Good Thing We Didn't Waterboard to Capture Tsarnaev, Opines Charles Pierce

Yeah, good thing. Come to think of it, when could that have even happened, Mr. Pierce?

One of the more bizarre observations in media after the capture of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhav Tsarnaev came courtesy of Charles Pierce, Esquire magazine political blogger. (Video clip after page break)

Appearing on a special edition of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC early Saturday morning, Pierce gushed that this was the culmination of a "terrific" (!) week for Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston police commissioner Ed Davis, Pierce at that point becoming the only sentient person on earth to describe that week as "terrific" for anyone. He wasn't done, adding this --

But the one thing that I really like about this given our history over the last couple decades, Rachel? This was a police action. There wasn't any need for Patriot Act or warrantless wiretapping or enhanced interrogation techniques. Or, you know, they left the waterboard in the closet. This was cops being cops. This was, you know, grinding forensic work and shoe-leather detective work and door to door searches. And relying on the public, and making the public a part of it.

Translation: We're all so lucky this took place after Bush and Cheney left office and returned to their vampire lairs. Is this what liberals mean when they decry partisan bickering and ask that we all hold hands and sing "We Are the World"?

As you might expect, Maddow didn't press for Pierce to elaborate and risk uncovering the nonsensical foundation of his claim.

Seeing how the bombings occurred on Monday and the first known police contact with the Tsarnaev brothers took place late Thursday night, at what point in the interim could Boston police, the FBI or MIT police possibly have waterboarded either suspect?

Is Pierce suggesting how fortunate it is that MIT police officer Sean Collier did not attempt to waterboard the Tsarnaevs before they murdered him? (Yes, allegedly).
 
Is Pierce saying it is a good thing that transit police officer Richard Donahue Jr., who was grievously wounded during a gun battle with the Tsarnaevs, didn't waterboard the Tsarnaevs before they nearly killed him?

Is Pierce suggesting we should be thankful that FBI agents used stunt grenades instead of waterboarding when they captured Tsarnaev? Logistically I have serious doubts this would even be possible, unless a fire hose was used. But then the technique wouldn't really be done properly, so what's the point?

Is Pierce alluding to the ambulance ride, when Tsarnaev was brought to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (all those hospitals in Boston and they take the suspected jihadist to Beth Israel?), as providing FBI agents so inclined with a chance to waterboard Tsarnaeve as he was rushed through the streets of Boston?

Or perhaps Pierce is implying that waterboarding could have been done even after Tsarnaev was brought to Beth Israel, seeing how, legally, he would still be in FBI custody.

Let's not eliminate the possibility that Pierce was referring to the allegedly innocent Saudi national who was injured in one of the marathon bombings, and then was/was not/might be/definitely wasn't a suspect. But as Pierce eagerly pointed out to Maddow, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, in the first post-bombings news conference, "just stepped on the whole story about the Saudi kid in the hospital being a suspect -- I mean, absolutely, from the jump, went and did that." Ergo, waterboarding would been rendered unnecessary, so it would not take place here either.

Maybe Pierce will clarify matters next time he appears on Stephanie Miller's radio show, one of his favorite places to bloviate.

Back in January 2003, Pierce wrote a Sunday magazine profile of Sen. Edward Kennedy for the Boston Globe. I saved the article and knew exactly where to look for one line in particular -- "If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age."

Yeah, if only Kennedy hadn't killed her. True, it wasn't waterboarding per se, but close enough.

Jack Coleman
Liberated ex-liberal from the People's Republic of Massachusetts