Monday, April 27, 2009

Beyond the Emotions

In the past week, we've heard it all again. America is above "torture." The Bush administration should be brought before a "Truth Commission"--gotta say that causes me flashbacks of 1984 and/or Mao's Great Leap Forward. Nothing actionable was gained by enhanced interrogation techniques. They were used hundreds, thousands, millions of times against poor defenseless Muslims caught up in our anti-terrorist frenzy. And, Abu Ghraib was ordered/sanctioned/directed by the White House or Dick Cheney or the Pentagon.

The only thing missing from the fray is details and facts. They tend to get pesky. Now we've got this op-ed piece from someone who very clearly was in the know:

Drawing the Distinctions of Interrogations

I read the extracts from the memos released last week. I particularly focussed on the approved enhanced techniques. I also noted that the memos were prepared in the role of legal counsel asked to review the applicable laws and render an opinion on permissible limits for action when dealing with exceptional circumstances. I've always been under the impression that opinion on the law, even if later found incorrect, is not criminal.

The techniques looked an awful lot like stuff we've been doing to military aircrews and special ops folks for decades. Sleep deprivation, stress positions, loud music, time disorientation, slaps, small area confinement and, yes, waterboarding. Been there, done that. Survived it. Didn't like it one bit. Also didn't feel tortured. I've spent a few hours in conversation with Nam-POWs. They can tell you what torture is about.

I'm frankly getting very sick of pampered politicians who've never been in uniform, never been in the sights of an enemy gun, never been inconvenienced beyond being served an over-done steak at a Washington eatery, doing all this whining about torture being un-American.

Isn't it time for a reality check?


Bob Powell, CMSgt, USAF(Ret.) said...

Why do these micro-cephalics keep referring to the Geneva Convention? Did I miss something while sucking down a microbrew during the evening news? Did Al Qaeda, or Hezbollah, or Hamas offer their signatures on the G.C. dotted line?

I say we bail out Jack Bauer from the drunk tank and put him in black ops. A finger bent here, an electrode there, and no further attacks on the U.S.

And you, Colonel, were an "Air Pirate", according to Hanoi. I know you know it, but some of your readers may not understand that term. The poor S.O.B.s captured, tortured, deprived of basic necessities by the North Vietnamese had no rights under the Geneva Convention as they weren't P.O.W.s.

I worked for Col (Dr.) Tom McNish, who spent 6.5 years in the Hanoi Hilton after being shot down in his Thud in 1966. He can easily differentiate between torture and "harsh interrogation".

Keep telling it like it is, sir.

Anonymous said...

It's all driven by politics . . . the art of power . . . the religion of the Left.

Ed Rasimus said...


I knew Tom McNish very well. He was in F-105 training six weeks after my class at Nellis. His class of nine pilots lost five of the nine during their 100 mission tour.