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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/13/09

Torture is Insane

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Torture is insane.

How can I say that?

Well, an ex-gitmo guard who saw torture calls his co-workers "psychotic".

And a high-level Special Ops interrogator said that torture by Americans of innocent Iraqis is the main reason that foreign fighters started fighting against American in Iraq in the first place:


I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq. … It’s no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me ....

Indeed, the experts are almost unanimous in their conclusion that torture makes America less safe. For example, a 30-year veteran of CIA’s operations directorate who rose to the most senior managerial ranks, says:

The old hands ... know that torture creates more terrorists and fosters more acts of terror than it could possibly neutralize.”

Of course, the experts agree that torture does not even produce reliable information or actionable intelligence, and actually prevents the chance of gaining such info. See this, this, this, and this.

So why does anyone still support torture?

Well, some may be "psychotic", as the former gitmo guard says.

Or they may be wimpy chickenhawks trying to act tough. As a former Navy Judge Advocate General said "torture is the technique of choice of the lazy, stupid and pseudo-tough".

A lot of them, though, are simple bootlickers desperately trying to cover up the war crimes committed by Bush, Cheney, Rummie, Gonzales and the boys. Under the theory that "the best defense is a strong offense", they figure that if they keep on repeating the lie that "we need torture to keep us safe" enough times, people will get distracted from the insanity of their heinous crimes, and the boys will be able to escape a war crimes tribunal. These types may be crazy like a fox.

Of course, there are less charitable explanations for why some people defend torture.

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George Washington

As a political activist for decades, I have rejoiced in victories for the people and mourned in defeats. I chose the pen name "George Washington" because - as Washington's biographies show - he wasn't a (more...)
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