Re "Torture at Gitmo? Ask the Mau Mau," Commentary, June 30: It is interesting to read that Max Boot now sees British colonial practices as a benchmark for the U.S. war on terror. Can we then expect that the U.S. empire will go the same way as the British one? Surely, the world will be a better place once the American imperial arrogance for which Boot is so much a mouthpiece has disappeared from the face of the Earth.
Boot spuriously offers that he's not defending "unlawful conduct by U.S. service personnel" by making comparisons to British colonial practices in Africa. True, Boot isn't defending U.S. service personnel but instead laying the well-documented barbarous conduct occurring at Guantanamo and other "detention" facilities as the sole responsibility of American soldiers instead of the responsibility of their commander in chief, his military leaders and lawyers.
How sickening that he does this solely to defend the lawlessness of the Bush administration. The shame brought upon America by President Bush and his Cabinet's belief that violence works better than the law by authorizing torture and abandoning the Geneva Convention will haunt us for a very long time, no matter how many examples Boot provides of empires behaving badly throughout history.
Boot's defense of torture at Gitmo is a classic of neocon logic. His argument really boils down to, "We didn't do it, and besides, they had it coming."
Boot and his ilk still don't get it. Once the United States begins to use torture as part of its national policy, which it has under the Bush administration, it is no longer any better than other nations who have used torture, no matter how you measure the frequency or the ferocity. Boot thinks it's OK for the U.S. to use a little torture now and then because the British did it to the Mau Mau? This is how we now compare our morality level? His logic is, itself, torturous.