As conservatives continue to rally around torture, Karl Rove last night praised Dick Cheney for his “reasoned, thoughtful series of observations” about how President Obama has made the U.S. less safe. He also conjectured that ending the practice of torture will provide al Qaeda with a great “tool” to help them recruit new terrorists:
ROVE: Taking, for example, the memoranda about the enhanced interrogation techniques and making them public has been a value to our enemy. It has served, frankly, I think, as a recruiting tool. They can now take these memoranda and go to prospective, you know, recruits and say, This is the worst that the enemy, the United States, would ever do to you, and they’ve even forsworn these things. We can help you, prepare you to deal with these things, but even the enemy is so weak they’re not going to use these techniques on you. And it’s given them a tool to make it more attractive to recruit people, and you know, this kind of thing is harmful to us over the long haul.
It is torture itself — not its cessation — that serves as a recruiting tool for new terrorists. Experts from FBI special agent Jack Cloonan to torture victim Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to former Army JAG Major General Thomas Romig all agree that Bush and Rove’s “enhanced interrogation” program recruited terrorists who have killed thousands of Americans. Indeed, former military interrogator Matthew Alexander cited Bush’s interrogation program as the most effective means to recruiting insurgents in Iraq who were battling Americans every day:
The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me — unless you don’t count American soldiers as Americans.
To read ThinkProgress’s extensive report, Why Bush’s “Enhanced Interrogation” Program Failed, click here.