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Veteran Army Interrogators: Torture doesn't work. Torture is wrong. Torture helps the enemy.

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I ask you as soldiers and contracted intelligence professionals first, citizens second, not to let your personal political views sway you here. Both parties in our government use this issue to raise the emotional temperature within their respective constituencies to win votes, aggrandize, and score political points. Few speak to this issue with critical thought or concern for our values.

Indeed, I have heard no political leader put forward a dispassionate and convincing argument tying the defense of this great nation to the need to torture.

Stay true to your Army values, to your training, and you can't go wrong.

Always be an advocate for rational thinking. Reason defeats irrationality.

Do not be afraid to speak out for the honorable discipline of military interrogation, as a humane and intellectual soldier, a linguist, an intelligence professional. You alone are the expert on the nuances of tribal culture in the Jazira around Mosul. You alone delve deep into the minutia of the politics in Waziristan, know the immensely important differences between the Pashtuns and Tajik tribes, or the particular affection a Ukrainian might still have for the former Soviet Union because he was born in Odessa. You know the enemy so you can defeat the enemy.

And, foremost, you are an advocate for the humane treatment of captured enemy personnel. You conduct your affairs in a legal and honorable manner.

We do not let the chattering classes set our agenda, or the politicians who bend in whichever direction they think the wind might blow any given moment. We obey lawful orders, defend the Constitution of the United States, and put ourselves in front of the enemy to defeat him.

This great Army, and I, have your six.

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Sincerely,

1LT(P) Marcus Lewis

S3, 6/98 MI BN
United States Army Interrogator, Instructor, Intelligence Analyst
Fort Devens, MA


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Stephen Soldz is psychoanalyst, psychologist, public health researcher, and faculty member at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. He is co-founder of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology and is President of Psychologists for Social Responsibility. He was a psychological consultant on two of (more...)
 

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