Where Intelligence Meets News Analysis.

Obama Must Soon Torture Ideals

You have to respect a man of principle. A man whose structural vision of ideals loudly echoes the s e n t i m e n t s of the model citizen of an ideal world. A man whose conviction makes him believe he must clamor to the highest degree of human offering in the darkest of hours and days. “We must adhere to our values as diligently as we protect our safety with no exceptions,” he deliberately said on the day he introduced his CIA and National Intelligence chiefs.

He once again reiterated this in his inaugural speech, in a language emblematic of his campaign, one that continued his assault on tactics used by the erstwhile Bush administration in protecting American lives. “As for our defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals,” he said. “…We will not give them up for expedience’s sake.”

President Obama up to this point has spoken like a newly minted chief executive and deservingly so has demanded a pass from citizens everywhere. He has echoed the words of a statesman. But as he so eloquently quoted the Scriptures in his inaugural, “it is now time to put away childish things.”

The president’s anti-torture position is deeply rooted in the U.S. constitution, in international treaties and charters like the Geneva Conventions which he so often refers. It is without doubt that these laid laws and agreements make dictators and tyrants across diverse regions of humanity accountable for arbitrary and callous mutilations of subjects, such as the recently concluded torture trial of Charles “Chuckie” Taylor, Jr.

A city built on a hill cannot be hid. The perils that face the greatest nation on earth in the 21st century is wholesomely imaginable, but none the more surreal than the “scarcely” imaginable perils the President says the Founding Fathers faced. Unlike then, technology brings those who seek to cause immeasurable harm to us and sabotage these very ideals we hold sacred, to our doorsteps.

The use of harsh tactics such as waterboarding, threats, and sleep deprivation in interrogation of terror suspects in a post-9/11 world is not a matter of expediency but a matter of necessity.

9/11/2001 has come to dwarf the infamy of Pearl Harbor and define today’s century and world. This is not an excuse for whatever, but one which the president must soon espouse whether it’s an easily acceptable fact of life or not.

I stand unequivocally against the senseless torture of any citizen. What cannot be realistic today is the Geneva Conventions’ mandate of no exposure to “unpleasant treatment” of known terror suspects which make harsh interrogation methods like the ones mentioned above criminal.

If men were angels, according to the words of the fourth president and “The Father of the U.S. Constitution” James Madison, no government would be necessary. It is in such ominous stark reality that this president begs for sanity from demons—a prayer I’m afraid will no doubt go unanswered.

Mr. Obama for the first time in his life would account for 300 million residents. Is the president ready to strap up explosives to the bodies of his two beautiful daughters, Malia and Sasha, kiss them goodbye and send them into a crowded mall? Is he ready to have his wife Michelle Obama and a group of friends hijack and crash a Boeing 747 into the United States Capitol on account of beliefs?

While the president would not do these, he must always remember enemies of the United States freely and delightfully would. This is NO gentlemen’s club. Fundamental Islam is the greatest threat we face in this generation. Mr. Obama must know that to allow a known terrorist to go ahead and fall asleep in his cell and offer him the leisure of silence while an American city is under imminent danger is not only a betrayal of trust, but a murder of conscience.

No matter how inept the Bush administration had been in the past 7½ years, a binding truth is that it kept American lives safe from terror on American soil when it mattered. He did not bring the proverbial knife to a gun fight. Come 2012, President Obama must pray this election year doesn’t become a referendum on national security if he continues to shelter in this “no torture” world of ideals. Democrats blinded by these don’t win such elections; but Republicans enlightened by realities do. It is a fact of American life.

I do sincerely hope President Obama has been recording episodes of FOX network’s “24” … life imitates art more than you would ever think Mr. President—a show that even forecast your first black presidency before you dreamed it. You can close Guantanamo Bay as early as you want and all other CIA prisons across the globe; but the choice between safety and ideals would soon not be a choice of expediency, but a choice agonized in the painfully deep waters of necessity.

5 Responses to “Obama Must Soon Torture Ideals”

  1. coffee

    Obama is smart on so many levels for ordering the closure of Guantanamo. It has been a long time coming

  2. Passion

    “Fundamental Islam is the greatest threat we face in this generation.” Explain.

    To continue, the reality for any government — actually any establishment — is based on the use of force, torture, coercion. A measurable combination of one and/or all three to get things done.

    The most basic example to illustrate this is the relationship between an employee and its employer. You don’t show up at your place of employment, you don’t get paid. Without a paycheck, you have no money. No money….. well, name 10 things you can do WITHOUT money that enables one a “comfortable” lifestyle — how ever that “comfort” is defined. (For those who would take me up on that challenge, please be realistic.)

    Every government engages in some form of torture, force, or coercion. The radical ones admit they do. The diplomatic ones call it “waterboarding”.

    For President Obama to decry the use of any one of these measures leaves me indifferent. Honestly, he will not do the interrogations. He will not do the arrests. He cannot present himself in each country where the United States has a military presence. Neither can he — overnight — change interrogation procedures of military personnel. Some of whom have been in power before Obama’s administration came into being.

    Much as I respect and admire President Obama, as I mentioned before to someone else, each plan of action must have defined goals and procedures of resolution preceding and succeeding it. You cannot deal with terrorism without resolving how you define a terror suspect; how you plan on obtaining necessary information; and where and how you’ll house that suspect while obtaining needed informations.

    My hope and prayer for President Obama is that wisdom guides each stroke of his pen — as he approves and vetoes measures that will govern the country. And in so doing, most of the world.

    No to torture, force, coercion, “waterboarding”? So be it. What’s your Plan B, President Obama????

  3. 'Pelumi Olatinpo

    Very well said “Passion.” What is Plan B? And can even a Plan B be as effective as “Plan A’ in this age of global terror?! You mentioned how you are indifferent to President Obama decrying use of harsh interrogation tactics based on the premise that he’s not going to be there during the interrogations and presence of established personnel in those situations.

    The problem with that argument is that Mr. Obama is not alone in his thinking, there are actually personnel that do agree with such line of thinking and are willing to snitch on whoever engages in any coercive treatment. There has been a lot of talk in Democratic circles about prosecuting CIA offcials who have engaged in waterboarding and the like. So while Mr. Obama will not be there, his eyes and friends will be there.

    But like you said, Obama whatever he does, cannot afford to have innocent American civilians’ blood on his hands if he’s to have a successful presidency.

  4. 'Pelumi Olatinpo

    And yes, per Fundamental Islam being the greatest threat we face in this generation … this can never be truer.

    Most notably since the collapse of the Roman Empire, we’ve had an ever increasing armed conflict between predominantly christian nations and predominantly islamic nations. The Crusades of the 1100s is a prime example of this.

    Today, The United States is the sole superpower in the world. It’s a predominantly christian nation. It unequivocally and bluntly supports the nation of Israel. The nation of Israel is in a “death to the end” conflict with Palestine and Arab nations in its support. So you see how this is shaping out.

    And on top of that, the view by Fundamental Islamists that the ways of the christian West is a sharp contradiction to the Will of Allah makes the United States an abormination that must be exterminated just in the same way the Crusaders viewed the muslims in the East and the Romans attacked the early Christians.

    Fundamental Islamists are ready to kill themselves and members of their family for a supposedly righteous cause, NO ONE in christiandom is ready to do that…it goes against its teachings and way of life. So this said, it is hard not to see Fundamental Islam as the new frontier that challenges “Civilization” today.

  5. Passion

    President Obama, his administration, as well as friends and “eyes” need to always remember the American people who voted them into office. The very last thing that should affect their counter-terrorism tactics is my indifference. The very first factor is our collective safety — which include Sasha and Malia’s as they live in a House prone to target. Countering terrorism, with or without violence, to me, is relative.

    The bottom line is to get the job done.

    Those willing to prosecute CIA officials or military personnel who had operated under the Bush administration are facetious. There is a vast difference between force and talks. Not everything is negotiable; neither can every individual be persuaded towards “what is right”. President Obama will learn that soon enough.

    On Fundamental Islam being the greatest threat of our generation, I absolutely disagree. In the simplest form, the Qur’an, like the Bible, is a guidebook for living. Whether through teachings and sayings by Jesus or Mohammad, the concepts behind them, following the path to a “higher power”, call for human beings to aspire towards greater good by faith.

    There are radical ideologies, theories, and concepts rampant throughout the Qur’an and Bible. To be sure, human beings tend towards selective reading and individuals partial to either prophet will choose concepts that best fit personal mindsets and subconsciously desired lifestyles.

    To say Islam is founded on an ideology hateful of Christians, in particular, and the West, as a whole, and that Muslims, who are fundamental followers of Islam, are antagonistic is grossly misinformed. That inane thought borders on aspersion and lacks objectivity.

    Prime example, I was watching the show on the Duggar family today. For those who are not aware, they are a family of twenty — eighteen children naturally-born by two parents….and continuing. Following the Biblical concept that “children are a heritage of the Lord”, the Duggar parents keep their “quivers full”. They do not use contraceptives. Have no concept of family planning — the contemporary sense of timing the birth of one’s children for stability’s sake. And, for lack of a better word, are Fundamental Christians.

    Verses in the Bible have been taken out of context to justify a lifestyle that had the Duggars needed government assistance to raise eighteen (…and counting) children, their community would have stood up in arms. However, due to the Duggar family’s socio-economic, financial, political, and religious status, their lifestyle became reality entertainment.

    Being Quiverfull is not a requirement for Christianity. Neither is being a Baptist or Pentecostal. An individual’s actions as influenced by faith and religious fervor is not all-inclusive of others operating under the same belief system.

    In a similar vein, being a Muslim, and a fundamental one at that, does not preclude hatred for “civilization” as its known today. There are fundamental political, social, and economic reasons countries in the Middle East dislike Western sovereignties. Most of which have little to do with religion — and nearly all of which can be justified through religious thought.

    By the way, the United States is not the sole superpower in the world. That was true BEFORE the Bush administration. We certainly are a very powerful nation to be reckoned with, yes. But as the sole superpower??? There are many viable for that position as the United States is in a terribly weakened state.

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