We keep hearing from defenders of the CIA that reasonable people can disagree about whether or not the EIT's constitute torture. That is a croc. Reasonable people cannot disagree. If someone wants to defend the actions of the CIA then do so, but stop saying that reasonable people can disagree. They can't. It was either wrong or it was not wrong, and if someone thinks that it was fine, then have the courage of your convictions and state that those who opposed EIT's were (and are), in fact, unreasonable. Here's a letter that I wrote to a local columnist who tried to play the defend the CIA game while claiming that reasonable people can disagree. Why do they couch it this way? They are actually trying to defend themselves and their own beliefs more so than the CIA. If reasonable people can disagree, then their own condoning of torture becomes reasonable, which makes them not a bad person but just someone on the other side of a policy dispute where "reasonable" minds can differ.
Reasonable minds don't differ. Torture is wrong. What the CIA did is torture. It was wrong. People who supported the policy and who defend it now are evil. Here is the letter where I play the role of someone criticizing from the right:
You must not have listened to Dick Cheney. He vehemently disputes
your point that reasonable people can argue whether or not EIT's
constitute torture. He in fact said that it was not
torture. Your claiming that reasonable people can argue about
whether it was torture or not is no better than what the Democrats
are arguing. It is easy for you to sit there and claim that the CIA
might have tortured.
Both the CIA and Dick Cheney emphatically state that no
reasonable person could think it was torture because it was not
torture. Torture only involves permanent damage like cutting off
appendages or killing people on purpose. We did not cut any
appendages off so how do you get off saying that we may have
committed torture with no evidence of it at all? Show me one single
example of even possible torture in the report. You can't because
there aren't any.
Your article is giving comfort and aid to our enemies. How dare you
question the policies of our government during a time of war and
come out and say the opposite of what Dick Cheney has already
revealed. Cheney stated that the CIA stayed well away from the line
that constitutes torture. Did you even bother to listen to what he
said? Did you even bother to note that the U.S. Department of
Justice said that we did not torture and they pre-screened all of
the interrogations. Did you bother to read that all of these
techniques are used on Navy Seals to prepare them for battle? How
are they torture if we do them to our own solders to prepare them
There was no torture and anyone who argues that there might have
been torture is not reasonable, they are un-American. You should be
arguing instead, that such policies are essential to keeping America
safe and should be used always against terrorists.
It is people like you who are the true torturers and who hurt our
country because you don't have the courage of your convictions and
you enable terrorists. Cheney has stated that EIT's saved America
from the terrorists and they will continue to save America if people
like you will stop undermining the CIA and claiming that EIT's are
harsh and unsettling, an allegation for which you provide no
evidence. Maybe they seem harsh and unsettling to people like you,
but certainly not to the men and women of the CIA. They don't need
your half-hearted defense which really is no defense at all.
Reasonable people want our country to be safe. Quite calling
Democrats and leftwingers reasonable.