John Feehery: Speaking Engagements



Posted on April 17, 2009



            I am against torture.  Torture is what the Gestapo did in World War II.  Torture is what the Japanese did in the movie, “The Bridge Over the River Kwai.”  Torture is what they did in the Middle Ages.  Remember the Rack?


            President Bush said repeatedly that America doesn’t do torture.  Well, in my book, putting somebody in a little box and filling it up with insects is torture.   Waterboarding is torture.  You can’t parse your way out of that one.  Sorry.


We lose the moral high ground when we condone torture.  And I believe that the moral high ground is a useful space to occupy.


            The CIA approves of torture.  The Military, on the other hand, doesn’t like to torture.  Well, it seems to me that if the CIA was doing its job, it wouldn’t have to torture.  I side with the military on this one.  They don’t like to torture because it gives our enemies carte blanche to do whatever they want to do to our soldiers when they capture them.  We don’t have to give those bums any additional incentives to mistreat our brave soldiers. 


            I am not naïve.  I understand that in the desperate rush to get information to save American lives, sometimes things happen.  But can’t we do a better job in extracting information than use techniques first popularized in the 16th Century?


            Can’t we develop a truth serum?  Can’t we use modern psychological techniques?  Can’t we use the things we used in World War II, like give them cigarettes?  Why don’t we just make them watch any Will Ferrell movie over and over again?  That is real torture. 


            John McCain knows a thing or two about torture.  He is against it.  I am with John McCain. 


The Obama Administration’s decision to reveal these techniques is truly embarrassing to the United States, and it may make it harder for the CIA to do its job in the future.  Even Leon Panetta, the President’s appointee to the CIA, was against the decision.


But it’s out there now.  And let’s not sugercoat it.  The decision to give the ok to use these techniques in the first place was a mistake.  Torture is wrong.  Let’s not do it ever again.

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