It’s a harmless-sounding word in itself. Until a couple of years ago, “waterboarding” sounded like some kind of fun at the beach.
But after 9/11, after American and allied forces invaded Iraq and made incursions into Afghanistan hunting for Osama bin Laden, and after our homeland intelligence apprehended and arrested known and suspected jihadist terrorists bent on killing more Americans, the word took on a more ominous meaning. Thanks to much media exploitation, politically motivated accusations, certain criminally leaked classified information and of course some actual facts, the word “waterboarding” became synonymous with heinous, barbaric torture.
Since America became a nation, torture has never been identified with our policy or procedure. Investigative techniques and interrogation, yes, but always within humane limits – never the torture racks, lashings, beatings, burnings, nail-pullings, starvation, or sadistic mutilation practiced by so many other cultures and adversaries. We’ve expected our military to extract and obtain essential information through intelligent, often covert, sometimes even psychological means.
What happened? Something almost unprecedented. We were completely blindsided, attacked on our own soil, in our own airplanes and towers, and even in the Pentagon, in broad daylight. It was devastating, and after the first shock, it was obvious that if we did not act quickly and with almost no thought of normal restraint, it would happen again, and even more violently, and with even more catastrophic results.
We were at war, against an enemy with absolutely no moral compunction and with a demonic bloodlust to destroy us, our homes and families and way of life – and with even a religious desire to die while destroying us! It was a relentless waking nightmare, and it was real.
Those charged with the responsibility to protect this country – the president, the administration, the military, our intelligence agencies – quickly mobilized to do anything and everything possible to avert the next attacks. As captives were taken, they were subjected to every method of interrogation we’d ever tried, and because of the extreme urgency and unimaginable danger, when captives wouldn’t divulge information that would save American lives, in some instances some interrogators went further than they had before.
They didn’t kill, they didn’t maim, they didn’t inflict permanent injury, but they sure made the captive feel as if he were about to drown. They tied him down inclined, head a bit lower than feet, covered his face with towels, poured water on and through the towels and into his face, sometimes in his nostrils, and let him know this frightening and extremely uncomfortable experience could end if he would tell what he knew about the plans to wreak more devastation and kill more Americans. This procedure, unsettling as it is, came to be known worldwide as “waterboarding.”
It came to be known worldwide because liberal media, abetted by a few political and military figures who didn’t seem to grasp the urgency of stopping the maniacal plots against innocent civilians, revealed classified information and screamed “TORTURE!” Having no clue about how to get to the essential information some other way, but perhaps imagining themselves in the position of the captive, they just condemned those who were actually getting the job done at least in part.
Almost ignored in all the anti-American clamor was the fact that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, confessed mastermind of the World Trade Center carnage, as a result of being “waterboarded” 130 times – with no lasting damage at all – finally divulged information that thwarted the destruction of the Brooklyn Bridge and saved an estimated 10,000 innocent lives! So the technique, harsh as it is, proved effective.
And now, whether expressly intended or not, America is being waterboarded!
The nation – its economy and political body – has been strapped down, blindfolded and hosed. A new administration, empowered by control of both houses of Congress and the most liberal president in history, is immersing us all in a torrent of debt. While we gasp for breath and try to cry “Time out!” we continue to be flooded with staggering commitments neither we nor our children have approved or will be able to fulfill.
New thousand-page bills and proposed expenditures are rushed together and dumped on beleaguered senators and representatives, proposing trillions of dollars of new taxpayer debt – and Pelosi, Reed, Waxman and the president’s team demand approval overnight, without time to even read the bills!
And menacingly, chief of staff waterboarder Rahm Emanuel actually says “… we can’t afford to waste a crisis; it gives us a chance to push through initiatives we couldn’t get otherwise.” How blatant can you get?
The American people have long opposed abortion, same sex “marriage,” universal, socialistic health care and a host of other ultraliberal causes; current polls confirm we still do. But the waterboarding began, literally, within the first three days of this new administration. With no instigation from Congress, the freshman president picked up his new hose of authority and, by executive order, overturned the long-standing Reagan-era regulations prohibiting foreign aid going to organizations that finance overseas abortions – and handed international Planned Parenthood, chief provider of abortions worldwide, 200 million taxpayer dollars!
And now, while we’re strapped down by the Democrat-controlled Congress, gasping and gulping beneath a flood of strong-arm tactics, the “health reform” bill taking shape outlines a “minimum-benefits package” that will be universal – that is, required of every American’s insurance plan, whether provided by a private firm or by the government.
Cunningly, abortion isn’t specifically mentioned, but will be decided by a “Health Benefits Advisory Committee,” handpicked by the president and his HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who already has a record while governor of Kansas supporting late-term abortions! See how this “taking advantage of a crisis” thing works?
But we’re not helpless yet, folks. We’re drenched and near-drowned and gasping for breath, but there’s a growing coalition of staunch Republican and “blue dog” Democrats in both houses of Congress digging in their heels and saying, “Wait! This is all too much, too fast! We need time to read and digest and consider this torrent of legislation. Mr. President, hold off!”
And that gives us debt-soaked citizens a chance to rise up and gasp and spit and shout: “MR. PRESIDENT, AND YOU, TOO, CONGRESS! YOU WORK FOR US! NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND! WE VOTED YOU IN! AND WE CAN TAKE YOU OUT! STOP THIS WATERBOARDING!!”