Friday, August 05, 2005

Ret. General Speaks out Against Torture

A retired Army General who spent the last 18 years of his career training military interrogators is speaking out about the need for legislation that will put an end to the kind of abuses of prisoners that is happening at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. The Salt Lake City Tribune interviewed Army General David Irvine who retired in 2002. Here are the last few paragraphs:

Nonetheless, in the classes Irvine taught, there was always someone who felt the Field Guide's provisions didn't go far enough. "There are always going to be those who feel that the ends justifies the means," he said. "Those who feel the training they got was too Mickey Mouse for the circumstances they find themselves in."

Acting on such seductive thinking, he said, results in the forfeiture of "any moral objection to similar kinds of treatment."

And that scares him most of all.

"We've lowered the bar ourselves - if X-Y-Z is OK for us to do, it's OK for the same treatment to be meted out to our people if they're captured," he said.

"It's not rocket science; it's the Golden Rule."

The Guardian also published an interesting article on this topic today. It advises Britain to stay out of the "dirty war" that is being waged "above the rule of law" against suspected terrorists in U.S. custody.


Randy Ridenour said...

There can be no moral justification for torture. Unfortunately, under the right conditions, we humans can easily do things that we think we would never do. A quick survey of 20th century history, psychology, sociology will show that. At best, war is morally problematic. Otherwise, there would be no need for a theory of "just" war. The General's suggestion for legal remedies is good, but I don't think that it will be enough. What is needed is a person who is the moral compass in the places of spiritual and moral darkness. Would being in such a place corrupt even the strongest? Would the country's political leadership really want to conduct this war with a commitment to justice? I don't know....

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...


You ask, "Would the country's political leadership really want to conduct this war with a commitment to justice?"

I'm skeptical. I think we define justice one way for ourselves and another way for our adversaries.

Our double standard is destroying our credibility both in our own eyes -- whether consciously or unconsciously -- and in the eyes of the world.

'Thought & Humor' said...

We work like a horse.
We eat like a pig.
We like to play chicken.
You can get someone's goat.
We can be as slippery as a snake.
We get dog tired.
We can be as quiet as a mouse.
We can be as quick as a cat.
Some of us are as strong as an ox.
People try to buffalo others.
Some are as ugly as a toad.
We can be as gentle as a lamb.
Sometimes we are as happy as a lark.
Some of us drink like a fish.
We can be as proud as a peacock.
A few of us are as hairy as a gorilla.
You can get a frog in your throat.
We can be a lone wolf.
But I'm having a whale of a time!

You have a riveting web log
and undoubtedly must have
atypical & quiescent potential
for your intended readership.
May I suggest that you do
everything in your power to
honor your encyclopedic/omniscient
Designer/Architect as well
as your revering audience.

Please remember to never
restrict anyone's opportunities
for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.

There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity
under heaven. A time to be
born and a time to die. A
time to plant and a time to
harvest. A time to kill and
a time to heal. A time to
tear down and a time to
rebuild. A time to cry and
a time to laugh. A time to
grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones
and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a
time to turn away. A time to
search and a time to lose. A
time to keep and a time to
throw away. A time to tear
and a time to mend. A time
to be quiet and a time to
speak up. A time to love
and a time to hate. A time
for war and a time for peace.

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,

P.S. One thing of which I am sure is
that the common culture of my youth
is gone for good. It was hollowed out
by the rise of ethnic "identity politics,"
then splintered beyond hope of repair
by the emergence of the web-based
technologies that so maximized and
facilitated cultural choice as to make
the broad-based offerings of the old
mass media look bland and unchallenging
by comparison."

'Thought & Humor' by Howdy
CyberHumor, CyberThought
CyberRiddles for your divertissement!!!