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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 31, 2009 at 6:00 AM

Judge Bybee

Critics might think differently with more knowledge

Editor, The Times:

In response to guest commentary “Judge Bybee should go” [Opinion, May 29]: When I read articles like this one, I can’t help think how easy it is to take the “high road” on what the definition of torture might be.

I wonder if writers Howard Goodfriend, Kenneth Masters and Michael King know that Navy SEALs are routinely waterboarded as part of their training? Do they ever wonder if Daniel Pearl would have opted for “face slapping” — described by the three attorneys as heinous torture –over the beheading that he received?

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah are monsters responsible for thousands of deaths. Somehow waterboarding, face-slapping and wall-slamming seem like a small price to pay for their hideous behavior.

There are probably a dozen or so car bombs that go off every day around the world somewhere. If those calling for Judge Jay Bybee to resign had the unenviable task of collecting the remains of human beings blown apart by Mohammed and Zubaydah’s friends, their views on interrogation techniques might be different.

— Thomas M. Ancich, Seattle

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