Sunday, April 26, 2009

Liz Cheney: We Did Not Torture

Follow this link to HotAir and watch Norah O'Donnell debate Liz Cheney (Dick Cheney's daughter) about interrogation techniques. It really encapsulates most of the arguments on both sides. Liz Cheney provides one of the best and most complete arguments for our enhanced interrogation program after 9/11 that I've heard in years.

While you're there, be sure to follow Allahpundit's link to HotAir archives from 2006 which has audio of Bill Clinton scoffing at the idea that you wouldn't have 100% agreement that it would be OK to rough a guy up a little if an attack was imminent and we had someone in custody who knew the details and wouldn't talk, and that was the only way to get the information out of him and prevent the attack.

Note that this is before the liberals (and McCain) got going with their argument that "torture" does not work and/or does not produce reliable information.

The only difference I can see between Bill Clinton's described scenario and what the Bush administration was faced with was Clinton did specify in his definiton of "imminent" that we knew an attack was going down within 3 days. The problem with Clinton's definition is that it is very difficult to guage how "imminent" an attack is before the high-value terrorist detainee talks. It is reported that when they tried to interrogate Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and asked him if any further attackes were planned, he said something to the effect of "You will soon find out." In that situation, the responsible course of action for our national security apparatus to take is to assume that an attack is imminent. There could have been another attack within days or weeks, or it could have been months or even year(s) away. We did not know, but we knew we had someone in Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who did. Anyone who says they would not aggressively interrogate in this scenario to obtain the information necessary to protect Americans from another attack has no business being in charge of our national security. And any country who acts like they wouldn't have done at least as much as we did in an identical scenario is lying.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Obama refuses repayment of TARP money

If this doesn't send shivers down your spine, it should. I was really worried about how Obama would handle the increased government power that Bush was forced to hand over to Obama after Bush's response to the financial crisis last fall with TARP, and this is a NOT a good sign. It's starting to smell like socialism, or if not, at least WAY to much government intrusion into the private sector.

Obama is fanning the flames of panic and public outrage to build the case for government power to regulate Excecutive pay. Then he is trying to tell Michigan what type of autos to build, and threatening bank CEO's in an attempt to exert power over the financial industry. Now he won't let banks who were forced by Paulson to take TARP money to repay it, because he doesn't want to lose his power over the bank!

If we let him takover his favorite 3 industries -- health care, education, and energy -- what will be left of the economy that isn't larglely controlled by government?

If a pollster called me today, I would definitely say the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Gun Statistic Is A Flat Out Lie

HotAir highlights a Fox News report debunking a widely-cited statistic that 90% of all guns recovered at crime scenes and raids on drug cartels in Mexico are from the U.S. The statistic makes it sound like the U.S. is the overwhelming supplier of firearms to Mexican drug cartels. Supposedly, they just come up into some of the border states, buy a bunch of guns, and then drive them back to Mexico.

The problem is that the statistic, when stated this way, is flat out false. Fox News did some digging and found that Mexico's own numbers show that only 17% of such firearms are traced to the U.S.

Because of gun regulations in the U.S., guns manufactured in the U.S. have good markings that make the guns traceable. Mexico submits about 1/3 of the guns they find, the ones that have good markings, to the U.S. to see if they can be traced. About half of these guns are successfully traced, and it is of that subset, the ones that Mexico has pre-screened to be most likely to be from the U.S., that 90% are traced to the U.S. This proves nothing more than that the U.S. originated guns are more easily traced than the other 83% that came from black markets around the world, which is a good thing. It allows for more effective efforts to stem the flow from the U.S.

So you have quite a stark difference between the lie, "90% of the guns recovered by Mexico in drug cartel busts are from the U.S.," and the truth, "only 17% of the guns recovered can be traced back to the U.S."

Be wary when you hear statistics bandied about, even by politicians where you would think, "They wouldn't say that unless there was a strong element of truth to it, right?" You think that they wouldn't dare to say something so blatantly false that could be so easily disproved. But the media, save Fox News and some bloggers, does not do its job in this country, and so the politicians can get away with it, and so they will keep repeated outrageously misleading statistics.