Thursday, April 23, 2009
# Posted 4:07 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
[CHRIS] WALLACE: And you [told the White House] this would be a grave threat to national security to...The rough shape of the outer limits is publicly known -- even George Bush insisted the United States will never approve of torture. What we're arguing about now is whether several borderline interrogation methods constitute torture. If the CIA were still using those borderline methods, it might be useful for Al Qaeda to know their specifics.
In theory, Al Qaeda can train its operatives more efficiently if they don't have spend time learning to resist certain methods. But will vicious, America-hating terrorists really trust the US not to use harsh interrogation methods, no matter how many memos are released and repudiated? Besides, Al Qaeda operatives never know who will capture them. If it's the Saudis, or the Egyptians, or any number of Middle Eastern governments, they can fully expect to be tortured and will have to train accordingly.
If there's a case to be made against releasing the memos, I think David Ignatius does it better:
Obama seems to think he can have it both ways -- authorizing an unprecedented disclosure of CIA operational methods and at the same time galvanizing a clandestine service whose best days, he told them Monday, are "yet to come." Life doesn't work that way -- even for charismatic politicians. Disclosure of the torture memos may have been necessary, as part of an overdue campaign to change America's image in the world. But nobody should pretend that the disclosures weren't costly to CIA morale and effectiveness.That may explain why Obama's own CIA director, not to mention his predecessors, all opposed releasing the memos.
For related thoughts, see this post by Scott Payne.
Cross-posted at Conventional Folly (0) opinions -- Add your opinion
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