Here is a link to the NYT article: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/10/opinion/the-torture-report-reminds-us-of-what-america-was.html
I can see two links to the Washington Post, but none to NYT. I’m sure it will be corrected soon and I’ll look stupid. Oh well, won’t be the first time.
All three of those essays are really remarkable. The 2014 one in WaPo really got me.
naturally we will, as a nation, moving forward pay slightly closer attention in future debates to those voices which had beed claiming this was going on, was useless, and would backfire.
Certainly our national media will work these lessons into future national discussions and not villainize those uging caution, further. right? right? yeah… probably not.
Reading that made me so sad. I grew up in a country that really wanted to be the good guys. There were horrors and atrocities in our past, but we wanted to be better than that. Torture was something barbarians did, and our leaders condemned it unequivocally.
My heart broke the day my country invaded another country that had done us no wrong. It broke again when the mercenaries began committing atrocities, and again when the tortures came to light. And nothing has ever made me so furiously angry as the day the architects of these horrors dared to call their critics unpatriotic.
There is a G.K. Chesterton quote, “My country, right or wrong… is a lot like saying my mother, drunk or sober.”
Like an alcoholic, you need to face up to what you (or men claiming to represent you) have done, and recognize that it’s wrong. There is no other way to get better. Ignoring or making excuses for evil actions only ensures they will continue. If we say “the enemy does much worse” then we are moving the boundaries of good/evil, and if they do something even more heinous, then we can advance in the same direction, as long as we never quite equal them. That way we can insist “we aren’t as bad as them”, when in fact we are only a step behind them, and far far away from where we should be on a moral scale.
amen, well said.
I don’t understand his use of the past tense. Has anything changed? Has the US finally decided to stop using torture? EF may no longer work as a torturer, but as far as I know this is still current affairs, not history.
Is Eric Fair the only U.S. torturer who has publicly repented of it? If so, that is very sad, and also very unfortunate, as it makes his views easier to dismiss.
Possibly and hopefully not.
Things people do are to a great degree based on the environment they are in; the same person will be a grey office mouse, or a feared camp capo, or a grey office mouse again when planted back to the previous environment.
So there is a good chance there are more people like him, who got out of the bad-things-inducing environment, looked back and realized what they did. Some of them will talk.
Some people are like this and others are a lot more fixed by internal patterns. There are probably tons of people who tortured because they were in the torture place and would not torture again and strongly regret it.
And then there are those people who tortured while they were in the torture place, and kept torturing when they didn’t think there was any point to it anymore, and are still there, working those jobs, licking their chops to get another person to torture. They’ve probably been promoted, actually.
Yes. Hence I propose holding the ones responsible for the job conditions to be also responsible for the effects it has to the people. The environmentally influenced ones then won’t get to do something they’d regret later, and the intrinsically violent ones will have a better chance of being caught, possibly before their actions escalate to really bad, and moved where they won’t have chance to be bad (janitor, paperwork duty, only one of a whole squad so the rest of the squad can keep eyes on him…).
While I am in favor of forgiving the environmentally influenced ones, this one kind has to go.
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