On Sept 14th David Frakt, law professor and former military defense attorney for two Guantanamo detainees, and Stephen Jones, a defense attorney who defended Timothy McVeigh, debated Former CIA Director Michael Hayden and former Bush speech writer, Marc Thiessen on the War on Terror. Frakt continued the argument with an article he wrote for the Huffington Post, entitled “My debate with Marc Thiessen.” NewsRealBlog asked the following individuals to offer their opinions on this debate: Kyndra Rotunda, a professor at Chapman School of Law in Orange, California and author of Honor Bound: Inside the Guantanamo Trials, Andrew C. McCarthy, who prosecution the terrorists of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, a contributing editor for National Review Online, and author of The Grand Jihad, and Thomas Joscelyn, a terrorism analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a writer for the Weekly Standard.
NewsRealBlog: Frakt stated:
if we were to capture Osama Bin Laden I would not “torture” him if that will possibly lead to an attack that might be prevented. I am ok with it.
Could you comment on it?
Andrew McCarthy: At least he was honest. When I speak to groups I ask who is in favor of torture and no hands go up? Who is in favor of water boarding and very few hands go up? However, at least 7 out of 10 hands go up when I rephrase the questions with the ticking time bomb scenario. Those against the so called torture are never made to say what they would do in a real life situation. When you press them on it they always slither away, saying it won’t work. The question has to be if they would rather get the information or see thousands of people die.
NRB: Do you think as Frakt implied that the harsh interrogation methods are inconsistent with the Constitution?
McCarthy: For foreigners who are captured or held outside the US the Constitution does not apply since there is no extraterritorial extension. If he is talking about the 8th amendment that prohibits cruel and unusual punishment the Supreme Court has held that it only applies if the Supreme Court’s conscience has been shocked. This means you are not to look at the methods but the circumstances under which it was applied.
Thomas Joscelyn: Only three terrorists have been water boarded yet that is what has framed the entire discussion and narrative. The overwhelming majority of interrogations never relied upon waterboarding, or any other coercive techniques.