interrogation

War on Terror? Torture? Prosecute Us?

There is an ongoing debate over the closing of America's most notorious detainment/torture center at Guantanamo and the legality and efficacy of using torture to extract "information" from detainees in that and other facilities.

In a piece in this morning's Washington Post titled Torture? Prosecute Us, Too Richard Cohen leads with this:

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there." So goes an aphorism that needs to be applied to the current debate over whether those who authorized and used torture should be prosecuted. In the very different country called Sept. 11, 2001, the answer would be a resounding no.

Contrary to what has become the accepted noise, "the world" did not "change" on 9/11. Our laws, our treaties and international agreements as well as our values remained. We did not become a "very different country" on September 12, 2001 despite Mr. Cohen's (and others) claim.

In many ways it is our body of law that binds the past, present and future. The rule of law gives constancy to our "values." Laws may change but the process of change is, and should be reasoned and deliberate, not an impassioned reaction to the events of the day. That kind of reaction to the passions of the moment is the path of the lynch mob.

Waterboarding Is Torture: Hitchens' First-hand Account

Originally posted 2008-07-06 07:17:27 - a sobering but informative video - standingup

via MAL Contends
- Christopher Hitchens, on assignment from Vanity Fair, arranged to be tortured by waterboarding and write a first-person account. He lasted for 17 seconds during the exercise.

From Vanity Fair (video follows below here), Hitchens writes:

Here is the most chilling way I can find of stating the matter. Until recently, 'waterboarding' was something that Americans did to other Americans. It was inflicted, and endured, by those members of the Special Forces who underwent the advanced form of training known as sere (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape). In these harsh exercises, brave men and women were introduced to the sorts of barbarism that they might expect to meet at the hands of a lawless foe who disregarded the Geneva Conventions. But it was something that Americans were being trained to resist, not to inflict.
[Read the entire piece at Vanity Fair.]

The video is not for children to watch, but very much for adults to watch and act against this obscenity of our government.