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My View - On Torture and Safety
By John Zutz
Recently, our ex-VP Dick Cheney appeared from his undisclosed location to loudly contend that "enhanced interrogation techniques" kept us safe. September 11 gives us a convenient measure, but let's agree that safety is a judgment call.
Consider this: Not too long after the inauguration of the Bush/Cheney administration the Navy killed a bunch of people when a bigwig from a big campaign contributor (Enron) drove (on orders from the top) one of their neato multiple warhead armed "nukular" subs into a Japanese surface vessel. Just gives you that warm, safe feeling, right?
Author's aside: and a few short years later, the Enron scandal is revealed to be a mere side-track in the economic train wreck abetted by the same administration.
We achieved previously unattainable safety when, not too much later, one of our super-secret spy planes got shot down in China. Our fearless, tough leader begged to get the crew returned, and he let the Chinese keep the plane. We can all be thankful, however, he made sure that the prisoners had plenty of bibles. That safe feeling just gives a person goose bumps, doesn't it?
Not resting on their laurels, our leaders ignored intelligence warnings of a domestic attack. This paved the way for September 11, 2001 when four jetliners were hijacked simultaneously, by guys who trained in the US, while the normal interceptor cover was otherwise engaged (on orders from the top) and the twin towers came down. Are we safe yet?
With that kind of safety and defense record I can understand why they twisted and misrepresented the law to convince themselves that torture was legal. But don't expect me to believe, without persuasive evidence, that torture worked.
Oh, the evidence of its working is secret, and revealing it would jeopardize national security? Then, if in fact it worked, doesn't revealing that it worked also jeopardize that same security?
If we can't see the evidence directly, let one of the intelligence committees in Congress, who oversaw the whole debacle, confirm that torture worked.
John Zutz is a VVAW national coordinator and a member of the Milwaukee chapter.