Editorial

Torture techniques should never have been legitimized

Friday, January 23, 2009

The new president will receive criticism for most of his first executive orders, some of it justified.

Thursday, he signed orders closing the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year, as well as secret overseas prisons used to hold prisoners associated with terrorism.

The orders also suspended trials for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo for 120 days pending a review of the military tribunals.

A task force will have 30 days to come up with recommendations for how to handle terror suspects, specifically, the 245 prisoners at Guantanamo.

All U.S. personel will be required to follow the U.S. Army Field manual while interrogating detainees -- meaning that threats, coercion, physical abuse and waterboarding, a technique that creates the sensation of drowning, are outlawed.

Torturing prisoners ought to be an issue that separates America from other countries around the world. Terror threats or no, torturing should never have been legitimized in any form in the first place.

Doing so was a sign that the terrorists had succeeded in undermining the rule of law that governs our nation.

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  • And who was it that authorized the torture? I believe it was in an Executive Order signed by President Bush in 2004. Another wonderful act taken during the last 8 years. Our founding fathers intended us to have higher morals and standards than our enemies. Apparently, Bush didn't seem to think that mattered. Thank you, Obama, for that "change".

    -- Posted by Rural Citizen on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 1:15 PM
  • Without having any method of obtaining information, other than scones and tea, we may well have condemned hundreds, if not more, of our troops, and citizens, to death. That is an 'IMO,' as only Historians, way down the road, will be able to discern (providing the Historians still are alive).

    I, too, hate torture, including water-boarding, but the Presidents order, again IMO, seems to take away any chance we have of being anything, but reactionary, in this war with terrorism.

    Time will tell, the ramifications.

    In Messiah, His Shalom, and protection. Arley

    -- Posted by Navyblue on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 3:58 PM
  • I wouldn't have one bit of a problem torturing every one of them bastards if it would save one American life. Apparently everyone forgot about what happened to American solders that were captured! That was torture!!!

    It's pretty easy to set back here in your comfortable home and second guess the president when his goal was to save American lives and it did! Maybe even yours....

    -- Posted by remington81 on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 4:17 PM
  • To Rural Citizen; Where is it ever stated by our Founding Fathers that we must have higher morals than our enemies, NEVER.

    To Navyblue; Waterboarding saved the lives of thousands against acts of terrorism. Defense never wins wars.

    President Bush's policy of pre-emptive war worked. Now with Obama, we will see if playing defense with terror really works. Let's just hope we don't get hit again.

    -- Posted by Dudley Dawson on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 6:33 PM
  • *

    Isn't it amazing our editor is more worried about how we treat adversaries that are trying to indiscriminately kill us rather than being concerned for the US citizens? Maybe the editor does not realize these combatants are not just disgruntled Sunday school teachers but are enemies bent on destroying the United States.

    This latest move by Obama is just the tip of the iceberg as the desired result by the extreme left is to clog our court system by giving these combatants all the rights of US citizens in US courts. Just another way to line trial lawyers pockets with taxpayer money defending those that have declared war upon the US. Wake up America. We are not as safe as we were on January 19, 2009.

    -- Posted by ksfarmer on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 9:35 PM
  • You liberals make me sick to my stomach. The gazette is staring to make me sick to my stomach with the offensive bloggers they have berating the loyal SW NE readers because most of us have conservative morals and values, we don't always believe in gay sex, gay marriage, and killing unborn babies. Now we have this liberal piece of journalism.

    I'm sorry if I seem like a right-wing wacko, but I believe in my country, I am proud of my country and especially our soldiers that do what some of us can only dream of doing, but are not willing to make the sacrifice, nor have the bravery to do.

    War has been declared on our souls, our freedom, and our way of life. We didn't ask to have the radiacal nation of Islam come down on us, but it has. It doesn't seem like the real nation of Islam cares to much about either. They want us to realize there is a difference, but their inaction on the radials seem to suggest they really don't care. It's up to us to protect ourselves against the world's largest religion.

    I completely inderstand that the US has always maintained a high degree of dignity when dealing with POW's and has to maintain the world standard during conflict. However, our enemies have not deaclared war or choosen to fight our military. They have choosen to fight and kill innocent people and civilians, anyone they can find. They don't do it with military or militia, they do it with cowardly suicide bombings. They create fear and damamge our financial markets. They will win an unconventional war if we can only fight them conventionally.

    Some people in this country have the illusion that we can win over anyone with unconditional love and fair treatment. I'm afraid it will never work with this type of enemy.

    We have a lot of sons, daughters, nephews, fathers, mothers, and friends over there...fighting for our safety.

    I would be willing to do anything in my power including killing if I had to in order to protect my family from harm. Thank God someone else is doing it for me. If that fight ever came to my doorstep however, I pray that I have the courage to do what these soldiers are doing now, take up arms and put myself between the terrorists and my family, ultimately dying to protect them.

    Now we have this so called torture. I'm very sorry but I don not believe that threats, waterboarding, and coercion should be considered torture. The stuff you see Rambo go through in "First Blood: Part 2" is a cake walk compared to what our troops and citizen go through when in the loving care of Islamic terrorists. Can't anyone remember the beheadings these days?

    I guess when I think of torture, I think of red hot pokers in your eyeballs, getting your hands and feet cut off, electrocution, castration, and other unspeakeable tactics that have been used throughout history. I don't believe the US should ever be involved in those kinds of barbaric acts.

    If I was there and I knew I could save an Amercican soldiers life, I would absolutely beat the crap out of a terrorist and waterboard his cowardly butt.

    Making hard decisions is a true reflection of character. I don't like how President Bush paraded around as a conservative, yet allowed the government to go hog wild on spending. I do stand behind all of his decisions to protect this great country. Making decisions that you know are going to make you unpopular and hated are part of being a great person, like a parent.

    How would your kids grow up if you parented like a liberal president? Give your kids everything they want whenever they want it. You give them money for doing absolutely nothing. They never get punished for doing bad things because you don't want them to be mad at you and generally you make all of your decisions based on whether or not they will like you or dislike you for it.

    I guess I would rather have a president that governs like I parent. I make my kids earn their money, they don't get anything for doing nothing. When they do wrong they get punished. I hear a lot of how I'm the worst dad ever, but I know they will be better off someday because we are building character and responbsibilty. I shower them with love all the time, but come down hard with an iron fist when they get out of line. It's hard to be unpopular, it's hurts to called a bad dad, and it really hurts to hear "I hate you," but I know better. I'll take that punishment now because I'm strong enought to take it and I'll be so proud of my boys when they grow up to be great men, not ungrateful cowards.

    It's too bad our president doesn't have the same resolve to make tough decisions because it's already apparent he's trying to win votes and friends for a second election win.

    So, go ahead and think that we're off and running in the right direction, but I think otherwise. Someday we're all going to be so well off just like Venezuelan's that don't have electriciy all the time because the government owns everything and they manage things so well. These feel-good decisions are only going to make us weak and exposed to our enemies.

    I look at this as step back not a step forward.

    -- Posted by Justin76 on Mon, Jan 26, 2009, at 10:38 AM
  • HMMMM, moral/war. I get it, we are going to protect our borders, interests, and freedom by killing those who threaten them, but we are going to do it nicely. Thats rediculous, war and morality have nothing to do with each other, anyone who thinks they do have never been there! They are prisoners of war, they should use whatever technique that is available to get the information needed to protect American troops and American borders. We should have utilized the full measure of our firepower and just completely destroyed Iraq without regard to collateral damage in the first place, it would have been over with inside of a year with very few American casualties. We have wasted money and American lives for 8 years, and when we leave Iraq, they will just go back to killing each other like they have been doing for centuries.

    -- Posted by seentoomuch on Mon, Jan 26, 2009, at 12:01 PM
  • It seems to me that the terrorist have begun to acomplish their mission, to make the U.S. sink down to their level. The reason the U.S. should not torture is because we are better then them. What would Jesus think about waterboarding?

    Torture has never been a reliable way to get information, they will tell you anything to get you to stop.

    Yes, it is easy to second guess from the comfort of my own home but I suggest that you volunteer to go torture people and see how you like it.

    -- Posted by president obama on Mon, Jan 26, 2009, at 12:44 PM
  • *

    Export the detainees from Gitmo to Israel. You'd very likely get the information you desire; and the Israelis have a knack for dealing with this brand of ilk.

    Situation resolved.

    -- Posted by Mickel on Mon, Jan 26, 2009, at 4:17 PM
  • Well Bigdawg, what would Jesus do? Please answer that question. I know that question neutralizes opposing viewpoints, but no one ever bothers to answer it. I don't know if He ever answered it.

    God did tell us murder is wrong, as was bearing false witness (lying).

    I guess terrorist suspects should only be truthfull in their lawful questioning. Going back even further, they should not have murdered. Going back even further, if all of us had followed the teachings of Jesus, terrorism could not exist.

    So Bigdawg, the question should be; what DID Jesus do?

    -- Posted by Dudley Dawson on Mon, Jan 26, 2009, at 4:18 PM
  • Jesus would not be for waterboarding, he would oppose it, you could not figure that out?

    -- Posted by president obama on Mon, Jan 26, 2009, at 5:06 PM
  • Yes, The Lord would oppose waterboarding, as He would oppose any forms of coersion. But I still ask, what did He do while being persecuted. As Christians, we are all to do this, no matter how difficult. It is something I struggle with greatly.

    -- Posted by Dudley Dawson on Mon, Jan 26, 2009, at 6:18 PM
  • I think that we christians would be fed to the lions. We would preach to those who would do us harm while they kill us.

    -- Posted by president obama on Tue, Jan 27, 2009, at 12:48 PM
  • Bigdawg, Correct and Thank you!

    -- Posted by Dudley Dawson on Tue, Jan 27, 2009, at 2:50 PM
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