So what if CIA tortured suspects?

Advocate editorial writer Lee Giles, like many westerners, recently expressed his disgust at the nasty things the CIA did while interrogating terror suspects.

Advocate editorial writer Lee Giles, like many westerners, recently expressed his disgust at the nasty things the CIA did while interrogating terror suspects.

I guess he’s never had a few busloads of fellow citizens blown up in his neighbourhood. He probably wasn’t at the foot of the Twin Towers on 9/11 when people started jumping off the top to escape an even more horrible death by barbecue.

And probably none of his family have ever been held hostage by terrorists who don’t make idle threats to kill your children, rape your womenfolk or put a power drill or cattle prod to various body parts.

Those terrorists actually do all those things. And they don’t mind. They seem to like it.

That’s why it is so difficult for intelligence forces and our police to deal with these swine. Nothing really moves them.

Terrorists are pretty much convinced that dying will reap all kinds of rewards for them in their odd version of a heavenly brothel, so our boys can’t really afford to play by the rules we apply to “normal” criminal minds who just want to rob a bank, steal a car or heist a few TVs.

For those normal criminal guys, you can usually just threaten them with a few dozen years behind bars or a lighter sentence if they just cough up the plan and turn in their mates.

When I first moved to Israel in 1993, I was hopeful the Jewish state would represent itself as a “light unto nations” — and I had many disconcerting surprises.

Some were related to the issue of torture to get information from terrorists. I thought it was dreadful that some of these terrorists were treated to a variety of nasty threats, similar to those the CIA is accused of using on various terrorists.

Until the day I was nearly blown up at Beit Lid Junction, Jan. 22, 1995.

I had been planning a quick trip into the town of Netanya by bus to go to the bank while my husband was off to a short meeting up the road. But just as I was stepping from the car he said, “Come with me, it will only take a few minutes . . .” and simultaneously the light changed to green and I flopped back in the car, slamming the door as we sped off.

Moments later, just a kilometre up the road, we parked and I continued writing a letter home to Sandra Sawatsky.

Suddenly there was a terrific boom — like a jet fighter breaking the sound barrier. Then the car shook back and forth, back and forth from the concussion blast. Wow. That was a low jet, I thought, remembering how NATO used to buzz my town when I lived in France in the 1970s. Then sirens. Many sirens. And then minutes later another terrific boom. Another earthquake shake of the car. And more sirens. Many more sirens.

A double suicide bombing — one bomber goes in, blows himself up, and the other waits patiently until the area is filled with lifesaving emergency crews. Then she/he goes in and blows them up too. Twenty-one killed. Sixty-nine injured. I would have been one of them. After that close call, I had a sudden change of heart about those people suspected of terrorism — especially those who hold the key to the ‘ticking bomb.’

After some research, it was clear to me that the cops and intelligence people aren’t doing a random sweep to pick up your Average Joe or Moe. They pick up people who are pretty clearly marked by a trail of evidence — people who really don’t care a fig for human life.

Our intelligence and police forces love and cherish life and try to defend it.

I don’t like the fact that they have to lower themselves to be so vicious with those who hate life and cherish death. But I’d rather the suspected terrorists suffer than that my friends, family and decent folk be splattered about.

U.S. President Barack Obama is a nice man, but very naive. Hopefully our intelligence and enforcement agencies in North American can save us from that. Believe me, the enemy never sleeps and doesn’t care about human life — not yours, not mine and not really their own either.

Be grateful we have people on our side willing to do this distasteful and morally challenging work that quietly saves so many lives.

Michelle Stirling-Anosh is a Ponoka freelance columnist.

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