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War On Terror: Americans strongly oppose prosecuting U.S. officials who got tough with detainees to get information about future terror plots. We should be at war with terrorists, not the heroes saving us from them.
According to the IBD/TIPP national poll of 927 adults, who were surveyed from Oct. 5 to 10, some 58% of Americans are against prosecuting those in the U.S. government who used enhanced interrogation techniques against captured terrorists.
That is a heavy indictment against those who would demonize, as former Vice President Dick Cheney described them this week, "dedicated professionals who acted honorably and well, in our country's name and in our country's cause."
Even among Democrats, those favoring prosecution still numbered less than a majority, the poll showed — 46%, compared with 40% opposed. At 65%, independents registered even more disapproval over taking legal action against the interrogators. Some 74% of those calling themselves Republicans opposed prosecution.
Making human sacrifices to the god of politics out of those responsible for saving hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent lives is exactly what's on the mind of Attorney General Eric Holder and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Cheney's striking back. Since leaving office, he has quickly become the most effective opposition figure in Washington. Speaking before the Center for Security Policy in Washington on Wednesday, he accused those who call U.S. interrogators torturers of "slandering people who did a hard job well."
But Cheney went much further. Brandishing the Bush Administration's successes in protecting the homeland, he quipped, "you would think that our successors would be going to the intelligence community saying, 'How did you do it?'"
Instead, those on the left, as "an article of faith," have falsely contended that enhanced interrogation methods failed, and that the information extracted could have been discovered by other means.
"We did try other means and techniques to elicit information from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other al-Qaida operatives," Cheney said, "only turning to enhanced techniques when we failed to produce the actionable intelligence we knew they were withholding."
When those lesser methods failed, "our intelligence professionals, in urgent circumstances with the highest of stakes, obtained specific information, prevented specific attacks, and saved American lives."
To call those lifesaving actions torture, according to Cheney, "is not only to disregard the program's legal underpinnings and safeguards," but to commit "a libel" against a group of patriots.
To Cheney, it's but one component in a "drift of events under the present administration."