For those of you that care, which should be all of you, I strongly recommend that you watch The Spymasters – CIA In The Crosshairs on Showtime. I have watched several of these detailed documentaries and read as many books on the Bin Laden/Al-Qaida/Iraq/September 11 subject and this is the most current.
It is also, in my opinion, the best. In two hours it tells the complex story from the viewpoint of CIA analysts, case officers, and most interestingly, agency Directors. These are the people that were in the room, so to speak, and know what really happened. My favorite is Jose Rodriguez and once you see it you will know why. I believe him and I regard him as a warrior and a hero. We need people like Rodriguez and we need to allow them to do their job as ugly or distasteful as it might be. There are some bad people in the world and we need some of our people to be even badder. I am thankful that we have people willing to stand up and do that job.
My take away from Spymasters is that it was the elected politicians, appointees, bureaucrats, and policy makers that screwed the pooch not the professionals in the intelligence community. They saw something coming, sounded the alarm, and tried to get us ready yet they are the ones blamed.
A few other things struck me;
Iraq – There was no connection between 9/11 and Iraq. They were separate issues. What would the middle East look like today if we had not gone into Iraq?
Enhanced Interrogation – Bleeding heart libs keep saying that torture is beneath us, that it goes against our values and principles as a nation. That is high brow horseshit. First of all, since when does the “if it feels good do it” crowd know anything about principles? And second, what principles? All you have to do is watch daytime TV, read the headlines on Drudge, or look at who we put in office to know that the majority of people in this country don’t live what I would call principled lives. Furthermore, I don’t consider sleep deprivation, slapping, cold, stress positions, or the form of waterboarding we practiced to be torture. Video taped beheadings, setting people on fire, running commercial airliners into office buildings, and the threat of more attacks is torture. Waterboarding, the way we did it, is uncomfortable but nobody died from it. By the way, there were only three people, total, that were waterboarded and it wasn’t like it was portrayed in Zero Dark Thirty.
To the broader issue, you can take your make believe high and mighty national values and stick them. These guys were trying to thwart a second wave of terrorist attacks that were in the works and doing less than absolutely everything necessary is what goes against my values. Not waterboarding a terrorist to get lifesaving information is immoral.
Let’s bring that question closer to home, right down deep into your personal life. How far would you be willing to go, what rules would you break, and what kind of medieval monster would you become to protect those that you love? And afterwards, would you give a tinker’s damn what somebody in another country thought about what you did?
Righteous Indignation – Where does Obama get off persecuting the Bush administration for so called torture when he is signing orders to kill people left and right with remote controlled drones? So, let me see if I have this correct. It is wrong on some kind of cosmic karma scale to hold a terrorist down and pour water in his mouth for 10 seconds but it is perfectly OK to kill him with a drone launched missile? That’s the same kind of flawed logic that says the death penalty for convicted murderers is bad but aborting babies isn’t. Oh, but the Justice Department has approved droning. Yea, the Justice Department approved enhanced interrogation techniques (including waterboarding) too and nobody died from them. Three bad guys were waterboarded, over a thousand have been killed with drones. Hey, I got no problem killing people that are trying to kill us but this sure sounds like a political double standard to me.
Reputation – Waterboarding hurts our reputation in the world, especially in the middle East. A) So what. B) Do drone strikes improve our reputation around the world?
Capture and interrogate or drone and kill – Obama, the consummate example of the liberal mindset, chooses the latter. It is the easy way out.
And signature strikes? What the hell?
Anyway, give The Spymasters – CIA In The Crosshairs a watch or two. Have your friends and kids watch it then talk about it because this is important stuff.