04/24/09 — Torture truth: The memos won't be pretty, but remember the reason

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Torture truth: The memos won't be pretty, but remember the reason

It won't be easy to read or think about the torture memos that President Barack Obama is releasing -- nor will it be easy to watch news coverage of waterboarding and other techniques to elicit information from suspected terrorists.

And there will be plenty of discussions about right and wrong -- and what should be expected of us as Americans.

But as you debate the issue and read the analysis, remember this fact: There has not been another terror attack on U.S. soil since the devastating day in 2001.

And while there is room for debate on how or if we should do it -- and limits and rules -- there will not be many of those discussing the issue who will take the time to point out why we had to consider the torture techniques.

Getting information out of Islamic terrorists is not easy in the first place, but getting them to spill key details to foil attacks is even harder.

And knowing what they planned was critical to protecting this country. There are examples of how several such plots were foiled because of information gathered in this manner.

This debate cannot really simply focus on the black and white of torture vs. no torture. It is not just about if Americans should resort to these measures if we truly are a leader in the world.

This discussion should also really look at degrees and results, too.

Waterboarding might not be pretty, and it might be contrary to what we hoped we would be able to be as a nation, but we are not fighting the same kinds of enemies we have in the past.

Like it or not, that is a factor when determining our own views on war and peace.

Published in Editorials on April 24, 2009 11:18 AM