I have been appalled at where the Bush administration took us with their use of torture.
My friend Karen sent me the letter her brother wrote that is published in the NY Times today. I include also the one printed before it, written by a former United States Army Interrogator.
Because my father was captured during WWII and placed in a prisoner of war camp, I read a book about a man who was in charge of getting information from pilots and crews. He became their friend. Torture does not work. McCain confessed and signed a document when he was tortured in Vietnam. We give it no credence as to fact.
Here are two of the letters on the subject in the NY Times.
To the Editor:
“Any Indictment of Interrogation Policy Makers Would Face Several Hurdles” (news article, April 23) reports that a letter to President Obama from Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joseph I. Lieberman discourages the prosecution of former government lawyers who gave deeply flawed advice to the Bush administration.
You quote the letter as saying, “Moving in such a direction would have a deeply chilling effect on the ability of lawyers in any administration to provide their client — the U.S. government — with their best legal advice.”
That seems counterintuitive. Would not such prosecutions ensure that in the future lawyers did give their best advice, not legal fictions that served the whims and wishes of their client, the United States government?
South Bend, Ind., April 23, 2009
The writer is a former United States Army interrogator.
To the Editor:
When I was 12 in the 1950s, my mother made me promise — if I were drafted into the Army — not to do something stupid or wrong even if an officer told me to. She is a Holocaust refugee. That was the meaning of the Nuremberg laws, I was told.
If I could understand that at 12, shouldn’t C.I.A. agents bear the same responsibility to judge the orders from their superiors?
I was astonished to hear that the Nuremberg rationale was invoked — “I was only following orders” — as an acceptable excuse in the current debate.
Where is that better America that President Obama calls upon us to heed?
Can we really live with ourselves if we fail to prosecute all involved under the real Nuremberg laws?Tom Roeper
Amherst, Mass., April 22, 2009
I had been sliding along Obama's road of forgiveness and moving along but these letters make me consider. Sometimes maybe we do need deterrent and accountability.