Monday, September 18, 2006

TOPIC: The War on Terror -- Interrogations Should Be Harsh
Bill O'Reilly is a very outspoken person. His FOXNews show is highly rated by many on the right -- and publicly ridiculed by all of the left. I agree with him on many points and disagree with him on some. His Sunday Talking Points segment, Why USA Will Lose War on Terror if Things Don't Change, offers a good apologetic on why we MUST be able to interrogate prisoners of the war on terror -- without pussy-footing around with them.
"America's fighting a barbaric enemy whose entire strategy is to commit atrocities. That's all the terrorists do: commit crimes. And many misguided Americans believe we cannot even interrogate these people harshly when lives are at stake.
It is absolutely impossible to keep America safe by affording captured terrorists name, rank, and jihad number. For all the false accusations that the USA is a torture nation, there have only been a handful of cases where water boarding and other harsh measures were approved. Right now in Guantanamo Bay, detainees are allowed eight hours of sleep, three meals a day, two hours of outside exercises daily, and a bevy of entertainment and religious options.
For our trouble, the detainees throw bodily fluids at our guards hundreds of times a year. And there have been 90 stabbings by the captives, including an American doctor who was trying to save a detainee's life. Military doctors in Gitmo now wear body armor when examining detainees. So once again, it comes down to theory versus reality. The terrorists can do anything. We can't do much.
Senator John McCain and others believe if we go further than intense conversation, our soldiers will be in jeopardy if captured. Well, Senator McCain knows better than anyone else. They already are, as the senator was brutally tortured by the North Vietnamese, who had signed the Geneva Convention. A few months ago, two American soldiers were captured in Iraq. They were sliced to death with machetes, photographed, and their bodies displayed on the Internet. If military people do capture those suspected of doing that, they now can't use any techniques other than conversation. Let's call it, 'we'll ask, don't tell.'
As Talking Points stated Thursday night, President Bush is correct in asking for legal authority to use coercive interrogation methods in selective cases. The most noble thing in the world is saving lives. Sometimes harsh measures are needed to do that."
I couldn't agree more. I believe there can be a balance between the Geneva Convention rules and harsh interrogations. We must be able to push the terrorists HARD in order to get information that will save lives. The kind of abuse that took place in Abu Graib is unacceptable. However, there are other methods that can and should be used to help win the war on terror. Make no mistake, if we go easy on terrorists, we will reap the harvest of their hatred and wraith.

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