Earlier this week, the Bush administration admitted that it has waterboarded at least three al Qaeda detainees since 9/11. Yesterday, CIA Director Michael Hayden added that the tactic may currently be illegal.
On Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor yesterday, Bill O’Reilly gave a full-throated defense of the torture tactic, claiming that the “far left went wild” after the revelations. The left “literally went crazy,” he said. O’Reilly continued his pro-torture rant:
Why are they so insane about this? It’s not fatal. It doesn’t leave a lasting physical injury. Why are they so crazy? … I think the President has to have the authority…in extraordinary circumstances, as these three were. And the far left is putting us all in danger.
By O’Reilly’s logic, military officers and staunch conservatives are also “crazy.” Just yesterday, FBI Director Robert Mueller and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Michael Maples said the practice is unnecessary. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and members of the Pentagon’s JAG corps also agree. Intelligence experts say it is “ineffective” because the technique “often produces false information.”
Waterboarding, not progressives, puts America in danger. As Colin Powell noted in 2005 when President Bush wanted to loosely define torture, “The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism. To redefine Common Article 3 would add to those doubts. Furthermore, it would put our own troops at risk.”