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Waterboarding bad, drones okay
by Harry Spencer
Feb 11, 2013 | 3817 views | 3 3 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Testimony in Washington, D.C. last week on the appointment of a new CIA Director and especially the Benghazi questioning were both eye-opening.

Apparently, from both events the major point seemed to be that on Sept. 11 last year, the date of the infamous Benghazi attack, no one was “watching the store.” Mr. Brennan said the intelligence community heard nothing from the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense or the military. During the questioning of Secretary Panetta it was interesting to finally find out that he had only one phone conversation with the President. Also, in apparent contradiction to President Obama, who had said he had ordered the Defense Department to do whatever was necessary, General Dempsey said he had received no such order.

In addition, on TV programming last week, a clip was shown of President Obama, in full campaign mode, where he made a speech on Sept. 8, 2012, just three days before the Benghazi incident. In that speech he said that America was stronger internationally than when he had taken office. The horrendous event on September 11 at Benghazi seems to belie that statement.

In essence that attack will hang around Hillary Clinton’s neck like the famous Albatross of Ancient Mariner lore. Since no one has ever been pointed out as the author of the infamous anti-Muslim video this may be a story without an ending.

Getting back to the headline of this piece, it was also announced last week that the President had authority from the beleaguered Justice Department to call for Drone strikes whenever he felt them necessary. This caused all sorts of ripple effects through the halls of power in Washington. Again on national TV there were more clips of President Obama three or four years ago bemoaning the use of waterboarding as torture. Apparently, a fatal Drone strike is more humane than the agitation caused by waterboarding. On the other side of the coin, it would seem that the intelligence that has been gained in the past from the minimal use of waterboarding is lost forever when a Drone strike eliminates the enemy. Most of the uproar in D.C. was caused by the fact that the Justice memo made it OK for President Obama to call for such strikes on U.S. citizens suspected of having links to terrorist groups.

All in all, the various hearings seem to point out the fact that there is complete chaos between the State Department, the intelligence community, the Defense Department, the military and the White House. The latest tack taken by the aforementioned is to say that a thorough investigation has proven that there are systemic failures in the system and that they will be addressed in the future. This approach doesn’t do much to allay the concerns of the survivors of the four gentlemen that perished on September 11. To put it more simply, it is the old story of locking the barn after the horse has been stolen.

Harry Spencer is a long-time northern Nevada resident.
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February 11, 2013
The four gentlemen, who died at the hands of terrorists in Benghazi, does illustate the ineffective communications of a State Department bureauocracy in this particular instance. Is this an indictment of wrongdoing on the part of the President, or his administration? Only in beleagured and obsessed Rebublican minds.

They seem to have amnesia when it comes to blown intelligence in Lebanon (Reagan)and New York (9/11). Certainly, and regretably, more lives were lost.

Torture is torture.The use of which should be abhorant to every American. The use of torture lowers us, as nation, to level of our enemies.

And to compare Drone attacks to torture is nonsense.

While I would like to see more oversight on Drone use, the use of Drones to kill our enemies is preferable to putting "Boots on the Ground". How many lives were lost in Iraq and Afganistan? How many trillions were spent?

Apparently, the Neocons or Chicken-Hawks are happy unless were are engaged in "traditional" wars when other people's kids are killed or maimed.
February 21, 2013
we're all so sick of you liberal hypocrites defending obama who would be blasting Bush for the same exact thing.

"To compare Drone attacks to torture is nonsense" Really?

So it's ok to kill someone with a drone rather than just waterboard them. I much rather be waterboarded and live than shot and killed by a drone.
February 22, 2013
It's sad that only liberal hypocrites stand up for American Values.Do we throw away the Constitution and the Bill of Rights because of fear and paranoia.

Chicken Hawks seem to forget about things like the Geneva Conventions, which forbids torture. And the fact that no usable intelligence was obtained from torture seems to be irrelevent to the Neocons.

The phony patriot would rather rattle sabers, spend more on defence than the next 10 countries combined, and send other peoples kids off to fight and die in trumped up wars.

With drones, we are targeting and killing known enemy combatants. Is better oversight needed, you bet.
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