Lay off Bush administration officials

To the editor:

Following the brutal attacks of 9/11 — acts of war — we united to defend our way of life and protect our homeland. Our response was not rash vengeance. Our commander in chief sought the counsel of trained military professionals, expert intelligence operatives and our friends in the international community. Through our best efforts and due diligence, we all (Democrats, Republicans and Independents) believed a serious cancer was growing in Iraq.

When no weapons of mass destruction were uncovered, should we have scurried home to expose those military professionals and intelligence experts, who, in good faith and following sound intelligence practices, were persuaded Iraq possessed WMDs? Since Hillary Clinton and John Kerry voted to invade Iraq, based on their good faith belief the intelligence was accurate, should we have sought their impeachment when the intelligence turned out to be different than their good-faith belief?

The Bush administration could have surreptitiously water-boarded enemy combatants. Instead, their deference was to the rule of law. Legal experts were consulted to give their best effort to analyze the rule of law with respect to what constituted torture. Those legal professionals gave a balanced opinion of both sides of the issue.

Weighing those legal opinions, the administration felt it was on firm enough legal ground to utilize such enhanced interrogation techniques. Fast forward seven years and because political opponents, now in power, opine the legal rationale in those legal memos was flawed, there must be impeachments and prosecutions.

Not one enemy combatant has been killed by drowning. As unsavory as some may find those enhanced interrogation techniques, if water-boarding produced a scintilla of information which saved a single American life, it was worth it. Who can say otherwise?

Gary Burnett

LAS VEGAS

THE WRITER IS A LOCAL ATTORNEY.

Downward spiral

To the editor:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi claims that she had no idea what was going on in the terrorist interrogations, even after receiving more than 30 intelligence briefings on the subject. This confirms that her intelligence is below that of a turnip.

As long as people with the limited capacity of Nancy Pelosi are allowed to determine the direction of this country, the downward spiral of this country will continue.

How far do the people want to go before the people do something to avoid total disaster?

Gerry Lock

LAS VEGAS

Not torture

To the editor:

At a time when America’s military is bravely fighting on two fronts, for the Obama administration to openly reveal Bush-era interrogation techniques to the whole world is downright despicable. Not only will al-Qaida now modify its training, but this will hamper our ability to extract vital information from future detainees (read: save American lives).

The question remains, however: Were “harsh” interrogation techniques employed by the CIA during the Bush years? Certainly. Did they yield beneficial intelligence? Yes. Did it save American lives? You bet. But was it — as the ACLU asserts — tantamount to “torture”? Certainly not! Keeping an inmate in a darkened room for periods of time is not torture. Playing loud music in an inmate’s cell is not torture. Turning down the temperature in a room is not torture. Sleep deprivation is not torture. Waterboarding is not torture. Why? Because everything described here is routinely done to members of our own military.

What is torture however, is having to read story after story, year after year, about how the ACLU continues to clog our courts with frivolous lawsuits that are designed to destroy everything decent and noble about this country under the guise of “civil liberties.”

Allowing the radical rabble-rousers of the ACLU to define for the nation what constitutes “torture” is akin to a local pimp being allowed to determine for the community what constitutes “sex.”

Ted Mueller

LAS VEGAS

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