Tag Archives: waterboarding

Marine Colonel Denied Right To Testify In Congress On Torture

Marine Colonel V. Stuart Couch told Congress the Pentagon was denying him the right to appear before a congressional subcommittee to present his ideas on what is wrong with interrogation methods that violate the law. “The Department of Defense has decided that I cannot testify. Please be advised that I am willing to testify before the subcommittee in the event that I am allowed to do so.” Congressman Nadler was furious at the decision because Colonel Couch has already discussed his ideas to the press and in after-dinner speeches, but is being forbidden to tell Congress what he has told the entire world. Colonel Couch is opposed to use of waterboarding and other methods of torture and was upset such interrogation techniques were used in order to obtain information from Mohammedou Ould Siahi, accused of aiding the 9/11 attackers. According to Couch, “in our zeal to get information we had compromised our ability to prosecute him.”

Republican Congressman Tent Franks defended torture saying, “sometimes we have to take measures to protect the innocent we don’t like.” It is unclear by his statement if he ever considers that the person being tortured might be among the innocent who are being protected. However, Malcolm Wrightson Nance, a former Navy instructor who trained people on interrogation methods told a congressional subcommittee, “I believe that we must reject the use of the waterboard for prisoners and captives and cleanse the stain on our nation honor.”

Michael Goodwin Defends Torture As American

Political analyst Michael Goodwin attacked opponents of the Muskasey nomination for attorney general as taking positions that invariably assist the ideas of terrorists. “The demand is nonsense of the highest order, one that can only undermine the national effort in a time of war. Why should we spell out for our enemies, on TV no less, exactly how far interrogators can go?” Mr. Goodwin believes attacks on Mukasey about the waterboard technique of interrogation “reveals an utter lack of seriousness about the reality of the war.” He believes the real issue is not whether we should use waterboarding but should we be debating and explaining “every jot and title of our interrogation techniques” since we may be dealing with a “ticking bomb” scenario which requires getting tough with terrorists.

Michael Goodwin trots out just about every argument in support of brutalizing those who become prisoners of America. Of course, neither he nor anyone supporting the argument about the “ticking bomb” situation have ever been able to cite such a specific example other than referring to the TV program, 24. During WWII neither British nor American interrogators ever resorted to such techniques and they certainly confronted numerous situations which could resemble the “ticking bomb” scenario. They ordinarily employed creative ways of getting people to talk. At one point in World War II, the Germans threatened to put every British prisoner in chains. Prime Minister Winston Churchill pointed out that German prisoners were being treated decently, but if the Germans employed such methods, the Allies would be compelled to retaliate. The Germans never carried out their threat.

Fundamental to ‘winning” any war in the Middle East is creating a sense that America stands for decency, is honest in its interaction with people, and respects diverse cultures and people. The spread of stories throughout the world about our government’s support for torture has resulted in widespread dislike of the United States. How many young Muslims turned away from feeling a sense of connection to the West because they associate the United States with brutalizing Muslims? The United States has lost the “high ground” in moral debates with their Muslim enemies, and its actions increasingly resemble those of forces we are fighting. The “ticking bomb” analogy is ridiculous. If an enemy agent knew of the “ticking bomb” due to go off in an hour or so, why not simply lie and tell interrogators the wrong location? He would buy time and send the enemy he hates on a wild goose chase. Every study ever made of torture comes to the same conclusion — it is an ineffective method of obtaining information. Recently, a group of WWII interrogators met for a reunion. One told how he obtained important information from a German general during a chess game with him. George Bush is a bully and like all bullies believes might makes right. We Americans are a moral nation, we did not torture during WWII although the threat to our survival was greatly worse than that posed by some gangsters and thugs. What next, Mr. Goodwin, torture anyone with an Italian name in order to find out about the Mafia?

Bush At It Again–Democrats Help Terrorism!

George Bush, who supposedly is president of the entire United States at a time of war, came out swinging against perfidious Democrats who are like the people who ignored the rise of Hitler and Lenin. Bush accused Democrats of stalling important legislation that would prevent terrorist attacks and giving a hard time to Michael Mukasey for attorney general. “Unfortunately, on too many issues, some in Congress are behaving as if America is not at war.” He is upset that Congress won’t give him power to eavesdrop on terrorist suspects. Those terrible Democrats are trying to “weaken our ability to intercept information from terrorists about potential attacks on the United States of America.”

It would help if George Bush ever actually read a history book. The Russian Revolution occurred toward the end of World War I and by 1920 Lenin was established as ruler of Russia. George, all the presidents of the United States from 1920-1932 were Republicans. During Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930s, Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, took leadership in fighting Hitler while the REPUBLICAN PARTY ARGUED FOR AN ISOLATIONIST POLICY. It has been documented that President Bush received warnings about a potential attack on America in 2001, but chose to ignore the warnings. It is Bush who created the mess of Iraq, it is Bush who argues for the right to torture, it is Bush who believes this nation is not strong enough to be a democracy while fighting terrorism. Perhaps, the most bizarre aspect of his comments is that Republican Senators Arnold Spector, Lindsay Graham and John McCain have been demanding that Mukasey take a stand and state clearly “waterboarding” is torture. They have even indicated they might vote against his confirmation without such a statement. So, according to Bush, it’s all the fault of Democrats.