One failed bomb attempt on a plane and one of Cheney's flunkies is already banging the drums to bring back torture. He uses Orwellian language, of course, the kind we became used to under Cheney's criminal regime:
Instead of looking for ways to release these dangerous men, we should be capturing and interrogating more of them for information on planned attacks. But that is something the U.S. no longer does. President Obama has shut down the CIA interrogation program that helped stop a series of planned attacks and in the year since he took office, not one high-value terrorist has been interrogated by the CIA.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has escalated the targeted killing of high-value terrorists. There may be times when killing a terrorist leader is the best option (for example, his location might be too remote to reach with anything but an unmanned drone). But President Obama has decided capturing senior terrorist leaders alive and interrogating them with enhanced techniques if necessary is not worth the trouble.
What Thiessen is really saying is not that the US isn't interrogating captured terror suspects - we're told, for example, that our trust-fund fundamentalist from Nigeria is chatting away merrily to interrogators. What he is really saying is that we are not hooding them, freezing them to near death, waterboarding them, hanging them from shackles to create excruciating pain, exploiting phobias, stripping them of clothes, beating them and hounding them with dogs. This is what Thiessen and his comrades yearn to get back to: the tools of torturers. One overwhelming reason to hope that Obama manages to keep terror attacks at bay - by luck or design - is that the neo-fascist wing of the GOP is chomping at the bit to get their hands on the machinery of cruelty once again.
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