The following is my letter to the editor published last week in the Register-Guard, the local newspaper.
When did the US decide it was acceptable to torture people? On September 12 , 2001 that’s when. Before then we would decry it’s use in third world countries and banana dictatorships we propped up. But when some bad people killed some of our people we reacted like everyone else with retaliation.
After the latest incident with the bomber from Yemen, the hysterical cries of a mob gathering to stone a whore drowns out reason. None of this will end the fear of terrorist attacks, none of it will gain us valuable information, even if we caught the real leaders it will do no good, why?
Because torture is not about extracting information, it’s about extracting revenge. Even professional interrogators know this doesn’t work.
The effect will only lead to a war of attrition. “Let’s do to them what they did to us” is an ancient battle cry. We have to recognize this is merely a need to satisfy our bloodlust, not a way to stop those with fanatical egos. It suits any government to keep the populace in a state of fear, so suspicion, paranoia and angry are given loud free reign to prevent real peace from being achieved.