My difference with the President on releasing photos of Abu Ghraib notwithstanding, he exhibits an understanding of terrorism and how to counter it — an understanding that was not on display at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue this week or at the American Enterprise Institute today.
Here’s a portion of President Obama’s speech today showing that he knows how overreaction to terrorism (such as resorting to torture) plays into the terrorism strategy:
As commander‐in‐chief, I see the intelligence, I bear responsibility for keeping this country safe, and I reject the assertion that these are the most effective means of interrogation. What’s more, they undermine the rule of law. They alienate us in the world. They serve as a recruitment tool for terrorists, and increase the will of our enemies to fight us, while decreasing the will of others to work with America. They risk the lives of our troops by making it less likely that others will surrender to them in battle, and more likely that Americans will be mistreated if they are captured. In short, they did not advance our war and counter‐terrorism efforts – they undermined them, and that is why I ended them once and for all.