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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 23, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Call to prosecute CIA interrogators

Righting a grievous wrong

My hat’s off to this man — my sentiment exactly! And if I had to venture a guess, it would be that there are millions of Americans with a conscience that share Douglas Schiebel’s opinion [“Prosecute interrogators: Have we no shame?” Northwest Voices, Opinion, April 22].

While it may be noble at times to be forward-looking, refusing to right a grievous wrong instigated at the very top of an American administration does not qualify as such.

These disgraceful and criminal acts were hatched and carried out in the name of all of us and I for one, as an American citizen, want my good name back.

The harm done to this country under the mealy-mouthed guise of protecting us is immeasurable. If we do not stand up to the facts about this sorry band of scoundrels and hold them accountable from top to bottom, we will never again be able to claim the moral high ground; instead, we will just keep adding to our already considerable number of enemies, many of which we have collected in the past eight years.

Has anyone noticed how noisily Dick Cheney, already three months out of office, is still trying to defend what he and the rest of the Bush administration did?

I interpret this as an attempt to bully and intimidate the current administration into non-action because he knows once the ball gets rolling, it will be like a flash flood that will swallow him up along with his cohorts.

And nothing could be more just than that.

— Ruth R. Quiban, Seattle

Unacceptable comparison to Nazis

Douglas Schiebel’s letter urging the prosecution of CIA interrogators is so far beyond the pale that it causes me to doubt the integrity of The Times and Schiebel’s grip on reality. To put anything done by our CIA or military to terrorist suspects in the same category as war crimes committed by Nazi Germany is a horrible and absolutely dishonest comparison.

The Nazis killed millions in ways too horrible to comprehend in furtherance of an evil and demented agenda led by a madman. Those serving our country used methods that, while they may be judged immoral and perhaps illegal, were on a scale that does not begin to equal the cruelty and evil of the Nazis. And anything done by those serving us was done in response to and in an effort to prevent further atrocities that do compare to those perpetrated by the Nazis.

I am old enough to have known many who encountered the work of Nazi Germany and saw firsthand the horrendous cruelty committed by unmitigated ethnic hatred. I saw the damage done to family members who simply witnessed the aftermath of Hitler’s terrorism. We all saw the horrible result to our own country perpetuated by those who hate us on 9/11.

To compare our country’s interrogation methods to either of those acts of cowardice and hate is a nonstarter. To do so is, in my estimation, just one more example of hate toward our own country and those who try to protect us.

I was not a fan of the Bush administration. I thought the whole Guantanamo thing was a mistake from the get-go. But to make the comparison to Nazi war crimes is just wrong and, in my opinion, a very immoral, hate-filled statement. Such will do nothing to help our country and certainly does not deserve the space The Times gave it.

— John Nielsen, Kent

Comments | More in Barack Obama administration, Federal government


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