Letter to the Editor

There is no defense for torture

We fundamentally disagree with Jose A. Rodriguez Jr.’s defense of what he called “enhanced interrogation techniques” [“How we really got bin Laden,” op-ed, May 1].

Mr. Rodriguez argued that these techniques were legal, but he based this assertion on a single memorandum: the “torture memo,” subsequently denounced by legal scholars and withdrawn. Mr. Rodriguez claimed that the ends justify the means and that these techniques were necessary and effective. But the techniques were designed to obtain compliance, not facts. The reliability of “facts” obtained from torture is harder to substantiate than information obtained from acceptable interrogation methods.

Torture is immoral and contrary to the teachings of all religions. It is degrading to the victim, perpetrator and policymakers. As a nation founded on religious and moral values, the United States cannot begin to move past the shameful use of torture until Americans ensure that government-sponsored torture never occurs again. Mr. Rodriguez’s justifications for the use of torture impede us from this important task.

Glenn L. Carle and the Rev. Richard L. Killmer, Washington

Glenn L. Carle was the CIA’s deputy national intelligence officer for transnational threats from 2003 to 2007. Richard L. Killmer is executive director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.

 
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