Tuesday, December 16, 2014

When the Good Guys, Aren't

The revelations about the extent to which the United States government tolerated and possibly authorized extreme torture against enemy prisoners under its control as depicted in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) report on the CIA's detention and interrogation program  have deeply affected me. 

I am appalled.

The report details a very dark time in our history where it seems that the moral character and fiber of all Americans is suspect.

As an American and a private citizen I am gonna lay it out right here: torturing prisoners is wrong and constitutes a breach of faith and potentially criminal acts, no matter what the politicians and appointed officials say.

Torturing prisoners is un-American!

I have always believed that we, the United States of America, were above the use of these tactics against our enemies. We used to be proud of the moral high ground that we as a nation walked. Even in the face of intolerable torture, such as depicted in the book and movie Unbroken, Americans have always possessed and portrayed the best traits of the human race by resisting the urge to torture and mistreat of prisoners.

Sadly, the SSCI report, which I laud the committee for releasing, describes how this is no longer true. We have stooped to the same level, or possibly below that of our adversaries. We, as a society and a nation, have taken a left turn with no blinker and traveled down the dark road into abyss of torture and human rights violations from which we must now extricate ourselves and work to repair our reputation around the world.

And now we are trying to justify this behavior!

Our moral character is suspect and our position as a world leader for human rights is tarnished, possibly beyond repair.

I have read much of the report and listened to the political leaders who try to say that the ends justifies the means--it does not!

In reading the SSCI report, I now firmly believe that those who participated in the torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners of from the War on Terror are no better than many of the War Criminals convicted at the end of World War 2 as a result of the Nuremberg and other post-war trials.

The Code of Conduct is clear about how American POWs are supposed to conduct themselves in captivity, do we have any reason to expect less from our enemies? The Constitution is clear, no matter how those involved in this black eye against America try to skirt it by not bringing people into or onto the territory of the united States. By following the letter of the law, the intent of the law has been violated.

Didn't anyone realize that these activities and actions were wrong and possibly illegal? No one stood up to say, we need to stop? And now the dark truth is exposed and it is far worse than we all realized at the time.

We need to beg forgiveness from the court of the world and vow that this type of behavior will never be tolerated again.

We the People must not tolerate this aberrant behavior anymore. It is time to ensure that our leaders and the instruments of our government do not engage in torture--anywhere in the world. It is just wrong!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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