The Weekly Standard’s Noemie Emery thinks we should tell the truth about Bush’s war on terror:
Let’s tell the truth about Bush’s conduct of the war on terror, which is that it’s been a success. His ultimate legacy hasn’t been written–Iraq is improved, but not out of danger–but the one thing that can be said without reservation is that the country was kept safe. He delivered on the main charge of his office in time of emergency, in a crisis without guidelines or precedent. Attacks took place in Spain, and in London, in Indonesia and India, but not on American soil, which was the obvious target of choice. Bush couldn’t say this before he left office, for obvious reasons, and after he left, attention switched to the new president.
As for Emery’s claim that no attacks took place on American soil, apart from the largest mass casualty terrorist attack on American soil in history, this is true!
But don’t worry, Emery remembers 9/11 later when it’s time to defend torture:
Let’s get at the truth too about the word “torture,” which to different people, means different things. Some think “torture” means standing on the 98th floor of a burning skyscraper and realizing you have a choice between jumping and being incinerated. Some think torture is being crushed when a building implodes around you. Some think torture is not thinking you might drown for several minutes, but looking at burning buildings on television and knowing that people you love are inside them. They remember that being crushed, incinerated, or killed in a jump from the 98th story happened to almost 3,000 blameless Americans (as well as a number of foreigners), and that 125 Pentagon employees were killed at their desks, while many survivors suffered terrible burns. They think the choice between stopping this from happening again by slapping around or scaring the hell out of a cluster of brigands, or leaving the brigands alone and letting it happen again, is a no-brainer.
Notice how Emery moves smoothly from offering a morally relativistic metric, in which the Bush administration’s torture methods are indexed to the suffering of the people murdered on 9/11, to offering a false choice between torturing the people responsible for 9/11 and doing nothing. It’s almost as if she’s just flailing around, trying to defend the indefensible…