Frustrating! That's the appropriate word for what is happening in the wake of the Osama bin Laden raid. Besides the precision of the Navy SEALs, the big story to emerge from the action is that coerced interrogation gave the CIA vital information used to track bin Laden to his lair. Current CIA Chief Leon Panetta has confirmed that.
Of course, that exposition is embarrassing to the left, including President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Clinton, who are all on record as saying coerced interrogation does not work. Apparently, they were wrong in a big way.
The nails-on-the-blackboard part of this story is that some liberal pundits are trying to deny the undeniable. The spin they are using is that a "mosaic" of intelligence led the CIA to bin Laden. It was not just waterboarding or whatever. To paraphrase Panetta: We'll never know if we could have gotten the same intel without the water.
That's true, but who cares? It is the duty of the federal government to protect Americans from harm. And that's what the Bush administration did when it signed off on coercive questioning.
The record shows that just three men were waterboarded: Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah and Rahim al-Nashiri, all al-Qaida big shots. Under duress, KSM gave up vital information that crippled his terror group and ultimately led U.S. authorities to watch bin Laden's top Pakistani courier. Eventually, that man led the CIA to the compound outside Islamabad.
But still, the far left won't budge. No matter what the facts are about the effectiveness of coerced interrogation, they will deny them. Infuriating.
The sane policy going forward is this: The president and only the president should have the power to order coerced interrogation, including waterboarding, if national security is endangered or American lives are on the line. One man makes the decision, and his orders are carried out by an elite intelligence team answerable directly to him.
So if Obama doesn't want to order waterboarding, fine. That's on him. But the elected leader of the nation should have the power to make the decision.
It is ironic that many on the far left openly celebrated the death of bin Laden. So, guys, let me get this straight: It's OK for U.S. forces to shoot a terrorist in the head, but it's not OK to waterboard him if lives are in danger? Good grief.
It is long past time for Americans to reject ideology that endangers human beings. We live in a dangerous world chock full of doomsday weapons. Common sense should dictate how the federal government defines strategies to protect us. How many times have you heard ideologues say that coerced interrogation does not work?
Well, it does. Ask bin Laden. Wait, we can't.