Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Why Torture Rules Exist

June 19, 2004

"Ex-Soldier Recalls Beating He Received in Guantanamo Drill" (June 16) details the beating Kentucky National Guard trooper Sean Baker received at the hands of the prison guards at the Guantanamo prison. Treated like an Afghan prisoner for 10 minutes, Baker is disabled with traumatic brain injury. It makes one wonder what it's like to be treated like an Afghan for a year or two. "Torture" is surely not a strong enough word.

Bill Kidd

Portland, Ore.

*

Baker was quoted: "What happened to me is something that should never have happened to any American soldier. I pray it will never happen again." I would like to add that that is something that should never happen to any human being, and I also pray it will never happen again, and certainly not in my name.

Paul Fretheim

Independence, Calif.

*

John Yoo (Commentary, June 11) and the number of letters (June 15) you printed regarding his attempts to legally justify torture all fail to acknowledge the most important aspect of the Geneva Convention and the torture agreements. They protect us, our souls and our own morality, and allow us to keep our dignity as human beings in the midst of war. Looking for ways to justify torture is only for an administration that has lost its moral compass.

Neil Reichline

Sherman Oaks

*

The U.S. has tortured prisoners before. After World War II, during the trial of SS troopers for the Malmedy massacre, confessions were tortured out of prisoners through severe beatings, isolation and mock trials. The defense counsel broke it to the media. The U.S. public was outraged. The secretary of the Army formed a commission to investigate and found the allegations of torture were true. The prisoners' death sentences were commuted to time.

Judge Edward L. Van Roden of the commission stated: "Unless these crimes committed by Americans are exposed by us at home, the prestige of America and American justice will suffer permanent and irreparable damage. We can partially atone for our own misconduct if we first search it out and publicly condemn and disavow it."

Dana Dunlap

Los Angeles

*

Re "Tout Torture, Get Promoted," Commentary, June 15: According to this administration, torture is defined as an act inflicting pain of an intensity "which accompanies serious physical injury such as death." This will assure that only the dead can claim that they were tortured. And people think George W. Bush is stupid.

Jeff Rosenthal

Hollywood

*

I guess everything did change after 9/11. Before then, we were arguing over the definition of "sex." Now we are arguing over the definition of "torture."

John Williams

Hermosa Beach

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|