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June 07, 2007
Who Are We?

Thanks to Azael in the comments, I was lead to this story.

The world of the interrogator is largely closed. But three interrogators allowed a rare peek into their lives -- an American rookie who served with the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion and two veteran interrogators from Britain and Israel. The veterans, whose wartime experiences stretch back decades, are more practiced at finding moral balance. They use denial, humor, indignation. Even so, these older men grapple with their own fears -- and with a clash of values.

An American in Iraq, a British man interrogating 'Irish Nationalists', and an experienced Israeli interrogator each talk about their experiences with interrogation--and torture.

How do you fight bad guys and stay good? "You don't. You can't."

If you're no longer "good" then can someone tell me the difference between you and the guy you're torturing?

(We're back to "the ends justify the means" again, aren't we?

It's a decision, a choice, that someone in the middle of a desperate situation--in an emergency, might make, but it's not a philosophy that be codified into law.

In fact, I'd suggest that "the ends justify the means" is anti-law. It and law, like matter and anti-matter, don't mix.)

You know, one of the excuses we were given for the invading Iraq is that these were just dreadful people who murdered and tortured and were a danger to innocent people around them and now, yes, I'm still having trouble understanding why us murdering and torturing and invading and endangering innocent people is somehow different.

It's not a failure of "patriotism" on my part at all. It's more likely to be a failure of patriotism from the White House.

What this country means, what it is to most of us, seems to be something very different than the aggressive, warmongering bullyboy state that the White House neocons see when they look at the flag.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:04 PM


You might also want to check out this NPR interview with interrogator Eric Fair.

Am I going to have to take Peevish out of my "dormant" folder?

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at June 7, 2007 04:29 PM

Sorry for the delay in responding, Jonathan.

I did follow the link and it was an interesting interview. I thought, after the past couple of years or so, I'd pretty much exhausted my fury over this situation, but I seem to have plenty of anger left to offer....

(I don't intend to be blogging here regularly again, but I may post occasionally.)

Posted by: Anne at June 15, 2007 07:56 AM