Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Is torture.

Torture is illegal - against international and national law. It's a preferred torture because until an autopsy, there generally is no physical evidence of torture when it's used.

The reason President Bush's new Attorney General candidate is already compromised is because the CIA (cough/sneeze- used waterboarding) "may" have waterboarded suspects they captured.

If the AG declares to congress that he finds waterboarding against the law is that he would find that he might have to take legal action against CIA employees who are identified as using it under orders. That would put the administration and individual CIA agents in for legal action against them if the AG believes they've broken the law on two levels: 1) issuing the order, 2) carrying out an order that is illegal. The Nuremberg Trials declared that soldiers do not have to obey an illegal order.

Much as the Bush administration claims torture is helpful to flipping suspects, and anyone in the adminstration who disagrees with them is fired.

Here are the facts:

1) Torturing enemy combatants only makes them hate the US even more because they believe we're such hypocrites - claiming to be this positive, peace-loving, humane nation when we are allowed to use torture.

2) Think of how patriotic you would feel resisting torture to turn on your country. Senator (R-AZ) John McClain knows how that feeling all too well. Torture inspires a patriotic courage because it makes the enemy feel inhumane, less than human. So when you're tortured you do talk. But you lie. You buy yourself more time before you have to deal with that pain again. The time it takes them to figure out you've lied. You tell them anything in order to get them to stop. You confess. Tell them anything they want to know - in the way they want to hear it, which in most cases is not true.

3) Torturing the enemy gives them the excuse they need to torture US soldiers. Soldiers are put at extraordinary risk when they hear of the CIA or others torturing suspects. If the suspects are killed during torture, somehow the word gets out and the enemy does all it can to make the lives of US soldiers a painful, horrific hell. If you don't already know, I'm a US Air Force veteran.

4) Those outside the US claiming they know we use waterboarding give the US no credibility in its insistence that human rights be a negotiating issue.

These are just a few reasons torture only backfires, especially when it's given to people who already think we are the embodiment of Satan.

Stephanie Miller's father, William Miller who ran as Barry Goldwater's vice presidential running mate in 1964, was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, that put notorious Nazi's on trial for crimes against humanity. Stephanie reports her father told her he got more information out of his adversaries playing chess with them than others did torturing them to get information.

Believe me, I used to think that torture was the only way to get violent people to talk, but found out to my shock that in fact the less violence used on violent people, the more apt they are to flip and give accurate information. It just requires more ingenuity, relationship skills and understanding the enemy. If you have those elements, getting correct information can be much faster than getting bogus info, then taking a bunch of time and costing lives in the process, only to find out they lied.

Talk about propaganda - during the "cold war" between the US and Soviet Union? The Soviets were told - and they believed it - that we Americans were *cannibals.* That we would kill, cook and eat them if we won the cold war.

Imagine what the folks fighting us in the Middle East are told about us - and how their animosity only elevates every time an instance like Abu Ghraib takes place. Only in this case instead of being rumors that could be denied by the Bush administration, we actually saw photographic and heard audible evidence of the US torturing and abusing prisoners - who were not even identified as insurgents.

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