Just Wondering: Is Obama Torturing Terrorists?

The Obama Administration finally had some good news, but it came from overseas.  With the surprising assistance of Pakistani forces, the allies have captured the Afghan Taliban’s No. 2 leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, in Karachi.  Baradur is a  major catch.  Second only to Mullah Omar in the Taliban hierarchy, he was given credit for the recent Taliban surge that caused Obama to send more troops into Afghanistan.

This was followed up by the capture of another high level Taliban operative this week.  Taliban sources in the region and a counterterrorism officials in Washington have identified the detained insurgent leader as Mullah Abdul Salam, described as the Taliban movement’s “shadow governor” of Afghanistan’s Kunduz province.  These captures are a clear victory for Obama’s vision of the War on Terror (or whatever strange acronym the White House is using these days).

Now, of course, comes the interesting part.  Baradar could be an intelligence gold mine…if given the opportunity to talk.  Shockingly,  Obama didn’t send FBI agents to Mirandize him in Pakistan.

Instead, he did the unthinkable, by liberal standards:  Obama basically is using rendition:

Mullah Barader has been in Pakistani custody for several days, with US and Pakistani intelligence officials both taking part in interrogations, according to the officials. Though Barack Obama has banned US agencies from using forms of torture such as waterboarding, Pakistani questioning techniques are frequently brutal.

Trust me…that is the case.  The Pakistanis…well, lets just say there is no ACLU there.

So apparently Obama has no problem with ‘harsh interrogations’ as long as they are done by someone else.  Frankly, this is a relief…I was starting to believe Obama was a lost cause.  Though he talks a good game, Obama’s actions do not speak of a war on terror…more of an inconvenient problem with terrorists.  Of course, the rendition program had been quietly kept open under Obama, like Guantanamo.  In fact, other than verbage, it is quite hard to tell what the real difference is in Obama’s and Bush’s approach to foreign terrorists.

Domestic terrorists are another matter all together, right?

Well, maybe not.  Bob Woodward had an interesting tidbit of information that he talked about on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning regarding the Christmas bomber, our friend Abdulmuttallab.  The Obama people have been crowing over how much the potential bomber is talking now that he is in custody.

However, this appears to be a fluke.  And an intriguing one at that.  Apparently Abdulmuttallab had a phobia.  He is severely claustrophobic.  So the Obama Administration put him in a little, dinky hole called Supermax, where you spend 23 hours a day in a 7 x 10 foot cell.  And all of a sudden, Abdulmuttallab started talking.  Surprise!

Amazing things happen when you use someone’s phobias.  The interesting thing is the left wasn’t so amused when they found out that during the Bush era, interrogators used insects on Abu Zubaydah, who is apparently deathly frightened of certain insects.

The Bybee opinion was sought on 10 interrogation tactics in the case of suspected al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah.

The memo authorized keeping Zubaydah in a dark, confined space small enough to restrict the individual’s movement for no more than two hours at a time. In addition, putting a harmless insect into the box with Zubaydah, who “appears to have a fear of insects,” and telling him it is a stinging insect would be allowed, as long as Zubaydah was informed the insect’s sting would not be fatal or cause severe pain.

“If, however, you were to place the insect in the box without informing him that you are doing so … you should not affirmatively lead him to believe that any insect is present which has a sting that could produce severe pain or suffering or even cause his death,” the memo said.

Now many liberals, from numerous places, stated that this was torture, because the mental stress that could result from abusing a phobia, by itself, should be considered torture.

So, just wondering…where are those liberals on the interrogation of Abdulmuttallab today?