Monday, December 01, 2008


If you haven't yet read this editorial on torture from yesterday's Washington Post -- written by the pseudonymous Matthew Alexander -- you owe it to yourself to check it out. The author discusses his personal experiences interrogating Iraqis and other captured fighters in Iraq, his first-hand knowledge of the torture that was practiced there (and that he, to his infinite credit, refused to participate in) and the consequences of those actions condoned and encouraged by the most bloodthirsty and criminal administration ever to disgrace the White House.

Torture and abuse are against my moral fabric. The cliche still bears repeating: Such outrages are inconsistent with American principles. And then there's the pragmatic side: Torture and abuse cost American lives.

I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq. The large majority of suicide bombings in Iraq are still carried out by these foreigners. They are also involved in most of the attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me -- unless you don't count American soldiers as Americans.

Read the whole thing, seriously. It's chilling. Just like the policies our military and the CIA have engaged in over the past eight years.
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