes their job a whole lot more palatable.

Fear of the unknown, outside of torture, but having in the back of one’s mind that torture “might” be encountered, makes for a cooperative captee who might have been previously steeled to resist.

Three captees were waterboarded. Three. Out of hundreds and hundreds.

Other means of persuasion worked on most of the rest. One of the attributes of most of the captees from Iraq and Afghanistan, and a few other places, was that once confronted by US military personnel and disarmed and moved from the battle zone, they sang like canaries…why?

Another point is that the Army, as part of DoD, has no authority over the rest of the intel community. Yes, the latest FM is an improvement over previously disseminated FM’s, but it is not an end-all be-all. It, too, is subject to revision. But, if the entire intel community is compelled by law to adhere ONLY to the Army standard, no matter how well presented, where is the possibility of innovation, of exercising field expediency? Most of our professional interrogators are just that…professional. Most have enough psychology training to provide them with graduate degrees in the subject. One has to understand psychology, culture, and what drives the captee sitting in front of you in order to use his weaknesses to produce desired results.

A fear of dogs? Why not? If proscribing the use of barking dogs is torture, then we’d better round up every pit bull, Rotweiller, and German Shepherd across America…in police use and in civilian personal protection roles…and punish the owners. Fear. Fear of the unknown. A captee not knowing what is going to happen to him immediately after capture and later on in the EPW process has to surmount his personal fears in order to prevail in interrogation. Being able to use those fears against him, or assuage his fears in a step process in response to his cooperation is a technique that for decades has worked very well and still does. Incentive to cooperate and using the fear of the unknown are effective. But why boradcast to an enemy what our step by step process is going to be?

If a captee in a present war or future war is a soldier or member of an organized military organization then the fullness of Geneva is to be expected. But most of the captees at Gitmo and other locations are not soldiers…under Geneva, they are bandits, brigands, terrorists and out laws. Thus, no Geneva provisions are compelled.

In all this several years’ discussion, while the pundits and bloggers have talked about how bad “torture” is…and real torture is bad, very bad…I have yet to see any cogent alternatives as to how to obtain time sensitive actionable intelligence from a captee who is not covered by Geneva, and whose silence can cost American and allied lives.

Other than “hope” and “change” please provide workable alternatives to address the issue…obtaining time sensitive actionable intelligence from reluctant or recalcitrant captees where American lives are at stake.

Obama would be best served if he were to actually address the issue ONLY after careful review of ALL information from ALL sources within the USG instead of acting on public pressure or news media or blogs.

If he does…then we can be better served in the long run. If he chose to go the “hope” and “change” route…without actually being briefed on the issue from all sources within USG…well, next time….well, there may not be a next time, as it will be too late.

coldwarrior on November 15, 2008 at 12:29 PM

When I woke up this morning and read the headline at first I thought it said “Immigration” instead of interrogation. That was exciting for a few seconds.

What Ed says here is 100% right.

The Dean on November 15, 2008 at 12:29 PM

Dear Leader will allow these techniques only on racists and hatemongers who oppose his policies. First up is Joe the Plumber.
rbj on November 15, 2008 at 9:57 AM

You beat me to it. That was my first thought on the subject.

LegendHasIt on November 15, 2008 at 2:48 PM

Is it really torture if the captors know that whichever treatment is utilized, that the prisoner cannot possibly be hurt?? For instance, threatening to smear the captive with pig grease and throw him back among the other prisoners to bear his “shame”…Absolutely no physical damage is done to the individual…Mental anguish, sure, but just being a prisoner is anguish…asking very precise questions, personal or tactical is mental anguish…Lying to one of these killers to make them believe they are about to be harmed is also mental anguish…I don’t think any thing like that is torture

b4lucy on November 15, 2008 at 3:23 PM

” if you could save one life by having a dog bark at a detainee, would you do it? For Pete’s sake, who wouldn’t? ”
Now
substitute “waterboarding a terrorist” for “having a dog bark at a detainee” in the above and you should give the same response. For the sake of our lives, will some people, especially Obama, please grow up?

Chessplayer on November 15, 2008 at 5:13 PM

Barry’ll need to retain every technique once Bush and Cheney are arrested, of course.

He can sell it to the uber-leftoids with that logic.

profitsbeard on November 15, 2008 at 6:28 PM

Do you really think Obama cares about national safety? Only thing Obama cares about is Obama.

angryed on November 15, 2008 at 10:31 AM

I suspect his NSA/CIA/FBI briefings were an eye-opener at the least…

Ares on November 15, 2008 at 7:45 PM

This actually came up during one of the democrat presidential debates and hardly anyone noticed. I’m sure it could be found with relative ease.
 
After all the self-righteous demagoguery surrounding the issue, “my USA doesn’t torture!”, by both Obama and Hillary, neither would commit to ‘excluding the use of alternative interrogation techniques when they became president’ when put on the spot by the moderator. They passed along a jumble of litigious doublespeak to the extent they ‘would reserve the option…’
 
The MSM and outraged public let this blatant hypocrisy evaporate into thin air like magical steam: Obamamiasma. The thrill up their collective legs made any honest criticism impossible.

Peace_Sells... on November 15, 2008 at 9:19 PM

The double standard in media is truly breathtaking. No one should believe a single word MSM says any longer.

Mojave Mark on November 15, 2008 at 11:26 PM


Not even when Rev Wright and Bill Ayers spend the night in the Lincoln bedroom!


Together.

Siddhartha Vicious on November 16, 2008 at 9:41 AM

I’m against torture. Period. It doesn’t work. It validates the enemy’s original perception against us. It validates torture by the enemy of our own. It creates a sweeping spiral of inhumanity among all those who come into contact with it. When we torture, we are no different than those who torture us: Sadists. What, after all, is the point of fighting an enemy by becoming the very enemy we fight. Torturing another creature is immoral and sadistic; in order to do so, one must become a sociopath, or prove oneself to already be a sociopath. There is simply no valid argument in defense of sadism, and certainly not saving a life, for what then is that life even worth, if another human being had to be tortured to save it? We trivialize our faith in God every time we argue such a thing; any despot can say he slaughtered his people in defense of his country. Every conservative should reject torture as a tool for “saving lives.” It’s pathetic.

mountainaires on November 16, 2008 at 9:42 AM

FISA and the Patriot act are Obama bellweathers.

Watch them.

As they go, so goes Obama

drjohn on November 16, 2008 at 10:05 AM

I’m against torture. Period. It doesn’t work. It validates the enemy’s original perception against us. It validates torture by the enemy of our own.

Nonsense. It does work.

It’s not going to get you anything from a low ranking soldier, but it’s going to get you intel from KSM and his ilk.

It did and it was indispensible.

drjohn on November 16, 2008 at 10:06 AM

It validates torture by the enemy of our own.

And one more thing.

When the HELL has the Geneva Convention protected a US soldier?

They’ve been treated so damned well over the last six years by the Taliban, haven’t they?

This is a particularly stupid argument.

The Geneva Convention serves to prevent the US from doing to enemy soldiers what enemy nations do to US soldiers.

The Geneva Convention is just another idiotic liberal feel-good construct.

drjohn on November 16, 2008 at 10:10 AM

drjohn on November 16, 2008 at 10:10 AM

I think they should absolutely write a great policy for the world to see, then keep us safe. After all the stuff that the enemy has done to soldiers and civilians alike I am going to find it really hard to get upset over some deep clean face washing.

Cindy Munford on November 16, 2008 at 10:50 AM

Nonsense. It does work.

It’s not going to get you anything from a low ranking soldier, but it’s going to get you intel from KSM and his ilk.

It did and it was indispensible.

drjohn on November 16, 2008 at 10:06 AM

Someone really bought in to Series 6 of “24″

What is McCain’s view on torture? Might be interesting to know given that he actually was tortured for several years….

Ares on November 16, 2008 at 5:53 PM

As Obama has repeatedly stated, he is a “change from the failed policies of the past”. But silly us–we thought that meant the policies of George W. Bush–Obama meant his campaign promises!

What should we make of a campaign that sounded like Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” that has become the “Great Backtrack to the Middle” once he’s elected? Is it just a headfake until he’s really inaugurated, because the Bush Administration or the lame-duck Republicans in the Senate can still undermine him now?

Or is Obama really getting an education from the Bush Administration during the transition? It was one thing to sway the swooning, adoring masses, half of whom were too drunk or stoned to notice what he was saying, with is eloquence. But now that he’s won the job of President, is he now finding out from those that have been there 8 years that this job is really HARD, that there are real enemies out there that can’t be sweet-talked out of their hatred for this country, who only understand one thing–FORCE? Maybe Obama is finding out that there’s something to this “experience” problem, which he sorely needs. President Clueless on the learning curve.

Although I despise her, I hope Obama does choose Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State. She did criticize Obama’s willingness to sit down with Ahmadinejad and Chavez as “dangerous and naive”, and if she were Secretary of State, she would probably meet with their Foreign Ministers (with Bill Clinton’s advice) and slam the door on any dangerous concessions Obama wants to make.

An Obama Administration, unchecked by Congress, is a train wreck waiting to happen, especially on foreign policy. Brakes are to be appreciated, from whatever source!

Steve Z on November 17, 2008 at 10:28 AM