Did we torture?
Does torture produce solid info, made-up stories, lies, or complex stuff that needs dangerous on-the- ground verifying?
How F_ _ _ing expensive is all that stuff --- stealth helicopters, foreign bought fuel, fortified worldwide military camps and embassies, bullet proof embassy cars, star wars suits, night goggles, laser guns, drones, spies, spying gadgetry, post service trauma aid for the troops who we send into overt and covert conflicts?
Is there a less costly way to make heroes and the world safer for democracy?
Decades back, when my fellow Peace Corps volunteers (PCVs) worked in Pakistan (1961-67) and Afghanistan (1962-79), they didn't worry about bikers stopping them with guns shouting "No white faces here." If a PCV wanted to know more about someone or some situation, you sat or squat over a pot of tea or food.
The always polite natives would want to provide tea or food in their humble home or neighborhood shop. It seemed like everyone -- rich or poor -- wanted to drink tea or dine with a PCV. And the situation you were trying to learn about stemmed around getting to know a distant neighbor or making life better. It was not about prying into the deadly dangerous for thirty dark, malicious reasons.
Then US taxpayers wouldn't have had to buy foreigners a Lamborghini to get a phone number. Foreigners didn't "Hate us for our freedoms." They liked us, because we were fabled Americans who served and lived with them trying to make human life a little better. They didn't see us as Viet Nam napalmers, Iraqi missilers, or Israeli droners.
No, we were part of Kennedy's Kiddie Corps and could safely serve just about anywhere. And his inaugural words that birthed the Peace Corps seemed to be known or understood around the world.
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