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May 18 2007

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Expert testimony

 Dear Friends:

(1) General Charles Krulak is a former Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and his fellow Marine
General Joseph Hoar was Commander of CENTCOM (1991-94) and Chief of Staff of the USMC during the 1991 first Gulf War.

ALst week, these two old leathernecks co-authored a powerful op-ed piece that appeared in the Washington Post on 17 May 2007 entitled “It’s Our Cage, Too;  Torture Betrays Us and Breeds New Enemies”.

I have pasted a brief summary of that op-ed into the body of this email for you below. The full text, for those interested, is available by simply clicking on this blue link:
Click Here: Check out “Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoar – It’s Our Cage, Too – washingtonpost.com”

(2)  Stephen Green is a free-lance writer who lives in Vermont.  He has written several very important articles, of which the one cited below (dated September 2004) is particularly noteworthy.
Click Here: Check out “Stephen Green: The Bush Neo-Cons and Israel”

Yesterday, Steve Green circulated the following brief comment that adds to the impact of the powerful testimony given so eloquently by General Kulak and General Hoar:

Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 09:59:27 -0500
From: Stephen Green
Re: Krulak/Hoar: Torture Betrays Us and Breeds New Enemies

There is yet another factor in the use of torture that deserves our
military’s and the Administration’s consideration: it doesn’t work.
On a recent visit to Washington, I found myself late for a train, and was
offered a ride by a friend who is retired from the FBI and was personally involved
in the interrogation of key Al-Qaeda terrorist Khalid Sheik Mohammed. The conversation turned to
that. At the beginning, he said, the team was rough in their methods, but
decided, because it wasn’t working, to treat the fellow as a sentient,
intelligent human being. Suddenly, the results, the information, began to
come. And it began to be corroborated.
I think of this as a metaphor for the entire war.
Steve Green

Summary of the Kulak-Hoar op-ed:

It’s Our Cage, Too
Torture Betrays Us and Breeds New Enemies

By Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoar
Thursday, May 17, 2007; A17

Charles C. Krulak was commandant of the Marine Corps from 1995 to 1999. [G2K member] Joseph P. Hoar was commander in chief of U.S. Central Command from 1991 to 1994.

Fear can be a strong motivator. It led Franklin Roosevelt to intern tens of thousands of innocent U.S. citizens during World War II; it led to Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunt, which ruined the lives of hundreds of Americans. And it led the United States to adopt a policy at the highest levels that condoned and even authorized torture of prisoners in our custody.

Fear is the justification offered for this policy by former CIA director George Tenet as he promotes his new book. Tenet oversaw the secret CIA interrogation program in which torture techniques euphemistically called “waterboarding,” “sensory deprivation,” “sleep deprivation” and “stress positions” — conduct we used to call war crimes — were used. In defending these abuses, Tenet revealed: “Everybody forgets one central context of what we lived through: the palpable fear that we felt on the basis of the fact that there was so much we did not know.”

We have served in combat; we understand the reality of fear and the havoc it can wreak if left unchecked or fostered. Fear breeds panic, and it can lead people and nations to act in ways inconsistent with their character.

. . . .The torture methods that Tenet defends have nurtured the recuperative power of the enemy. This war will be won or lost not on the battlefield but in the minds of potential supporters who have not yet thrown in their lot with the enemy. If we forfeit our values by signaling that they are negotiable in situations of grave or imminent danger, we drive those undecideds into the arms of the enemy. This way lies defeat, and we are well down the road to it.

This is not just a lesson for history. Right now, White House lawyers are working up new rules that will govern what CIA interrogators can do to prisoners in secret. Those rules will set the standard not only for the CIA but also for what kind of treatment captured American soldiers can expect from their captors, now and in future wars. Before the president once again approves a policy of official cruelty, he should reflect on that. . . .

Ray Close

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2007/05/18/expert-testimony/

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