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Tuesday, September 12, 2006
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The torture factor
Guest: Katherine Newell-Bierman, Human Rights Watch

All over the world people think the USA supports torturing terror suspects.
That's because of the awful Abu Ghraib scandal, and the relentless far-left drum beat that the Bush administration is really the Inquisition. Well now we have a window into the torture methodology. A front page article in last Sunday's New York Times chronicles a dispute between the FBI and the CIA over how to question captured al-Qaeda personnel director Abu Zubaydah. According to the article, the FBI wanted a soft approach, but the CIA, which had jurisdiction, opted for harsh measures, torture according to some people. And what were those methods? The CIA allegedly stripped Zubaydah, who had been wounded by Pakistani authorities, put him into a freezing room and used Red Hot Chili Peppers on him. Not the vegetables; the rock band. Blasting the Peppers in a cold environment apparently broke Zubaydah, according to an unnamed government official quoted in the article. Talking points fully expects far worse prisoner abuse will come to light down the road; after an attack like 9/11, you have to expect that some American interrogators would go over the line. But the Red Hot Chili Peppers designated as torture? The truth is that America has been restrained in its response to the savagery of al-Qaeda and others. But you will not see that point of view much in the press. What you'll continue to see is the word 'torture.'

Fox News Video: FoxNews.com

According to Katherine Newell-Bierman, former Air Force captain and present counsel for Human Rights Watch, "When an interrogator sets out to use techniques like this to talk, you're not talking a few minutes of sounds or not talking a nippy 68 degrees. They're going to use them to the extent the person is being caused pain. We've seen this in torture chambers around the world. These kinds of techniques are not uncommon." The Factor still wasn't buying it: "So this is a torture chamber according to you and Human Rights Watch. This is torture. Now that to me is just nuts. Torture is taking my fingers off, disfiguring me, taking my eye out -- not keeping me in a cold room and uncomfortable with blaring rock music. All you want to protect your family and my family is name, rank, and jihad number. That's all you want. The government official says, look, we broke the guy. The guy gave us very useful information and protected Americans. You say that's bull, just flat out .You don't want any other techniques. I talked to head interrogator Bob Rum in Afghanistan. These are the hands-on guys that do it every day. I'm telling you that coerced interrogation works, you ask any police department in the United States, it works on most, not all, but most. You got nothing and the Red Hot Chili Peppers isn't torture. Hate to break it to you."
Reviewing interrogation techniques
Guest: Jeff Beatty, fmr. Delta Force officer

Jeff Beatty, former Delta force and CIA counterterrorism officer, discussed his military training, saying it was worse that loud music and cold rooms: "When we go through that training, the American interrogators training us are helping prepare us for what, as a Special Forces soldier or as a CIA operative, might happen were we captured somewhere. Those interrogators are playing the role of what the North Koreans might do to us, what the Iranians might do to us. They're helping us prepare so they are pretty hard on us." The Factor asked: "Now the argument that the captain made is an argument made time and time again. That coercive interrogation doesn't work. Again, I interviewed the Guantanamo interrogators and the Bhagram interrogators. They say it works, not for everybody, but for most. What say you?" Beatty said, "I think that this is one of those weird cases where both the FBI and the CIA are right and the reason they're both right is because everybody is different. You need a pallet of techniques if you're going to try to extract information from someone or induce them to give you information."
No link between Saddam & al Qaeda
Guest: Author Lorenzo Vidino

A report from the Senate Intelligence Committee says there was no link between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. Terror analyst Lorenzo Vidino explained: "According to the latest Senate report there is some truth to the fact Zarqawi was indeed in Iraq. The problem is that apparently either the Iraq intelligence was not aware of it or that they were aware but couldn't find him.They tried to track him down. They even created a special force to track him down but they were unable to do so." The Factor said, "I believed the U.S. government when they said Iraq had WMDs, ties to al Qaeda. You do the math, you can't let them go. Now it turns out that all of this was fuzzy stuff and I'm saying to myself, you know, you can't make an honest determination and I don't know if Bush knew when he went in what the truth was. It seems to me he probably didn't know. It is all just so murky."
Personal attacks on the powerful
Guest: Author Lanny Davis

The Factor discussed "gotcha politics" with former Clinton counsel Lanny Davis, especially in light of the ABC movie "The Path to 9/11", which critics say distorted the actions of Clinton administration officials prior to 9/11. Davis said, "It began back in the '60s when the culture wars, which you've began and then Watergate. And then in the '80s the Democrats went after Reagan and Bush. And then in the '90s, guess what happened? It was gotcha back at Bill Clinton. So to be very consistent here, the ABC movie was just as unfair and fictionalized in many respects, as was the CBS depiction of Ronald Reagan. We have to have a single standard. You have to have people on the left and the right who apply the same standard." The Factor agreed: "Right out front I said, look, you can't be using real people, real people's names and then putting words in that they never said. I think everybody watching thinks it's unacceptable. But here is what I'm worried about. I don't think President Clinton has any damage done to him at all. Partisans who don't like him are still not going to like him. Supporters who think he's the greatest guy are still going to think he's the greatest guy. Nobody is going to be persuaded by a dopey ABC movie. But this kind of political climate drives good people away from wanting to participate. And smear merchants do make money. And as long as they make money, they're going to be there."
Cracking down on child sex ops
Guests: Fox News analyst Kirsten Powers & Michelle Malkin

The company that makes and markets the "Girls Gone Wild" videos has pleaded guilty to charges it did not keep records documenting the ages of the performers used in sexual displays; the company was fined more than $2 million. Michelle Malkin said, "Hopefully this will be a deterrent, and it will send a message to everyone else out there who works in this business that you have to make sure all the "I's" are dotted and the "T's" are crossed and that you are keeping records that prove that you are not using kids under the age of 18." Kirsten Powers agreed, "Well, I think absolutely they should be going after them, and I think you could expand it. I don't care if they're under age or if they're 20 or 25. The fact of the matter is these girls are almost always out of their mind drunk. I can't go buy a house and sign something in that state. What these people are doing is sleazy, and if the Justice Department can find a way to make their job a little more difficult, I think that's great. And it's a service to society." The Factor took a somewhat more controversial look at it: "I think these ladies are getting what they deserve. They're going in, they're getting loaded. They're doing these ridiculous things. They're signing a release, and then the guys are making money. Isn't this a life lesson: either wise up or you're going to be exploited your whole life?"
The real dirt on John Mark Karr
Guests: Talk show hosts Craig Silverman & Dan Caplis

The Factor summed up the John Mark Karr/Jon Benet Ramsey debacle with two local Colorado radio hosts. "Karr had nothing to do with the situation. Apparently, he's an unstable pedophile looking for attention. He's now been extradited back to California to stand trial on child porn charges." The Factor said. Craig Silverman revealed that prosecutors knew Karr was innocent while he was still in Thailand: "We have turned out an affidavit for a search warrant which revealed that, while in Thailand, John Mark Karr said, "Insofar as Christmas 1996, I was in Hamilton, Alabama. I would have take a Lear jet to get to Colorado." The Factor asked, "If his story fell apart in Thailand why would [Boulder DA] Mary Lacy make a national story out of somebody who is obviously not telling the truth in Thailand?" Dan Caplis added that he thought Lacy had basically exonerated the Ramsey's by publicizing the Karr arrest: "I think what she did was she gave a gift to the Ramseys. I think this was Mary Lacy's gift to the Ramseys. I think she has made herself part of team Ramsey. And now by arresting an outsider, she's made it virtually impossible for a future D.A. to ever finger an insider. So I think that's
what she did here. And I think it's horrible."
Factor Words of the Day
Viewers sound off
Terrorism dominates the mail after 9/11's fifth anniversary...

Jessica Tesarik, Lake Forest, IL: "Bill, I applaud you for challenging the civil libertarians. If we don't use tough interrogation methods, we will not be fully protected. Our rights become irrelevant if we're dead."

Marjorie Mason, Blackpool, England: "Bill, even limited torture does not justify the means. Let us never employ the methods used by terrorists."

Donald Laster, West Long Branch, NJ: "The problem is the left is calling any method that make someone uncomfortable, torture."

Raj Basdeo, Vancouver, Canada: "Have you heard of the phrase 'Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death,' Mr. O'Reilly? You say every country uses torture - Canada does not. And we stopped the Ottawa attacks."

Liam Connors, Dublin, Ireland: "Bill, how can you possibly be pro-torture? That doesn't get results."
Books Mentioned


Al Qaeda in Europe: The New Battleground of International Jihad
by Lorenzo Vidino

Read more...
 


Scandal: How Gotcha Politics Is Destroying America
by Lanny Davis

Read more...
 
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