Community Comment

Creating a policy for torture?

David Horsey,, (David Horsey / The Spokesman-Review)
David Horsey,, (David Horsey / The Spokesman-Review)

Good morning, Netizens...

In this morning's David Horsey cartoon we see the logical outcome of an American term called “waffling”, which is further defined, particularly outside of the U.S., as “denoting language without meaning; blathering, babbling, droning.” In other sources it is referred to as “A repetitive response to a question.”

Both seem remotely applicable, despite the fact that President Barack Obama appears to be the source of the comments made about American torture, also referred to as “harsh interrogation techniques”. Does the United States sanction or approve of torturing U.S. Terrorism suspects? That depends largely upon where you get the answer.

Former President George W. Bush was not much better at answering the same questions as put to President Obama. In fact, according a National Public Radio program heard yesterday, the opinion whether or not “waterboarding” was approved by the CIA waffled back and forth throughout much of Bush's term-of-office until some former CIA operatives no longer active in Iraq had no idea whether or not waterboarding was torture and, if so, whether or not its use was sanctioned by our government.

It is painfully obvious to even the most-tentative explorer that various forms of torture were used on Iraqi captives, ranging from the now well-known waterboarding, to hanging prisoners from chains and other forms of indecency under the Bush administration. We, as a nation, justified this because a band of terrorists had killed hundreds of innocents at the World Trade Center by flying planes into them. We, as a nation, justified torturing prisoners because Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld implied it was necessary to break the back world terrorism, to ensure Al Qaeda or the Taliban would never again strike American soil.

But was it right? My answer has been and always will be, “Hell no!” if for no other reason than the old axiom my grandmother once taught me, that two wrongs don't make a right.

However, now that the cat is out of the bag, that we are now forced to admit we tortured prisoners of war, how do we, as a nation of laws, deal with the issue?

So long as President Barack Obama sits at that big desk, as Commander-in-Chief of all our military might and power, it is his responsibility to answer the questions regarding our collective past. It is now his responsibility to create a policy to address the past.

Waffling is simply not the answer Americans need to hear. Or is it?


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