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Playing politics with national security

April 30, 2009
By: Bob Steinburg
A Conservative's Viewpoint

 There are those abroad who hate or resent America. The reasons are varied but generally it evolves around the disparity of national wealth, prosperity and influence we have over the rest of the world.  America continues to be a magnanimous nation.  We've shed blood to guarantee the freedom of nations abroad. We have also helped rebuild the nations who were our enemies.  We should be proud of our benevolent legacy, in spite of the occasional ingratitude.

 But America is not perfect.  We've made mistakes; sometimes sticking our nose where it doesn't belong. No matter how well intentioned our motives, we have been prone at times to act, either because of bad intelligence, as some would argue in the case of our entry into the Iraq War out of  our innate fundamental instinct to help those in distress. America's overall goodness however, will continue to be scorned by those who view individual freedoms, liberties and opportunity differently.  

While resentment and anger comes primarily from elsewhere, it's also being bred from within.  Liberals have a very difficult time making their case on any issue. As a result they often resort to demonizing the opposition, even putting at risk our national security.

 Liberals are aided by elements of the main-stream media.  Instead of objective and unbiased news gathering and reporting, their message often reflects an orchestrated echo chamber of liberal bias.  Media outlets like MSNBC, CNN and the New York Times are losing viewers and subscribers in droves.  Apparently folks aren't buying the liberal message they're peddling.  According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations and Nielsen Media Research, the only two major news sources continuing to grow are the Wall Street Journal and Fox News.

 Last week the Times displayed an editorial cartoon depicting the Statue of Liberty holding in her raised hand a whip, replacing the torch she has held as a beacon to freedom seeking people since 1884. This reflects the America the left often sees.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. recently said on MSNBC, "The world has changed. The old Reagan philosophy that served conservatives well politically from 1980 to about 2004 and 2006 is over. But the hard right, which still believes in traditional values kind of arguments and strong foreign policy, all that is over."

While the Times, Schumer and others on the left were busy beating up on America, another event was taking place in Pakistan. The Taliban, in the name of radical Islam, riddled a man and woman accused of adultery with over thirty bullets; firing round after round, long after their bodies had fallen limp. This is the stark contrast between the ideals and justice system of a free nation built on conservative Judeo-Christian values and those radical Islamic terrorist who seek to submit us to their ruthless ideology.

President Barack Obama was advised by four previous CIA Directors, including current Director Leon Panetta, to oppose the release of photos and tapes revealing enhanced interrogation techniques used on known and suspected terrorists.  But apparently Obama is considering doing so anyway. The far left wing of his party is so contemptuous of George W. Bush and his former administration that they will even jeopardize our national security to further demonize them.  

Our enemies will use this national security information as a recruiting tool to further fuel the hatred of America.  Our ssoldiers, diplomats and tourists will now be at additional risk, simply because of vengeful politics. The left hopes they can permanently marginalize the GOP, destroying our two party system of government, thus paving the way toward a liberal oligarchy.

Many Americans don't understand the kind of enemy we're're facing. They will do whatever necessary to achieve radical Islamic dominance over the world. Any tactic, no matter how heinous, is acceptable. Yet our military and intelligence agencies are now restricted to the Army Field Manual which allows us to secure from terrorist captives only their names and country of origin since they have no rank or serial number, placing out intelligence gathering at a severe disadvantage.

Enhanced interrogation techniques have been used since the dark days following 9-11. They include water boarding, sleep deprivation, loud music and other non- life threatening techniques. These methods have yielded information that has saved American lives. In a perfect world these techniques of interrogation would be unacceptable. But we are facing an enemy that wants nothing less than to kill us.

Michael Scheuer, author and a 22 year veteran of the CIA and former head of the bin-Laden desk, was a witness to some of the enhanced interrogation techniques used against terrorist captives. He states unequivocally that the information garnered as a result of these tactics, saved American lives, not once, but on many occasions. And that is a president's primary responsibility-protecting American lives at any cost.

The Washington Post reported in Dec. `02 that Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Ca. and three other members of a bi-partisan congressional group met in secret with the CIA. They viewed the harsh techniques that were being utilized to extract vital information from terrorist detainees.  For Pelosi and others on the left to now sanctimoniously feign outrage by disavowing any prior knowledge, while at the same time considering retribution against the previous administration, is the height of arrogance and hypocrisy.

Playing politics with national security is a dangerous game. But apparently that's exactly what the Democrats on the left have decided to do. Yet one can only wonder how far a liberal would go to save the life of their loved one threatened by a terrorist. Would they go beyond the restrictions imposed by the Army Field Manuel? I think so. And that's what makes this entire episode nothing more than a sordid partisan witch hunt.

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