So, in fact, Democrats are - or at least, were - willing to do what was necessary to protect the nation.
In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, D- Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.
Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.
"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.
The lawmakers who held oversight roles during the period included Pelosi and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), as well as Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan).
..."Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing," said Goss, who chaired the House intelligence committee from 1997 to 2004 and then served as CIA director from 2004 to 2006. "And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement."
The shock that many Democrats express over the exposed CIA techniques for interrogation is an act. And the feigned horror at finally learning of these terrible techniques is an act. And Mr. Bush has been telling the truth when he has stated that Congress has been kept apprised of the situation throughout.
Several officials familiar with the briefings also recalled that the meetings were marked by an atmosphere of deep concern about the possibility of an imminent terrorist attack.
I see. So, while you feel there is danger then it is "do what is necessary," but as soon as the blanket of security that those efforts bring is safely wrapped around your shoulders you point your accusatory finger at those who provided the blanket? Is a little intellectual consistency too much to ask?
12/9/07 2130: John Hinderaker at Power Line asks a pertinent question.
JOHN adds: As I've said before, I think waterboarding is the ideal interrogation technique for known terrorists. It is nearly always effective, works in just a few minutes, and does no physical harm. It works by frightening the subject, which seems highly appropriate for a terrorist.
What I can never understand is how, exactly, the people who object to waterboarding want us to interrogate terrorists. Presumably they don't want us to beat them; unlike waterboarding, that would not only scare the terrorists but do them physical harm. Do they seriously think that we can get timely information from hard-core terrorists through clever cross-examination? Or do they think that captured terrorists, like criminal defendants in the American judicial system, have a right to remain silent?