Beginning October 21, this blog, Rain Trueax's Rainy Day Thoughts, will have a co-author-- painter and long-time friend, Diane Widler Wenzel. We have been sharing, encouraging, and discussing life for over 50 years. We don't always agree... I think this will be fun trip for us both. New posts will be on Saturdays and otherwise randomly as something of interest happens.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Torture Memos

Before heading to the beach where I won't have access to the computer, I wanted to be sure anyone interested had seen some links regarding the torture memos.

Skim the Bush Torture Memos

The right, of course, didn't want the memos released. We won't be as safe! The left didn't want to hear that charges won't be involved-- at least as things now stand. As usual Obama didn't please either side.

If you think torture is a good idea, you really should read the memos [Torture Memos] to see what you have been agreeing to having done. Those authorizing it claimed it was all to find new terrorist plots, but I don't think there's any evidence torture ever works nor that many or maybe any of those tortured knew about future terrorist plots.

Does torture work? Would it be okay if it did? John McCain, who knows a thing or two about it, said it didn't. Some died during these torture episodes, but even if they had not, it gives me a queasy feeling that a people who claim they have a better way to live did things so heinous. If we are reduced to the level of those we are fighting, who won?

Andrew Sullivan explored The Bigger Picture where it comes to ethics-- which some seem to throw aside whenever it's inconvenient.

20 comments:

Kay Dennison said...

This is absolutely disgusting. I'm with those who think that Bush & Co. should be held accountable for it. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if those poor souls in the Twin Towers felt tortured. The world is truely turned upside down.

Rain said...

I am sure they did, anonymous as did the innocent people we have bombed as part of the war in Iraq. The families of innocent victims also.

The issue here though is one of government authorization of torture which all nations have said they will not do, where we have brought criminal charges against other leaders who practiced it. This is about a government policy not criminals.

You also have to ask yourself if it works or was it just for revenge which is what your comment made it sound like? If the latter, then that's a moral issue you have to think about.

As best I know it, the main people tortured had nothing to do with 9/11. Did any torture get any real information on future attacks or was that how we had all those false alarms? Worse the probability is we can no longer even charge people who might be guilty as the evidence gotten under torture never works in a court... not that those who want revenge care about legalities.

John McCain said that when being tortured you will make up anything to get the pain to stop. He knows a little more about it than most of us.

I hope you read the details of what was done as well as the links for ethical considerations about it. If one agrees with something, they should be sure they know what it is.

For others who may disagree about this or the next blog which is on Tarot, I am not ignoring comments but have on moderation for reasons I have mentioned before. The place I will be this week-end has no internet; so I will be back to checking the comments by Monday.

Rain said...

One other thing, especially for you who favored torture, to consider. When the photos came out about Abu Ghraib, there were soldiers punished for the acts. Lyndi English being one name I still remember because her photo showed up in the pictures. Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, all let her go to jail and acted as though it was something done against orders. Think about that when you are considering innocent victims.

The banality of evil

Darlene said...

I believe that Obama does not want attention diverted from his agenda and that is why he is not pushing for an investigation or for punishment of the torturers.

I also believe that if we let the ones who authorized torture get away with it, there is no reason for the rule of law. A few underlings got punished for the crime of higher ups while the ones at the top escaped accountability and it is unconscionable.

Torture has been proven (not a theory as some would claim) that no useful information is ever gotten and, as Rain so clearly stated, is not admissible in a court of law. Therefore, to torture serves no useful purpose other than to have the feeling that revenge is sweet. I don't care how low the prisoner is, it is a crime against humanity to torture. If you have ever suffered a pain you should know how base it is to torture.

Greybeard said...

We've forgotten how Poker is played, and we're gonna lose the game.

Ingineer66 said...

What happened at Abu Ghraib was not torture. It was stupidity and all involved should have been punished. There are some that say water-boarding is not even torture. I would think torture is more like the beatings and abuse that McCain endured in Vietnam.
I think we should be above torture. But then again I have never interrogated a prisoner that just blew up a building.

Rain said...

Ingineer, if you take the time to read what was authorized by Bush, you will find that what they were doing at Abu Grhaib was not wild cards but actually what was desired to do. Torture is defined by the world and it includes waterboarding which McCain said was torture. You just want to justify that which in another world leader would lead to a condemnation by the world as well as charges against other leaders. You can't have it both ways. If it's okay for us to do these things (and read what they are before you say they were okay) then it's okay for them. I don't think anybody but the 20%, who authorize Bush, still justify him and wanted/want Saraah Palin, would agree. You saw who they were at the anti-tax rallies.

Rain said...

and I think we know how poker is played, graybeard, but this is not a game and the stakes are life or death. I don't know if we are going to lose. We certainly were losing but the game is yet to be over. In the torture though some died. That's not a bluff. And there is no way to know that they had anything to do with any violent act. When you kill people without a trial, there is no chance to ever know.

Parapluie said...

I have a family member who is a good gentleman to the depth of his soul. He served his country by being an Arabic language specialist and was at the torture sessions probably. When his tour of duty was over, he was very quick to say all torture and imprisonment of most of the detainees should end. He is no more guilty than any United States Citizen.
I am sorry to say that at this time trying the previous administration will not further the end of terror. Purhaps we should see the process of lowering ourselves to using torture as a wake up call. We should be more humble in our outreach to other nations different from us.

Rain said...

As more information comes out about torture and the actual leaders in al Qaeda who planned 9/11, it was not done on them for information on future attacks. It was done to try and prove Iraq had a connection to 9/11. It's pretty obvious that if Cheney had had such information, he'd have put it out. He does not care about our national safety. Remember the outing of Valerie Plame. Cheney only cares about power and his own reputation.

I read an interesting piece where the writer compared Cheney to Darth Vader in the Star Wars series. George Lucas said no, that George Bush is Darth Vader. Someone who starts out with ideals but ends up being fooled into the wrong choices. The Emperor was who he said was Cheney.

I realize that the people with an enemy list probably already have George Lucas on it, but they need to think about this. Who was behind what we did and how much did we gain for doing something that the world sees as immoral from any ethical nation? Who is now desperately trying to make a case to justify the torture which clearly was exactly what was happening at Abu Ghraib, which the right condemmned but now says things like Peggy Noonan did on the Sunday show-- we need mystery and should just walk on. Should that have also been true when after WWII and Nazi Germany was facing charges? Jon Stewart had a good clip on that.. just walk on from genocide, slavery. Sullivan put out the reminder that the Catholic Church wanted to do that after the sexual abuse of children was discovered. Just walk on. Noonan's comments were just amazing and if you see her saying them, it's even more shocking. just walk on la la la

Ingineer66 said...

Everybody in Washington knew Valerie Plame worked for the CIA but that was not a valid excuse for the Bush White House but now Obama says everything in the CIA memos he released was already or would soon be public knowledge so now that is a valid excuse to release secret information. You cannot have your cake and eat it too.

Rain said...

Valerie Plame's best friends said they did not know. Many people in DC have said they didn't know. You are getting your info from right wing sources who only wanted to justify what had been done. btw you know too much about right wing talking points to not be a fox fan or listening to their radio programs.

As for the memos. they were more proof of something that books have been written about. This has been talked of for years but Plame was not. Now Cheney hopes to release results that made it okay to do it. So far I have not heard of any request from him but if they do, it means he wants to continue this if it helps his case. So if torture works, it's okay? Does that mean for other countries to our soldiers also?

And now it comes out that the torture was about getting proof that Iraq was involved with 9/11 which was not so. Someday you will admit how evil Cheney was but it will be when you are an old man probably but you will someday admit it. For now quit listening to Fox and stick to newspapers online for actual facts. Fox is becoming nothing but a conduit for information from a group of people who are clearly not conservatives. I don't even know what they are but they are out to destroy this country and the Obama presidency no matter what it does to the rest of us.

The torture information was btw a government action that is not legal. Plame was working for the government as undercover and the two things don't relate at all. Has Cheney even admitted he did it? As I recall he let Libby take the fall for it and is probably worried more of his toadies will be going next! Bush proved what he thought about that when he refused the pardons!

Rain said...

Incidentally I don't think MSNBC is any better for getting news right now. I have heard public broadcasting does a better job with just the facts and not a magazine format that is all about proving certain points. Also someone who was evaluating stations said that public broadcasting is becoming more conservative in its slant. Maybe someday conservatives will remember what that used to mean.

Rain said...

Rachel Maddow did have a good interview the other night and it's online now somewhere about a lawyer who was working with Rice. He had written memos telling them it was not legal to torture. He said they tried to destroy those memos but were not successful. He said he represented a viewpoint and there were others working for the White House with a different one but it is not true that nobody told them what they were doing was against our own laws.

Rain said...

al qaida plot to blow up Library Tower thwarted by torture-- not; but it hasn't stopped the right wing from claiming it did.

Ingineer66 said...

Now it is coming out that senior congressional leaders including Pelosi were briefed on the interrogation techniques going back to at least 2002 and none of them had a problem with it at the time. Typical Monday morning quarterbacking by politicians changing their story as it suits their needs.

Rain said...

I have another blog set to publish on this topic, farm one then torture again on the week-end; so won't say much more here other than who cares what they thought. I have not heard what you have but if they were part of the decision to torture, they could be charged also if they aided and abetted a crime. Might be why they haven't been eager to go after it. I haven't heard it; so don't know. The question is purely whether it's legal what was done and most especially if.. never mind, will get into that with the next blog on the topic

Rain said...

Listening to news today, I understand where you got that Pelosi had been told. Boehner. She says she never was. Were Republicans briefed and not Democrats? Is somebody lying? At any rate she denies being told about what was going on. It would not be hard to believe that only Republicans were told as they tended to support Bush no matter what!

Ingineer66 said...

We are talking about politicians so somebody is likely to be not telling the truth. I will wait for your next blog to comment further.