… from Press TV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: Oh my, the brass has finally heeded VT’s calls, especially the retired ones, to step up to the plate on some of the major issues of our day, because those on active duty usually cannot.
Part of the problem in having them make group statements like this is having their post-retirement work prospects negatively affected against the competition, or within the big-bucks defense company employers who do not take well to critics in any shape or form.
So VT salutes these people for stepping forward, as the Bush crowd’s position that “torture saved lives” was not supported by independent review. They just made up whatever was needed, as they did on so many occasions.
There are two wonderful quotes in this story to show that we really are living in alternate universes. First, we have Trump saying that even “if it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway.” To that childishness, the brass has responded that torture, in their “six thousand years of combined experience”, was “unnecessary” and “counterproductive”.
That is what you call a slam dunk, and I hope the officer corps of all the services may learn something from this. We see the officer corps silently going along with a lot of “counterproductive” foreign policy issues, the biggest being the manufacturing of fake threats to get the public whipped up, when a West Point grad with new bars should be able to see through and challenge at first glance… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … January 10, 2017 –
A coalition of retired officers, including 33 four-star generals and admirals, is calling on President-elect Donald Trump not to reinstate torture for terrorism suspects, according to a report.
In a show of military opposition to torture, 176 retired officers and generals from all branches of the US military wrote a letter to Trump, cautioning him against bringing back waterboarding and other torture methods, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
During his presidential campaign, Trump vowed to “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding” to use against suspected terrorists. The billionaire property developer contended that “torture works,” and even “if it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway.”
The letter, dated January 6, was signed by some of the most prominent military figures, including Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and Gen. John R. Allen, who were both commanders of US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan, as well as Adm. William H. McRaven, the Special Operations commander who reportedly oversaw the raid that killed former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The list also included a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a former commander of the Central Command, four former commanders of the Southern Command, two former directors of the National Security Agency (NSA), and former chiefs of staff of the Army and the Air Force.
The signatories of the letter voiced concerns “about statements made during the campaign about the use of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of detainees in US custody.”
The retired officers cited their “six thousand years of combined experience” to say that waterboarding and “other enhanced interrogation techniques” were “unnecessary” and “counterproductive.” They also said torture was illegal under domestic and international law.
“Our greatest strength is our commitment to the rule of law and to the principles embedded in our Constitution,” the letter continued. “Our servicemen and women need to know that our leaders do not condone torture or detainee abuse of any kind.”
Waterboarding had been used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on terror suspects captured after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. The harsh practice, which simulates drowning, was banned in 2006.