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Torture Reports



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From a reader:


In regard to your request for info on torture reports. Here are a few sample cites:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-abuse21dec21,0,7615137.story?coll=la-home-nation

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25962-2004Dec25.html?sub=AR

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23372-2004Nov30_2.html

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4944094/ (dealing with broader Abu Ghraib abuses than those in the photos)

The stories on the FBI documents were front page news in every major paper. It is somewhat astounding to me that the folks at the Corner seem unaware that they exist.

One final inquiry on your WWII abuse postings: I am not sure what your point is. Is it that these practices are acceptable, or that they are understandable. If the former, than Sullivan is correct that the right has simply fallen off the deep end on this issue. If the latter, I have never been in combat, so I cannot say how I would act under these conditions, and you may be right. But if that is true, perhaps you should just ponder for a moment what effect these practices might have on those Iraqis who went through Abu Ghraib – the great majority of whom appear to have been wholly innocent (see the last citation) – or on the feelings that they or their families might have to the US presence in their country. You might also consider, to the extent you believe such abuses to be “understandable” and therefore inevitable, at least to some degree, in war time, what that says about the wisdon of fighting wars premised on winning over the very population that would be the subject of such abuses.

Me: I don’t think folks at the Corner were unaware of such reports, just that anecdotes seem to be translated into data pretty easily.

As for my point about the WWII atrocities it’s exactly what I said it was, regardless of the “either or” debating trap the reader sets. The notion that America has lost the high moral ground because of what has been alleged strikes me as absurd and offensive. All of the clichés about how we become “like the terrorists” if we do this or that, are rhetorical bits of moral bullying and self-righteous blather. None of these atrocities from WWII I’ve recounted makes me think that America became “like the Nazis” or that we’d lost the high moral ground in that war. And I’ve never heard all of these Greatest Generation-and-FDR-worshipping liberals qualify their love of Roosevelt and support for WWII with any such language. But today there is a knee-jerk tendency to do precisely that when it comes to these (I would guess) far more isolated cases in the War on Terror. I mean most of the evidence this reader cites was unearthed by the US military and government in the course of investigating and prosecuting the abuses.



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