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May 8, 2009
I Know Torture When I See It
one man may be an everyday event to another. A liberal who has collected
welfare checks all his adult life and lounges on the couch drinking beer all
day probably thinks getting up early to go to a job requiring hard manual
labor is “torture.” Justice Department attorneys John Yoo, Robert J.
Delahunty and Jay Bybee wrote top secret memos advising President Bush on
the legality of enhanced interrogation techniques, and now liberals are
demanding their prosecution.
House dictionary defines torture as the act of inflicting excruciating
pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or
information, or for sheer cruelty (emphasis added). Mr. Yoo and the others
rightfully pointed out in their memos that the U.N. Convention Against
Torture defined torture as the infliction of “severe pain,” a lower
threshold. When I carefully read the memos, I was hard pressed to find any
of the enhanced interrogation techniques meeting that definition. But I’m
sure many liberals believe that all enhanced interrogation techniques
result in severe pain to the recipient.
think that cramped confinement, “wall standing,” sleep deprivation or
placing a caterpillar in a cramped box with the detainee qualifies as
torture, no matter what definition is used. I would argue that the welfare
recipient in my example above would prefer being subjected to these
techniques for short periods of time instead of having to endure hard work
for 40 hours a week, even if waterboarding was part of the deal.
that secretly flying Air Force One only 1,000 feet over Ground Zero,
prompting thousands of terrified office workers there and in New Jersey to
flee for their lives from skyscrapers, is definitely torture. That’s exactly
what Air Force One did over New York City for a photo op near the Statue of
Liberty. That event traumatized literally thousands of shell-shocked New
Yorkers who will never forget the 9/11 attacks. They endured excruciating
pain and suffering. It led many Obama supporters close to suicide when
they saw the plane was being trailed by a fighter jet, making them think Air
Force One had been hijacked with the president on board, and Al-Qaeda pilots
were going to crash it into the Empire State Building. The thought of Joe
Biden becoming president increased everyone’s torment. Now that far
exceeds placing a harmless bug on someone.
attacks led to a global war on terror with many enemy fighters and planners
being captured. They resisted their interrogators who had reason to believe
these people knew details about additional attacks on America. That prompted
the creation of the enhanced interrogation techniques detailed in the
now-infamous top secret memos released by President Obama. Further attacks
were prevented, and now the authors of the memos might be tried and
eventually incarcerated. It has already caused irreparable harm to their
So now it
has come full circle since 9/11. Prosecute the good guys, release the bad
guys from Guantanamo and bring them to America. Even drop charges on some of
them and let them reside in America because China “might” subject them to
torture if they returned to their homeland. Unlike this White House, China
would never consider sending a low-flying commercial airliner over their
village to scare the hell out of them.
pornography, I know torture when I see it. So far, I’m afraid I don’t see
anything remotely close to the torture our soldiers and citizens have been
subjected to in the hands of Al-Qaeda operatives. Were the enhanced
interrogation techniques deployed by CIA interrogators actually torture? I
think that depends entirely on the life experience of the person subjected
event, we shouldn’t go after the lawyers who gave an honest opinion on what
interrogators could legally do. Otherwise, we’ll be hard pressed to find
anyone in the future willing to give an honest legal opinion for fear of
prosecution by a future administration.
Gregory D. Lee is a nationally syndicated
columnist for North Star Writers Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
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