Wednesday, April 22, 2009

To Torture or Not To Torture

There's been a lot of talk on the cable networks, talk radio and newspapers about what is and what isn't torture. There was even a recent report about the training that our personnel received where they are subjected to the very techniques in question; waterboarding, sleep deprivation and others so that they might be better prepared for possible capture.

The conclusion in this study was that since these folks didn't suffer permanent psychological or physical damage that the techniques didn't rise to the definition of torture. They investigators were influenced by this in particular: "For survivors, torture often leads to lasting mental and physical health problems."

The investigators concluded that since the Americans who were tortured as part of their training didn't suffer lasting harmful effects that such techniques did not constitute torture under the definition. I'm no psychologist but what level of intelligence would not see the difference between Americans being 'tortured' by Americans as part of training and people being subject to the identical techniques, isolated in a foreign country by sworn enemies? Are they fools?

This brings me to the latest flap about releasing the CIA memos and holding those in charge, responsible for torture policy. Former Vice President Dick Cheney (he brings an expanded meaning to "vice") insists that there were productive results from the techniques in question and thus they were justified.

I'd like to ask Mr. Cheney if he believed that tearing the arms out of a terror suspect might produce useful information would he allow it?

From his talking points it seems he would. If this represents America, may heaven help us all.