Saturday, December 13, 2014

Letter to the Editor

San Francisco Chronicle

I had to laugh out loud after reading about all the countries criticizing the US for using torture! What hypocisy! Countries such as Iran and China and members of the UN General Assembly, criticizing us? At least Brazil is quiet, busy with their own torture revelations. Not  a single country in Latin America has a clean record on torture, and forget about the Muslim world,  Russia, or most of Asia.

Few other countries have ever made public an issue such as this, openly and with all sides debating it. I can think of only two, France after the disaster of their Algerian war, and South Africa in their Reconciliation Conference.  We are to be congratulated for revisiting this issue, practices used when we had just been attacked and more attacks expected. Out of this revisiting is a discussion of the utility of such practices. Torture is usually a bad idea, bad for the perpetrators and not effective in gathering intelligence. But in the context of 9/11, probably necessary.

I just hope that we do not overcorrect. Do not engage in a witch hunt to punish our security services. Also, it will be stupid to drop profiling. Terrorists are not little old ladies; they are a community of young men recognizable by their demeanor. The enemy is among us and dangerous.

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