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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 2, 2009 / 13 Elul 5769

Cheney wins interrogation argument

By Robert Robb


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The only fair conclusion from the CIA interrogation documents released last week is that former Vice President Dick Cheney largely won his argument with President Barack Obama about enhanced techniques.


The reports indicate that most of the most valuable information came from high-value detainees who were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques, including the revelation of numerous plots and terrorists whose names were not previously known to the CIA.


The reports do not clearly say that the information resulted from the enhanced interrogation techniques, but the implication is quite clear. The CIA initially sought approval for EITs because it felt that Abu Zubaydah was withholding information about terrorist networks and plots. The CIA Inspector General's report describes Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the terrorist who came up with the idea for 9/11, as not forthcoming before EITs were used.


There were 10 enhanced interrogation techniques approved. Only one, waterboarding, can even remotely be described as torture. Waterboarding simulates drowning and induces an involuntary panic response.


However, another clear implication from the CIA documents is that it was waterboarding that made the difference. So, we cannot escape the moral issue presented by the use of the technique and the information it produced.


The first thing these documents should do is to substantially narrow the range of the debate. Previously, the argument was frequently made that rough interrogation techniques don't work, that detainees make stuff up to get the physical and psychological discomfort to go away.


With respect to these particular interrogation techniques, that argument is impossible to sustain in the light of the CIA documents. Important, accurate information was revealed that allowed terrorist plots to be thwarted and terrorists to be captured.


President Obama was careful not to make that argument. Instead, his argument has been that simply because EITs produced information doesn't mean that the same information couldn't have been produced without EITs.


That's true, and will always be so. You can't prove that something that wasn't done wouldn't have worked.


But the documents cast doubt on the claim that the same information could have been elicited without EITs, particularly waterboarding. The record is unclear about how long standard techniques were used on the three detainees eventually waterboarded. Given the lawyering that went on before EITs were approved for use on Zubaydah, standard techniques were presumably being tried for a reasonable period. The CIA appears to have been pretty quick in moving to EITs with Mohammed, however.


The best evidence, although inconclusive, is that EITs, particularly waterboarding, produced information that standard interrogation techniques didn't.


I can understand the Obama administration taking the position that waterboarding is torture and won't be used even if the record indicates that it worked. What I can't understand is it changing responsibility for interrogating terrorist detainees and prosecuting CIA operatives who conducted these interrogations.


The CIA produced results, operating within the rules it was given. Nevertheless, the Obama administration has transferred interrogation responsibility from it to the FBI, whose post-9/11 record is far more spotty, with direct oversight by the White House.


The CIA did occasionally color outside the lines in its interrogations. A mock execution was staged. A gun and power drill brandished. Mohammed was told his children would be killed if there was another attack in the United States.


This was outside the lines. But none of it is close to putting people on the rack, or merits the prosecution of CIA interrogators taking risks to protect us.


We have a CIA, in part, because there is some nasty stuff in the world that needs to be dealt with. Spooks and cops playing rough to get important information from bad guys is a staple of our fiction.


In real life, however, we don't like to think about it.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Robert Robb is a columnist for The Arizona Republic. Comment by clicking here.

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