No Evidence of Torture

Obama is going down the wrong road by saying that the U.S. tortured prisoners.

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Let me be clear: We all oppose torture.

However, to blindly oppose and broadcast lawful interrogation techniques which were used to successfully protect the American people and to extract valuable information to prevent further harm to us is dangerous at best.

I’d like to respectfully remind everyone to think back to what life was like in America on 9/11. I lived less than two miles from the Pentagon back in 2001. I heard and felt the explosion of the plane hitting the Pentagon on that fateful day. A woman I briefly worked with on the Hill (Barbara Olson—wife of former Solicitor General Ted Olson) was murdered that day; she was on the plane that struck the Pentagon. I will never forget that day. My concern is that the current discussion we are having about interrogation and torture is not being properly discussed in the context of 9/11 and the years thereafter.

In this very important (but largely ignored) article, Washington Post foreign service writer Pamela Constable gave Americans great insight into the renewed anti-American sentiments brewing in Pakistan.

The article describes a troubled region that is a hotbed of insurgents, where religious sects, tribal infighting, misogyny, murder of law enforcement officials and suicide bombings are on the rise. Constable writes of a “new era” dawning in Pakistan's Swat Valley, where a top Islamist militant leader [Sufi Mohammed], emboldened by a peace agreement with the federal government, laid out an ambitious plan to bring a "complete Islamic system" to the surrounding northwest region and the entire country.

Under duress, the Pakistan government has agreed to Mohammed's demands in an effort to halt violent intimidation by Taliban forces, which the army has been unable to quell despite months of trying. Constable writes, “Swati leaders and refugees described armed men in black turbans whipping suspected thieves on the spot, cutting off the ears and noses of village elders who opposed them, and selling videos of police beheadings.”

My fellow Americans, cutting off ears and noses, and beheading people is torture. These lawless men, driven by religious extremism, will stop at nothing to do their own people harm. They are driven to destroy Pakistan’s modern democratic institutions by religious ideology rooted in the Koran which says that it is a great sin to support an “infidel” system, like the modern Pakistan.

The fact is that the Taliban is strong and gaining more strength daily. This is a problem for America and Americans. The Taliban intends to carry its armed crusade for a punitive, misogynistic form of Islam rule into new areas, where their fighters have brandished weapons, bombed and occupied buildings, arrested aid workers and killed female activists.

The most chilling part of the Taliban’s resurgence, however, is that there has been little official or public protest against the creeping tide of Islamist extremism. Analysts say this is partly because of fear of retaliation and partly because of strong religious sentiments that make Pakistanis reluctant to criticize fellow Muslims.