This was a necessary and very comprehensive review of many aspects of the Administration’s offensive against al Qaeda and affiliated terror organizations. Piece by piece the president explained how interrogation yields intelligence and intelligence new captures, who in turn are interrogated for new leads. The product of this cycle is impressive, and the fact that no new attacks on the homeland have occurred since 9/11 is the best evidence of the effectiveness of the Administration’s relentless pursuit of terrorists.
The president asserts that all interrogation has been in accordance with US law. Given the revelations at Abu Ghraib, we know that not all conduct by all American troops and operatives has been legal, but the president’s point is that the official interrogations of terrorists have been conducted pursuant to lawful, though “tough” techniques.
The president also included a muted but real rebuke to SCOTUS majority in Hamdan, as well as a blunt demand on Congress that it act quickly to authorize the military tribunals and procedures necessary to try the terrorists who launched the 9/11 attacks. Only the Lamont wing of the Democratic Party will oppose such legislation. In the next ten days or so we will see just how large that wing is.