The farce, that is, of Democratic control of Congress. I suspect that most Americans don’t know that the Democrats have been in control of that institution for the last year and a half; otherwise, their enthusiasm for electing more Democrats would be considerably muted.
Today the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held yet another hearing on the subject of terrorist interrogations. It is not clear to me why the Democrats are obsessed with this subject. The ranking Republican on the subcommittee, Trent Franks of Arizona, noted that “detainee treatment has been the subject of over 60 hearings, markups and briefings during the last Congress in the House Armed Services Committee alone, of which I am a member.” And that is only a drop in the bucket, since any number of Democrat-controlled committees and subcommittees are eager to declare their solidarity with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other al Qaeda terrorists who have been interrogated over the last six years.
Franks lent an air of sanity to the proceedings. His opening statement is worth reading in its entirety, but we’ll have to settle for a brief extract:
[F]inally, I’d like to note that the dangers of moving back toward the failed model of treating terrorists like ordinary criminals was made perfectly clear in a recently written article on the interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
The article appeared last Sunday in the “New York Times” and it makes clear how we can expect terrorists to react when they are granted the rights of criminal defendants.
According to the “New York Times,” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed met his captors at first with a cocky defiance, telling one veteran CIA officer, a former Pakistan station chief, that he would talk only when he got to New York and was assigned a lawyer.
Of course, this was the experience of his nephew and partner in terrorism, Ramzi Yousef, after Yousef’s arrest in 1995.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court of the United States has taken steps to grant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s wish, and I hope the Congress does not make the same mistake.
The subcommittee summoned three witnesses to serve as its foils: David Addington, Chief of Staff and former Counsel to Vice-President Cheney, John Yoo–no introduction necessary–and Chris Schroeder, a former official of the Department of Justice who was there to parrot the Dems’ line. The hearing, like dozens of others on the same theme, was a bad joke.
The Democrats sought to advance the view that waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was a crime on a par with the Holocaust, whereas I, for one, think that waterboarding is exactly the right technique for interrogating terrorists: it takes only two or three minutes, is almost always effective, and does no harm to the terrorist.
It is clear, however, that some, at least, of the Democrats who engage in these witch-hunts now identify with members of al Qaeda and unapologetically represent their interests. One such member of Congress is Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts. In this exchange with David Addington, Delahunt expresses his pleasure at siding with al Qaeda members who are watching the proceedings on CSpan against a member of the Bush administration:
In a sane world, this would be a scandal that would call into question whether any member of Delahunt’s party should be elected to Congress in November.
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