Much of the post-election analysis on Scott Browns triumph in MA, (the first Republican sent to the US Senate in that deep blue state in thirty years), has focused on his 41st vote in the Senate, ending the Dem super-majority, his opposition to ObamaCare, and Martha Coakly’s weak, gaffe-prone campaign. But another important factor was Brown’s stance on national security. As Robert Costa reported in NRO, according to Brown’s top strategist, Eric Fehrnstrom, “from our own internal polling, the more potent issue here in Massachusetts was terrorism and the treatment of enemy combatants.”
Scott Brown campaigned as an unabashed supporter of enhanced interrogation, what Obama and his minions, call “torture”.
Marc Thiessen, former speechwriter for President Bush, and author of, Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack, thinks there’s an important lesson for beltway Republicans, here.
If an outspoken supporter of waterboarding can run this strongly in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, imagine how the issue will play in the rest of America.
The fact is President Obama has placed our country in grave danger by dismantling the CIA’s program to interrogate senior terrorist leaders like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. By limiting all terrorist interrogations to the techniques in the Army Field Manual, Obama is actually requiring that captured terrorists receive better treatment in the interrogation room than common criminals being questioned at your local police precinct. Not only has he eliminated lawful interrogation techniques, under his administration the United States is no longer trying to capture the leaders of al Qaeda alive, and bring them in for interrogation so they can tell us their plans for future attacks.
Despite these facts, some in the GOP have been hesitant to speak out about President Obama’s elimination of the CIA program, for fear of being branded as supporters of torture. They have nothing to fear. The label is false and it will not stick. As I make clear in my book, Courting Disaster, Scott Brown has it right: The CIA’s interrogation of senior al Qaeda terrorists was not torture. Moreover, these interrogations were responsible for helping the CIA breaking up a number of terrorist attacks – including plots to blow up the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, the U.S. Marine camp in Djibouti, and to fly hijacked airplanes into buildings in London and Los Angeles. This is a strong record to run on – and dismantling the CIA program that foiled these plots is a major vulnerability for Obama and the Democrats.
Polls show that the more the public learns about the CIA’s interrogation program, the more Americans support it. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 58% of Americans say waterboarding and other aggressive interrogation techniques should be used to gain information from the terrorist who attempted to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day. Just 30% were opposed. There are few issues on which conservatives have a more disparate advantage.
Andrew McCarthy concurs in his NRO piece, It’s The Enemy, Stupid:
Scott Brown went out and made the case for enhanced interrogation, for denying terrorists the rights of criminal defendants, for detaining them without trial, and for trying them by military commission. It worked. It will work for other candidates willing to get out of their Beltway bubbles.
Yes, the Left will say you are making a mockery of our commitment to “the rule of law.” MSNBC will run segments on your dark conspiracies to “shred the privacy rights of Americans.” The New York Times will wail that you’re heedless of the damage you’ll do to “America’s reputation in the international community.”
The answer is: So what? The people making these claims don’t speak for Americans — they speak at Americans, in ever shrinking amounts. If you’re going to cower from a fight with them, we don’t need you. Get us a Scott Brown who’ll take them on in their own backyard. And he’ll take them on with confidence because he knows their contentions are frivolous — and he knows that Americans know this, too.
The laws of war are the rule of law. They are not a suspension of the Constitution. They are the Constitution operating in wartime. The Framers understood that there would be wars against enemies of the United States — it is stated explicitly in the Constitution’s treason clause (Art. III, Sec. 3). The American people understand that we have enemies, even if Washington sees them as political “engagement” partners waiting to happen. Americans also grasp that war is a political and military challenge that the nation has to win, not a judicial proceeding in which your enemies are presumed innocent. The rule of law is not and has never been the rule of lawyers — especially lawyers we can’t vote out of office when they say we must let trained terrorists move in next door.
One of his biggest applause lines in last night’s acceptance speech, and what The Weekly Standard’s Matthew Continetti thought was the quote of the day:
“And let me say this, with respect to those who wish to harm us, I believe that our Constitution and laws exist to protect this nation – they do not grant rights and privileges to enemies in wartime. In dealing with terrorists, our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them, not lawyers to defend them.”
Take heed, Republicans. It’s safe to run on “torture”.
Jennifer Rubin: Reversing Obama’s Worst Decision Yet?
Linked by Michelle Malkin’s Buzzworthy, thanks!