I understand that Bush and Obama and their CIA teams were working under extraordinary and in some ways unprecedented pressures when they committed war crimes.  A case can be made that they should receive pardons after their convictions for those crimes, and I’d be more than willing to listen to it — but first, the convictions.

7 thoughts on “WAR CRIMES

  1. The problem is, If we torture, how can we complain if our soldiers are captured and tortured?

    • Exactly — that’s one of the main reasons not to do it. That and the fact that it doesn’t work. The new report makes it clear that none of the information that led to finding bin Laden came from tortured captives — “Zero Dark Thirty” notwithstanding.

  2. Bad choices were made by politico’s, who were never in the military and don’t understand honor.

    Notwithstanding that, but the honor of our country and the respect that honor has earned. Destroyed through one particular action alone. Torture.

    • Right, Gavin. I can’t work up a lot of sympathy for the guys who got tortured — they were really bad guys, the worst of the worst, any one of whom would have cheerfully cut off my head or yours and laughed about it. My heart aches for America, which ought to be better than this, however provoked. Honor besmirched in this fashion is hard to restore.

  3. What strikes me about these acts of torture is how imaginative they are – the word “depraved” comes to mind. It’s possible to inflict severe pain without humiliating people, but this stuff seems unnecessarily cruel. I haven’t followed the debate closely, but just this morning on NPR the CIA’s former chief legal officer, John Rizzo, was claiming that, this report to the contrary, torture has in fact worked. But even if he’s right and hurting guilty people has saved innocent ones (speaking as Christian believer, I use the words), one has to wonder what these tactics have done to the souls of the men who dreamed up and employed them.

  4. (speaking as Christian believer, I use the words)

    I mean relatively innocent, I meant to say.

    • Yes, Ken — this sort of thing would be wrong even if it produced vital information, though the report seems to indicate that it produced very little. Tortured prisoners made a lot of stuff up, even if they did let slip something valuable occasionally. Much more crucial information was gotten from prisoners who weren’t tortured.

      The downside is vast. It puts American prisoners in greater jeopardy of being tortured, and it undermines America’s advocacy of human rights in other countries. The whole thing was just a sickening miscalculation.

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