Glenn Beck: What Exactly Is 'Torture'?



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National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair says tough interrogation tactics yielded "high value information." Critics of the Bush-approved methods have called them "torture" and President Obama says that those tactics won't be used on his watch.

But here's the one thing that people on both sides of the torture debate don't seem to understand: This isn't really about uncooperative suspects, it's about uncooperative politicians.

First let's all acknowledge that even the "evil" Bush administration's notion of "torture" is a far cry from what most of us think when we hear that word. There are no beheadings — like terrorists did to Nicholas Berg and Daniel Pearl — no shooting people in kneecaps, and no cutting off fingers one-by-one by with rusty garden shears.

What we're really talking about here is waterboarding and, whether you are morally in favor of it or not, it's far from clear whether that technique qualifies under the law as "torture."

And that's the whole problem: What exactly is "torture"?

What if we make a terrorist stay up a wink past their bedtime: Is that torture? What about playing loud music or feeding someone only bread and water: Is that torture?

Well, if you're rational, you might say, "Glenn, it all comes down to the law. Whatever it says, goes."

Great, we agree. But in this case the law is the problem.

Back in September 2002, the CIA demonstrated waterboarding and some other harsh techniques to a bipartisan group of politicians, including current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We didn't see a single one of those lawmakers (or anyone else in Congress) go on the record after 9/11 and say "I don't care if we're vaporized, I am morally opposed to torture and we will not do it under any circumstance."

In fact, some of the most outspoken people on the issue — like John McCain — didn't make a peep about waterboarding until 2004 and 2005. Even worse, none of the lawmakers bothered to clarify the torture statute by, oh I don't know, writing complicated legalese like "waterboarding is torture."

But now, because these people were too spineless to define it, they want to go back in time and punish the Bush administration for making agonizing decisions and complex legal interpretations in a time of war?

And, let's not forget that even after deciding that waterboarding was legal, they only did it to three high value suspects — one of whose information actually helped stop a massive airliner attack on the Library Tower.

I'm sick and tired of the spineless weasels who've never fought a war or run a business but keep trying to tell people how to fight wars and run businesses.

Let's be clear: The president has to make decisions that most people don't even want to think about. Do you know if waterboarding is torture? The president must. He has to make the tough calls and then the people who actually fight wars need to be left alone to do their job and stand by what they've done, no matter what the consequences.

We need Jack Bauer. Here's what he said when he was asked if he tortured a suspect:

(BEGIN '24' VIDEO CLIP)

ACTOR KIEFER SUTHERLAND AS JACK BAUER: Senator, why don't I save you some time: It's obvious that your agenda is to discredit CTU and generate a series of...

ACTOR KURTWOOD SMITH AS SENATOR BLAINE MAYER: My only agenda is to get to the truth.

BAUER: I don't think it is, sir.

SEN. MAYER: Excuse me?

BAUER: Ibrahim Haddad had targeted a bus train of 45 people, 10 of which were children. The truth, Senator, is I stopped that attack from happening.

SEN. MAYER: By torturing Mr. Haddad.

BAUER: By doing what I deemed necessary to protect innocent lives.

SEN. MAYER: So basically what you're saying, Mr. Bauer, is that the ends justify the means and that you are above the law.

BAUER: When I am activated, when I am brought into a situation, there is a reason and that reason is to complete the objectives of my mission at all costs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

No, actually we need Oliver North:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COL. OLIVER NORTH: I told you that I was going to tell it to you — the good, the bad and the ugly. Some of it has been ugly for me. I don't know how many other witnesses have gone through the ordeal that I have before arriving here and seen their names smeared all over the newspapers and by some members of this committee, but I committed when I raised my right hand took and oath as a midshipman that I would tell the truth and I took an oath when I arrived before this committee to tell the truth and I have done so, painful though it may be for me and for others.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Where is that honor today?

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On the radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck sat down with chief researcher Jason Buttrill to go over two bombshell developments that have recently come to light regarding former Vice President Joe Biden's role in the 2016 dismissal of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

"Wow! Two huge stories dropped within about 24 hours of each other," Jason began. He went on to explain that a court ruling in Ukraine has just prompted an "actual criminal investigation against Joe Biden in Ukraine."

This stunning development coincided with the release of leaked phone conversations, which took place in late 2015 and early 2016, allegedly among then-Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Ukraine's former President Petro Poroshenko.

One of the audiotapes seems to confirm allegations of a quid pro quo between Biden and Poroshenko, with the later admitting that he asked Shokin to resign despite having no evidence of him "doing anything wrong" in exchange for a $1 billion loan guarantee.

"Poroshenko said, 'despite the fact that we didn't have any corruption charges on [Shokin], and we don't have any information about him doing something wrong, I asked him to resign,'" Jason explained. "But none of the Western media is pointing this out."

Watch the video below for more details:


Listen to the released audiotapes in full here.

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A recently declassified email, written by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and sent herself on the day of President Donald Trump's inauguration, reveals the players involved in the origins of the Trump-Russia probe and "unmasking" of then-incoming National Security Adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn.

Rice's email details a meeting in the Oval Office on Jan 5, 2017, which included herself, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former President Barack Obama. Acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, fully declassified the email recently amid President Trump's repeated references to "Obamagate" and claims that Obama "used his last weeks in office to target incoming officials and sabotage the new administration."

On Glenn Beck's Wednesday night special, Glenn broke down the details of Rice's email and discussed what they reveal about the Obama administration officials involved in the Russia investigation's origins.

Watch the video clip below:

Fellow BlazeTV host, Mark Levin, joined Glenn Beck on his exclusive Friday episode of "GlennTV" to discuss why the declassified list of Obama administration officials who were aware of the details of Gen. Michael Flynn's wiretapped phone calls are so significant.

Glenn argued that Obama built a covert bureaucracy to "transform America" for a long time to come, and Gen. Flynn was targeted because he happened to know "where the bodies were buried", making him a threat to Obama's "secret legacy."

Levin agreed, noting the "shocking extent of the police state tactics" by the Obama administration. He recalled several scandalous happenings during Obama's "scandal free presidency," which nobody seems to remember.

Watch the video below for more:


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Colleges and universities should be home to a lively and open debate about questions both current and timeless, independent from a political bias or rules that stifle speech. Unfortunately for students, speaking out about personal beliefs or challenging political dogma can be a dangerous undertaking. I experienced this firsthand as an undergraduate, and I'm fighting that trend now as an adjunct professor.

In 2013, Glenn Beck was one of the most listened to radio personalities in the world. For a college senior with hopes of working on policy and media, a job working for Glenn was a ticket to big things. I needed a foot in the door and hoped to tap into the alumni network at the small liberal arts school where I was an undergrad. When I met with a career services specialist in early March 2013 about possible alumni connections to Glenn Beck, she disdainfully told me: "Why would you want to work for someone like him?" That was the beginning and end of our conversation.

I was floored by her response, and sent an email to the school complaining that her behavior was inappropriate. Her personal opinions, political or otherwise, I argued, shouldn't play a role in the decision to help students.

That isn't the kind of response a student should hear when seeking guidance and help in kick starting their career. Regardless of the position, a career specialist or professors' opinion or belief shouldn't be a factor in whether the student deserves access to the alumni network and schools' resources.

Now, seven years later, I work full time for a law firm and part time as an adjunct teaching business to undergraduate students. The culture at colleges and universities seems to have gotten even worse, unfortunately, since I was an undergrad.

College is a time to explore, dream big and challenge assumptions.

I never want to see a student told they shouldn't pursue their goals, regardless of their personal or political beliefs. College is a time to explore, dream big and challenge assumptions. I never got access to the alumni network or schools' resources from the career services office.

Lucky for students in 2020, there are several legal organizations that help students protect their rights when an issue goes beyond what can be handled by an undergraduate facing tremendous pressure from a powerful academic institution. Organizations like Speech First and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), for instance, are resources I wish I knew about at the time.

When I experienced mistreatment from my college, I spoke up and challenged the behavior by emailing the administration and explaining what happened. I received a letter from the career services specialist apologizing for the "unprofessional comment."

What she described in that apology as a "momentary lapse of good judgement" was anything but momentary. It was indicative of the larger battle for ideas that has been happening on college campuses across the country. In the past seven years, the pressure, mistreatment and oppression of free expression have only increased. Even right now, some are raising concerns that campus administrations are using the COVID-19 pandemic to limit free speech even further. Social distancing guidelines and crowd size may both be used to limit or refuse controversial speakers.

Students often feel pressure to conform to a college or university's wishes. If they don't, they could be expelled, fail a class or experience other retribution. The college holds all the cards. On most campuses, the burden of proof for guilt in student conduct hearings is "more likely than not," making it very difficult for students to stand up for their rights without legal help.

As an adjunct professor, every student who comes to me for help in finding purpose gets my full support and my active help — even if the students' goals run counter to mine. But I have learned something crucial in my time in this role: It's not the job of an educator to dictate a student's purpose in life. I'm meant to help them achieve their dreams, no matter what.

Conner Drigotas is the Director of Communications and Development at a national law firm and is a Young Voices contributor.