Terrorists Denied Dessert, Sent to Rooms
John Hinderaker, assessing the thousanth media report on whether President Bush set the stage for abuses at Abu Ghraib by authorizing tough interrogation tactics in special cases, is struck by the following:
[Rumsfeld] approved 24 interrogation techniques, to be used in a manner consistent with the Geneva Conventions, but said that any use of four of those methods would have to be approved by him in advance. Those four were use of rewards or removal of privileges from detainees; attacking or insulting the ego of a detainee; alternating the use of friendly and harsh interrogators, and isolation.
I hate to disillusion liberals, but as a trial lawyer, I routinely use two of those four techniques in cross-examining witnesses, and I use at least one of the other two on my children. Frankly, I find it appalling that those in charge of terrorist prisoners may only “reward or remove privileges from detainees” with the permission of the Secretary of Defense. If the Democrats had any sense, they would argue that these documents indict the administration as soft on terrorists.
Hat tip to Michelle Malkin, who has several posts this morning suggesting that Bush and Co. aren’t being aggressive enough.
In related news, Bret Stephens argues that, contrary to assertions by Sid Blumenthal and others, President Bush is actually much better than Hitler and the treatment of prisoners at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib is not as bad as the Soviet Gulag. I found it persuasive.