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Water torture

If my country believes torture is ok, I would question my country’s legitimacy to exist.

If someone thinks torture works, when all evidence is to the contrary, they are deluded.

If you think torture is ok, you are simply a bad person.

You may say that you are not sure what my message is, other than torture is wrong. My position is that this is the ONLY issue that is relevant.

You may say “This is not a question for you and I to say what is right or wrong...” and I say just the opposite; that we as citizens and therefore the ultimate authority in the Republic, are the ONLY ones who can, should and must make that decision. To do otherwise is to relinquish democracy. The idea of allowing military leaders or the President to decide what is right and wrong based on the expediency of the battlefield goes against every single ideal this country was founded upon and has insisted that other nations could not use as an excuse. This is NOT about who our enemies are or what kind of tactics they have used. It IS about who WE are and what kind of values we stand for. If we are willing to lower ourselves to the same level or worse, as that of our enemies, then there is no difference between us and all moral superiority is nullified and with it our right to exist as a nation.

We established in our very first military conflict which was also the bloody birth pangs of who we were to become, a firm and as far as I am concerned, fast position:

"Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]. . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause... for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country."
-- George Washington, charge to the Northern Expeditionary Force, Sept. 14, 1775

After the battle of Trenton, New Jersey on December 26, 1776, General Washington issued an order to his troops regarding prisoners of war:

“Treat them with humanity, and let them have no reason to complain of our copying the brutal example of the British Army in their treatment of our unfortunate brethren who have fallen into their hands,’ he wrote.” In all respects the prisoners were to be treated no worse than American soldiers; and in some respects, better. Through this approach, Washington sought to shame his British adversaries, and to demonstrate the moral superiority of the American cause.

So, here we are as a nation and the choice is absolutely simple: Are we to follow the advice of our greatest military leader and first President of the United States, OR  Trump, a draft dodger who claims he knows more than the generals.


In the same spirit let me add this:

My stepfather was an iron-lather who worked on the Twin Towers. As a kid I ran errands for his crew for tips. A kid I grew up with, wound up becoming my brother-in-law. He worked as an engineer for the MTA, stationed in the 3rd basement floor beneath the Towers. Their family lived in a section of Brooklyn that overlooked all of New York Harbor and so on 9/11 had front row seats. The most poignant moment for me that day was hearing my then 7 year old nephew exclaim “how beautiful, it’s like snow” as a torrent of paper fell all around them. Of course that changed when it became sooty, greasy ash...

So I know what it is like to want to seek vengeance. If I had Bin Laden for just a few minutes that day, I would have ripped off his testicules and put them where his eyes used to be without a moment’s hesitation. I would have kept him alive with an IV drip as I flayed every square inch of his skin and then broken every bone starting with the smallest of his little toe.

Yes, I would absolutely have done all of that and never lost a night’s sleep.

And THAT is why we cannot allow vengeance or any kind of torture, whether the goal is information (ineffective) or retribution (temporarily satisfying, but ineffectual). That is precisely why we make laws, why we place them above our personal needs and yes, even above potential military advantage.

I am not pacifist. I believe that the military of the United States is the single most effective fighting in the force the world has ever known. They can do their job AND keep their/our honor too.

Torture is a crime

Jose Rosa

Jose Rosa

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