Aversion to Torture

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The headline says, "West turns blind eye as police put Saddam’s torturers back to work." James Hider, writing from Baghdad for the Times reports, "Iraqi security forces, set up by American and British troops, torture detainees by pulling out their fingernails, burning them with hot irons, or giving them electric shocks, Iraqi officials say. Cases have also been reported of bound prisoners being beaten to death."

It almost sounds medieval when we think about "burning them with hot irons." Of course the people doing the burning are in our employ, and employ is the right word, because not only are we paying these Iraqi torturers, we are supposed to be training them too.

These new torture "experts" are not in an "on the job training program," as we hired these people because of their experience. Hider, goes on to report, "In their haste to put police on the streets to counter the brutal insurgency, Iraqi and US authorities have enlisted men trained under Saddam Hussein’s regime and versed in torture and abuse, the officials told the Times."

We all have read about, and seen the photos of America’s "new age" torture techniques, where we use sexual humiliation to get what we want out of someone, but even America knows the tried and true methods of the infliction of pain still work. No, you won’t get more honest answers, and if a person is innocent no amount of torture will make them guilty, but when you release a person from custody and they are almost insane from what you have done to them, and their whole body is a testament to that fact, well, you have instilled fear in every person who sees them.

Now don’t get me wrong, and think that the Bush administration has done away with our methods, but because of all the bad publicity from the proof positive photos released showing how we torture now, Washington feels better employing Saddam’s experienced torturers. These men know that "no cameras are allowed," is the rule, and for the right price they will work for anyone.

American troops have tried the "old methods," and yes, we have kicked to death prisoners who were handcuffed to wire ceilings, so we do know how to do it. However Americans really don’t have the stomach for torture, and every time, some "do-gooder" will turn us in. So it is better for George Bush, and really everyone in Washington if we hire "Saddam’s old guard." You can’t beat them for the money they cost and the experience they bring. Soon all of Iraq will know that they are back in business and people will live in fear again.

Jim Glaser [send him mail], a Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran and Commander of American Legion Post 499, works to educate the American public on the consequences of war. His personal website is James-Glaser.com.

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