Saturday, April 25, 2009


Porter Goss, former CIA director under George W. Bush, writes in today's The Washington Post:

"We have given our enemy invaluable information about the rules by which we operate. The terrorists captured by the CIA perfected the act of beheading innocents using dull knives. Khalid Sheik Mohammed boasted of the tactic of placing explosives high enough in a building to ensure that innocents trapped above would die if they tried to escape through windows. There is simply no comparison between our professionalism and their brutality."

This is the same old argument that we can't reveal our methods of torture, oops, I mean, interrogation because then the "enemy" would be prepared for it. I suggest to Porter, arrange to have yourself waterboarded for 10 minutes but take as much time as you need to prepare for it, several months if you want. See if your preparations can allow your to tolerate waterboarding even for one minute. Oh, you can also practice being strung up with handcuffs to the ceiling and practice being in that position for two hours. Then you could practice being put into a coffin-like box for two days. So much for Porter's arguments that revelation of these harsh and cruel methods will allow the "enemy" to get ready for them.

Given the inability of any human to prepare for waterboarding or the other forms of American torture, arguments like those of Porter Goss that we give away "secrets" to the enemy just don't pass the laugh test.

Waterboarding and the like have been around at least since the Inquisition. Recall that the Church found them effective to establish the truth of who was a devil or worshipper of black magic. Back then, recall that there were a lot of witches and Satan-worshippers. And by God the Inquisition and its methods made them confess and come clean.

I would like to see if Porter would himself confess to being part of the Qaeda group if he were waterboarded. Perhaps even Cheney, Bush, Rice and Addington, being waterboarded, would quickly "confess" that they were secretly part of Qaeda and planned the 9/11 attack.

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