While mindless mantras kept advocating that we are LESS safe as a result of Bush’s anti terror policies, some of us could not ignore the absence of terror attacks on our soil after 9/11.
One reason was a very deliberate and careful decision to engage the enemy is his own backyard. Al Qaeda did not have unlimited resources, and our military engaged and eliminated thousands of them in Afghanistan and Iraq. In spite of strategic mis-steps that are always clearer in retrospect, even a bad strategy in Iraq kept Al Qaeda more focused on surviving in the streets of Iraq and the mountains of Pakistan that formatting further terror in the malls of America.
But another reason was the increased efforts of the CIA now coming under scrutiny. While our mortal enemies were broadcasting decapitations on the internet we used enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) such as water boarding to prevent further attacks.
As reported in the Wall Street journal editorial on 8/27/09, this was not done by rogue sadists, but was done with the advice and consent from the Pentagon, the Justice Department , and with knowledge and consent of the Congressional Intelligence Oversight Committee. Read this very important editorial, The Real CIA News here.
Some contend that these EITs were ineffective, but this belies the moral question as to whether effectiveness is even the issue. The report identified clear results such as Binyam Muhammed, who planned to detonate a dirty bomb and previously unknown Al Qaeda members planning a second in the U.S. in California.
One of the reasons we failed to prevent the attack ON 9/11 was the crippling of our intelligence forces in the previous decades. We struggle to find a way to defeat a murderous immoral enemy using the high moral standards we demand. But Holder’s effort to criminalize those who had to make very difficult decisions in the wake of 9/11, in the very arduous moral gray zone few of us have to consider, will serve only to make us more vulnerable.
You cannot win a war in a court room; you can only lose it. Denying we are at war will not change our enemies committed to defeating us.