Chris Wallace shreds White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon with a simple question: "why is shooting an unarmed man in the face legal and proper while enhanced interrogation, including waterboarding of a detainee under very strict controls and limits -- why is that over the line?"
Wallace: Mr. Donilon, let me just make my point. I’m not asking you why it was OK to shoot Osama bin Laden. I fully understand the threat. And I’m not second-guessing the SEALs. What I am second guessing is, if that’s OK, why can’t you do waterboarding? Why can’t you do enhanced interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was just as bad an operator as Osama bin Laden?
Donilon: Because, well, our judgment is that it’s not consistent with our values, not consistent and not necessary in terms of getting the kind of intelligence that we need.
Wallace: But shooting bin Laden in the head is consistent with our values?
Donilon: We are at war with Osama bin Laden.
Wallace: We’re at war with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Donilon: It was a military operation, right? It was absolutely appropriate for the SEALs to take the action -- for the forces to take the action that they took in this military operation against a military target.
Wallace: But why is it inappropriate to get information from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?
Donilon: I didn’t say it was inappropriate to get information from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Wallace: You said it was against our values.
Donilon: I think that the techniques are something that there’s been a policy debate about, and our administration has made our views known on that.
Game. Set. Match.
(HT: James Taranto.)