All I can say is that I am not offended by the authorized techniques laid out in the CIA inspector general’s report—techniques such as sleep deprivation, shackling, and on a few occasions waterboarding, all of it carefully supervised by medical personnel so as not to cause physical harm. I might add that the CIA techniques were very different from the gross abuses at Abu Ghraib. Notwithstanding Andrew’s unsupported claim that Abu Ghraib was “one of the test-sites for Cheney’s methods,” the actions there were carried out by a few wayward, low-level military personnel at this facility in Iraq and had no connection to the CIA’s high-level interrogation efforts, as numerous reports have shown…

I hate to break the news to Andrew, but the war on terrorism under Reagan was a total bust. With Iranian support, Hezbollah killed and kidnapped numerous Americans in Lebanon—and in return, we secretly sold missiles to Iran. For details, you can see Bob Baer’s memoir, See No Evil. Baer recounts that as a hard-charging CIA operative, in the 1980s and 1990s, he was constantly shackled by his superiors (the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations), who weren’t willing to take, well, aggressive actions against terrorists. We know where that led. After 9/11, thankfully, the shackles came off and steps such as targeted killings and aggressive interrogations were allowed. The result: no more 9/11s. My fear is that we are now going back to the pre-9/11 status quo, one for which, in all fairness, we should blame not only Democrats like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton but also Republicans like Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.