Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Debra Saunders: Still an Idiot (Torture Edition)

It turns out Bill O'Reilly isn't the only one who cites fiction to justify torture; Debra Saunder's column yesterday also quoted Jack Bauer putting those Senate weasels in their place. Saunders might understand that 24 is fiction (O'Reilly obviously doesn't), but I wouldn't bet on it.

But that wasn't the stupidest thing in her column. That would be this: More...

Former CIA operative John Kiriakou told ABC's Brian Ross that the waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah "disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks." That's a lot of lives. Operatives didn't act on impulse, a la Jack Bauer. Kiriakou explained that agents had to ask the deputy director for operations before using any coercive technique.
Never mind that Kiriakou didn't actually witness the interrogation he says worked (after "about 35 seconds") to save lives.

Or that Kiriakou's account contradicts other sources who were actually there, who say Zubaydeh provided information before he was tortured.

Or that Zubaydeh wasn't the high-level target the CIA made him out to be.

Never mind any of those things she could have learned in five minutes using The Google on the Stevens Tubes. At the very least, even if she remained blissfully ignorant of all of the above, she could have included the other thing Kiriakou himself said about torture:
I've come to the belief that not only is it unnecessary, but that as Americans, we're better than that and we shouldn't be engaging in a practice like waterboarding.
To sum up: torture: still wrong; Debra Saunders: still an idiot. Any questions?