Friday, April 17, 2009

Torture: That Was Then This Is Now

Dear Mr. President,

I was a Regular Army volunteer from 1966 to 1970.
I served for four years.
I was under enemy fire in NE Africa and Vietnam.
I was engaged in Signals Intelligence attached to the 1st Infantry Division in Nam.
I participated in 1st Div. prisoner interrogations when I needed to.
If we had water boarded the prisoner, slammed him into the wall, put him in a cage with insects, or many of the other things recently done in the name of America we would not only have been court marshaled but would have never gotten a damn thing out of them.
A hot shower, kind voice, hot meal, a cigarette worked a lot better and a lot faster.
Yes, we were in a constant life and death daily struggle and we were acutely aware of that.
If torture would have worked we might have used it. Even if we would have been held criminal for doing so. But the 1st Div. MI that I worked with wanted valuable information not a personal rush for giving pain.

It is true that not everybody in Nam did that way. It is also true that we know that because the cases that came to light were criminally prosecuted. The CID was looking for this stuff all of the time I was there.


I consider it an insult to my service and my loyalty to my country that we are even suggesting that those who tortured and/or authorized torture in the previous administration may not be prosecuted under the law. The possibility of this disgust me and saddens me beyond belief.

There was and is not any excuse for doing this. It is the ultimate lie that it works. It is the ultimate immorality to inflict pain on another human for no reason at all.

Mr. President, if this is not addressed it will fester until it infects the whole body. Everything else you will have done will come to naught for the soul of the nation will be dead and it won't matter.

Sent to the President under my real name.


BB-Idaho said...

I'm well aware of the Geneva protocols and the US military command torture is
primitive, it doesn't work and cheapens our values to us and the world. In an ongoing discussion with an ex CWO elsewhere, I would like to quote part of your post in support of argument. (IMO, the views of the grunt take precedence) May I? If so, your preferences in being referenced? (should you care to get invovled head-on, I would provide a link)

drlobojo said...

Go right ahead.

drlobojo said...

I wonder, why is it that we have sold our heritage to revenge the deaths of 3000+ people when we don't give a shit about the 92,000 people we kill each year by incompentence in our American hospitals? I think I will call this stupidity the "Helen of Troy" syndrom.

drlobojo said...

On page 37 of the OLC memo, in a passage discussing the differences between SERE techniques and the torture used with detainees, the memo explains:

The CIA used the waterboard "at least 83 times during August 2002" in the interrogation of Zubaydah. IG Report at 90, and 183 times during March 2003 in the interrogation of KSM, see id. at 91.

Anybody out there think being "almost drowned" 183 times isn't torture?

Erudite Redneck said...

Proud to know you, sir.