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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 21, 2007 / 11 Teves 5768

Destroying CIA tapes deserves a thank you

By Linda Chavez


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | His name isn't yet familiar to most Americans, but I expect it will be by the end of 2008: Jose A. Rodriguez Jr. He is the man, according to recent press reports, who ordered the destruction of interrogation tapes made by the CIA, which allegedly show the effects of waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques" used against terrorists Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. In the next few months, his name will likely be dragged through the mud, and he will be vilified as a rogue official engaged in a massive cover-up. I think he deserves a medal.


According to information that has already leaked out about the investigations into the CIA tapes, Rodriguez, who was head of the agency's clandestine operations at the time, made the decision to destroy the videos in November 2005. The tapes themselves were made in 2002, just months after the United States experienced the most devastating foreign attack against American civilians in our nation's history.


Looking back, it's very easy to condemn the extraordinary measures our government took to try to save lives in the wake of 9/11. And, of course, the media and members of Congress have perfect 20/20 hindsight, but the rest of us should show a little restraint when it comes to judging past decisions in light of contemporary misgivings.


A collective amnesia seems to have set in on what conditions were like in 2002 when those CIA interrogations took place. Most Americans fully expected that the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon were just the beginning of a terrorist war on American civilians. After all, we were being told by nearly everyone in a position to know that the question was not if we would suffer another major terrorist attack, but when.


By the time the CIA interrogated Zubaydah and al-Nashiri, the East Coast had been hit not only on Sept. 11 but by a series of anthrax attacks that killed five people and injured an estimated 17 others (a case that has yet to be solved.) Sniper John Allen Muhammad, a convert to the Nation of Islam, and his sidekick, Lee Boyd Malvo, had also gunned down 10 people and critically injured three others in the Washington, D.C., area in a monthlong rampage.


Congress was so concerned that the government had not done enough to protect us that it created a new federal agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and established the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who would become speaker of the House of Representatives when the Democrats returned to power four years later, told the Washington Post in January 2002 that she began every speech with "We stand side by side with President Bush on the war on terrorism."


So what exactly did we expect the CIA to do when they captured high-level al-Qaida operatives? Read them their Miranda rights, provide them with free lawyers and place them in a cell with cable TV?


We don't know exactly what the captured al-Qaida operatives told interrogators — thankfully — but we do know that there hasn't been another al-Qaida attack in the United States in more than six years. We also know that congressional leaders, at least initially, made no objections to the use of waterboarding when they were informed about it in September 2002. (Speaker Pelosi now claims that she did object later.)


We also know that by the time Rodriguez reportedly gave instructions to destroy the CIA tapes, America's reputation had been severely damaged by the release of other tapes entirely unconnected to the CIA's or any U.S. efforts to obtain intelligence from captured prisoners. In April 2004, CBS's newsmagazine "60 Minutes" had aired a handful of inflammatory videos made by out-of-control, low-level American military guards at Abu Ghraib prison.


Those tapes revealed disgusting, evil mistreatment of ordinary prisoners by a handful of American soldiers — not an attempt to solicit valuable information from high-level al-Qaida detainees. Abu Ghraib resulted in convictions for some dozen soldiers and effectively ended the careers of several officers.


It is difficult to imagine what harm might have come from the release of the CIA interrogation tapes — but there is no doubt that had they continued to exist, at some point they would have become public. The tapes' release would have jeopardized sources and methods used by the CIA, the most serious category of risk to American intelligence. And their release might have led to assassinations of CIA operatives, greater risk for our captured soldiers, and international hand-wringing by our putative allies.


Rodriguez's lawyer says that his client sought and received legal clearance to destroy the tapes. Even though he is likely to become a scapegoat, what he did was right. He protected not just his men but all of us. I, for one, thank him.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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