Over at the New Yorker, Jane Mayer throws a bouquet at Phillipe Sands, the British lawyer whose book, The Torture Team, is now credited for the decision by a Spanish judge to try and indict American officials who were advising the president on how best to fight al Qaeda.
Sands, with Mayer’s support, argues that putting physical pressure on terrorists who were complicit in planning mass murder on American soil is an evil act that must be punished. In their bizzaro world, the terrorists are the innocent victims and the people tasked with defending the American people against these Islamist killers are the bad guys.
What’s worse is that Sands is permitted to trot out his mother’s family’s Viennese Jewish background and their suffering under the Nazis, as justification for his own attack on those who were fighting al Qaeda. The self-righteous Brit has no sense of irony. Would he have indicted those Americans or British intelligence officers who put some physical pressure on Nazis to extract information on Hitler’s next targets? Or indict the civilians who advised Winston Churchill to bomb Nazi targets at the possible cost of German civilian lives? Does he care that the people he would shield against the legitimate efforts of Western intelligence agencies to stop their crimes are, in fact, followers of an ideology that promotes mass murder against Jews — and other infidels — in our own day?
As it turns out, former undersecretary of defense Douglas Feith, one of the targets of Sands’s wildly inaccurate charges, is himself the son of a Holocaust survivor. One may disagree with his politics or even with some of the decisions he and others in the administration made after 9/11. But Sands, and others who use the Holocaust as a prop in their efforts to besmirch those who have defended our liberties, are the real disgrace.