Merry Christmas, President Bush

Published 6:30 pm Thursday, December 18, 2008

Call it President Bush’s Christmas gift that keeps on giving.

That gift? There have been no terrorist attacks in the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001.

Yet he is getting little credit from the mainstream media, Democrats and other Bush haters.

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This crowd prefers instead to find fault with the U.S. policies that have proven so successful in this country.

Guantanamo must be closed, captured terrorists must have access to U.S. courts, and interrogation practices such as water boarding must end.

These are just some of the positions that the Left has trumpeted.

The fact that some hold these views shows that they are either incredibly nave or callous, not caring if more Americans die at the hands of terrorists.

Consider Guantanamo. First off, the Bush administration has released more detainees than it currently holds – about 270.

Second, many of the detainees are classified as “unlawful combatants.” Under international law, this status does not enjoy the same legal protections that prisoners of war do.

That hardly seems to matter, though, to the Left. They would just as soon see these Muslim terrorists in open court, blasting the U.S., calling for access to U.S intelligence data, and taking advantage of all the legal rights afforded to U.S. citizens.

Given the slow pace of the U.S. judicial system, this option would guarantee that Muslim terrorists who killed Americans would not face justice for years and years.

Case in point. Among the rights afforded U.S. prisoners is the right to have an attorney present when questioned. So much for getting useful intelligence, especially in a timely way.

And speaking of questioning detainees, the Left also charges that tough interrogation methods amount to torture and thus are forbidden under international law.

According to a 1984 international agreement, the term “torture” “means “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession.”

This definition is clearly ambiguous. What’s “severe”? What is “suffering”?

And reasonable people can disagree.

But to hear some on the left, humiliation, discomfort, loud noises and sleep deprivation all are torture.

By this reasoning, a prison guard shouting “Lights Out” could be considered torture. So could asking prisoners to use a communal shower.

The fact is that the use of water boarding, which is not life threatening, led the U.S. and its allies to thwart terror plots both here and abroad.

According to Fox News, some 17 plots against the U.S. were blocked.

The rest of the world hasn’t been so lucky.

The Web site, The Religion of Peace (And a Big Stack of Dead Bodies) says that more than 12,000 terror attacks have taken place abroad since 9/11.

Even if that figure is half of the Web site’s claim, that’s still a bunch – and not one occurred on U.S. soil.

Thank you, Mr. Bush, for my present.

Chris Warden is a journalism professor at Troy University and formerly was the editorial page editor at Investor’s Business Daily.