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Laura Ingraham on The Factor: The Notion of Not Torturing is a “Utopian Idea” and an “Ivory Tower Approach”

Reported by Julie - September 4, 2009 -

Damn, it’s been a long week without Bill O’Reilly on The Factor . . . OMG, I can't believe I just said that! But at least his voice doesn’t send shivers down my spine. At least his eyes don’t have that glittering, manic, Thriller look. At least he doesn’t wear a gold crucifix. But this week, we’ve got Laura Ingraham, and on last night's Impact Segment she defended her waterboarding lord, Dick Cheney, with all the vehemence of Eva Braun defending Hitler. With video.

Ingraham gleefully said, “Former VP Dick Cheney must be ruffling some Democratic feathers by speaking out against the Obama Administration’s national security stance, because the DNC is hitting back with an ad that re-argues the Iraq war . . . .”

Roll the tape. Bottom line on the ad: Dick Cheney was wrong then, and he’s wrong now. Amen.

Ingraham introduced her guest, attorney and Democratic strategist, Keith Watters.

“Keith, this is like the golden oldies,” Ingraham said in her nasal monotone, “Going back to Cheney and the Bush-Cheney trough . . . is that the best the DNC can do, you know, dredge up that stuff, why is that persuasive?”

Watters calmly pointed out, correctly, that Cheney started all of this, that he’s on television every week “bashing the Obama Administration from Day One,” and that “at some point it has to be addressed.”

Ingraham defended Cheney staunchly, saying that what he’s doing is simply responding to “a number of things being said by President Obama and his minions, namely that these enhanced interrogation techniques weren’t right . . . and made our country more dangerous . . . but on this issue, interrogating the worst of the worst . . . the American people are on his side on that issue . . . .” Woah, Nelly – just weeks after President Obama was inaugurated, Cheney's snarling mug was all over the tube warning that closing the Guantanamo Bay prison and discontinuing the use of torture was making the country less safe. In fact, it’s the opposite. Former FBI special agent Jack Cloonon, in fact, testified that, due to the Bush-Cheney torture policies, “revenge in the form of a catastrophic attack on the homeland is coming.”

Watters asserted, “. . . He’s using the classic ‘ends justify the means argument.’ We’re a nation of laws and we have to apply them legally and ethically . . . and I believe in due process of laws and I don’t believe in enhanced interrogation methods, which is another word for torture.”

Ingraham sure doesn’t like her I-love-torture agenda messed with.

“How many people could be sacrificed in this utopian idea, this ivory tower approach to interrogation . . .,” Ingraham said pugnaciously. “Even people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed . . . This is a man who was responsible as a mastermind of 9/11 where 3,000 Americans were killed . . . what is permissible to do with him and who would want to work for the CIA when they think they’re gonna be prosecuted, Keith?”

This is a really simple concept, Laur, honey, and even you, as a non-practicing lawyer, should be able to grasp it if I speak slowly: No CIA agent will be prosecuted for crimes if they don’t friggin’ commit crimes.

“If someone has broken the law they should be held accountable . . . .” Watters said.

“This is not breaking the law,” lawyer (hard to believe, ain’t it?) Ingraham asserted. “He murdered Americans in giving material assistance to the 9/11 hijackers.”

Oh, well then, that’s different. If he committed a crime then it’s perfectly okay in the United States to just commit one back. I mean, all these cops and courts and judges and laws and due process thingies and prison rights stuff are just, you know, fake laws. It’s not even a real law if someone commits a crime that’s, you know, bad enough – then laws are for sissies. And who decides whether it’s a real law or a fake law? Laura Ingraham.

Watters asserted calmly, “The experts have told us these enhanced interrogation methods do not work . . . .”

“I don’t care who the experts are,” Ingraham cried, rattled. “The facts are the facts . . . .”

Ingraham finally succeeding in riling Watters up – she’s like a splinter under your fingernail.

“Would you like to have a lynch mob?” Watters challenged. “Why do we even try ‘em, why don’t we just hang ‘em?”

“I’m not talking about putting someone on a rack . . . .” Ingraham replied. No, see, it’s just simulated drowning, not much different from the frat game of quarters.

“Your hypothetical assumes that we get the information . . . ,” Watters shot back.

Ingraham insisted that we obtained the information from Mohammed only after he was waterboarded.

Watters, clearly a compassionate person, asked Ingraham, “Are you concerned at all about the people who were tortured . . . What if the wrong guy was tortured . . . .”

“I think if you and civil rights lawyers like you went back to Dresden you would want to prosecute some of the actions that we took in WWII,” Ingraham sneered. “. . . I’m much more worried about the safety and security of this country . . . .”

Watters continued to try to argue with a person who doesn’t want to be confused with facts, and to whom the concept of principles is meaningless, saying, “But if a country doesn’t have principles . . . I think we came very close to tarnishing our image around the world . . . we used to be the leader of the Democratic world, now we’re looked upon with scorn.”

Ingraham skirted the “principles” issue and ran the best-defense-is-a-good-offense game, asserting, “Barack Obama was supposed to come in with all this soft power and the world was supposed to love us, meanwhile the world’s not giving us anything in Afghanistan . . . .” Sometimes, Laur, it’s not about getting something in return – it’s about doing the right thing. And in fact, according to a Pew Research poll, the image of the United States has “‘improved markedly in most parts of the world,’ largely because of the high levels of global confidence and trust in Obama.”

“A lot of those problems were inherited,” Watters stated, “And the President is trying to put us on the right path.”

“So you today would say you would work for the CIA, be an interrogator . . . knowing that you could be prosecuted years from now,” Ingraham asked.

“I would be proud to work for the government of the United States . . .,” Watters said evenly. “Even a military person can’t . . . advocate following an order that’s illegal.”

I know one thing: We don’t need waterboarding or any other enhanced interrogation techniques to get the goods. If officials would just play Laura Ingraham’s videos over and over and over, every prisoner would fold like a tent to make it stop.

Waterboarding might be more humane.