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Good Faith Opposed Torture Within Military

Barack Obama has declared that he intends to allow torturers in the military, CIA and other government agencies to remain free, without prosecution for their war crimes. Physicians, psychologists, interpreters, agents, soldiers who participated in torture got the nod and wink from Obama that what they did was okay, because it was done “in good faith”. It’s depressing to think that the politician who campaigned on a promise of change now supports the idea that torture can be done “in good faith”.

obama good faith tortureAn article in the Washington Post published this morning, referred to by Jim last night, shows how true “good faith” reacts to an order to torture. It says no.

The memo ought to end once and for all the debate about whether Bush-Cheney “enhanced interrogation” tactics were torture. The memo, written way back in 2002 by the Pentagon’s Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, uses the blunt phrase “torture of prisoners”, to describe these tactics, and warns, “The unintended consequence of a U.S. policy that provides for the torture of prisoners is that it could be used by our adversaries as justification for the torture of captured U.S. personnel.”

This memo shows that some people within the military tried to oppose the use of torture. When they were given an order to take part in activities they knew to be illegal, they resisted. That was their duty. That’s what “good faith” requires.

Others in the military did not resist. They followed the orders to torture, and to support torture. They agreed to commit crimes, failing in their duty to the Constitution and to their country. Their acquiescence took place in bad faith.

Now, we the American People are being faced with an ethical choice much like the choice faced by the soldiers and spies, government doctors and counselors who were asked to take part in torture. We are being asked now, by President Barack Obama, to turn away and just forget that our government organized an international conspiracy of systematic war crimes.

Walking away in silence is not what good faith does. It’s our turn to take a stand, and refuse the easy path of going along with what we’re being asked to do. It’s time to write our own memos, reminding President Obama and our representatives in Congress that torture is a crime, no matter who gives the order.

19 thoughts on “Good Faith Opposed Torture Within Military”

  1. Klaaatu Nebulan says:

    Gee, you gonna vote for this two-faced liar in 2012, ‘cuase that would be a vote in bad faith by those who feel as you do, wouldn’t it?

    1. Jim says:

      Well, just speaking for myself, I sure as fuck ain’t voting for the Republicans who put this shit in place.

      If you can’t think beyond a dichotomy, that’s your problem.

  2. Tom says:

    Too bad we had to put up with people acting as if the Bush years weren’t going to have any consequences . . . yeah, for two terms that made no sense people pretended that this was the way it was supposed to be – whatever the government and the attendant stooges in media blared, why that’s what we believed. As illogical, abusive, unconstitutional, illegal, immoral (and this from the favorite son of the fundies, go figure), and ignorant those years and all those controversial policies (that are surprisingly hard to get rid of, despite the “new regime”) were, the American people really showed what they were made of by going along with it all as long as they had their piece of the pie. Well, you chicken-shit, do-gooder, imbicilic ass-clowns – welcome to your world.

    We may not get out of the collapse of democracy that’s currently playing out before the real calamity begins in earnest, since we don’t learn very fast as humans, and Darwin can keep his theory – we’re fucked anyway. Polluting and using up the earth’s resources at the rate we’re going we have MAYBE a hundred years, but before that “we’ll” (those little kids being born today) be experiencing extreme hard times with (and as the result of) weather, food production (erratic and unreliable growing seasons with droughts and floods ruining major arable areas), energy dilemmas, disease, and the melting down of civilization as a result.

    Have a nice day.

  3. Klaaatu Nebulan says:

    Well, I guess you will SURE AS FUCK be voting for this LIAR who WILL be KEEPING this shit in place. Some “CHANGE”. You have proven one of my essential points, that Liberals will look the other way when their team is in power and continues to flaunt the law and that Constitution you claim to love so dearly, no differently than the previous administration. Just remember that when you cast your vote for the “Messiah” yet again.
    As for me, I’m not bound to such a simple minded idea as a dichotomy of Democrat or Republican.

    1. Jim says:

      1) Look harder for the Obama protests on this issue on which we’ve engaged in. I froze my ass off on Inauguration Day to make a political point on this very sort of issue. Where were you? 2) McCain would have been worse. 3) Who says I’m voting for Barack Obama in 2012? Oh right, that would be YOU.

  4. Klaaatu Nebulan says:

    You are now partly to blame.
    Thanks for nothing.

    1. Jim says:

      Who’d you vote for?

  5. Klaaatu Nebulan says:

    I wager $50.00 you vote for Obama in 2012.

    1. Jim says:

      I won’t make that bet, because it’s possible that any politician can change, in which case I would vote for him. But I wouldn’t vote for his re-election today.

      Who’d you vote for?

  6. Klaaatu Nebulan says:

    “1) Look harder for the Obama protests on this issue on which we’ve engaged in.”
    You going to provide any snarky, punitative t-shirts and bumper stickers decrying what a louse and liar Obama is, similar in vein to the BDS swag that was so popular?
    I’ll wager no on that one. Liberals may shit where they sleep, but they’re not going to call undue attention to it.

    1. Jim says:


      You are

      so right!

      1. Klaaatu Nebulan says:

        so full of rage and fury.
        I’d like to see something more “fair,” like



        OBAMA LIED

        1. Jim says:

          Even though you’ve made a series of half a dozen incorrect assumptions and claims in this thread alone, you’ll never be satisfied with anything I have to say, so why don’t you just carry on a conversation with yourself?

  7. Klaaatu Nebulan says:

    “I froze my ass off on Inauguration Day to make a political point on this very sort of issue. Where were you?”

    I was at work, freezing my ass off, so I could “voluntarily” give the fruit of my labor to all the government flunkies you seem to advocate on behalf of.

    1. Jim says:

      I work more than full-time as well, so let’s not trot out that excuse for you not arranging your affairs to make it to a protest on it or organizing your own.

      1. Klaaatu Nebulan says:

        Gee Jim,
        Go to a Tea Party near you?

        I did!

        1. Jim says:

          Golly Gee Whizzikers, Pomme De Terre and Fruit of the Loom, but a tea party doesn’t have jack shit to do with torture, which is the subject of this post. Tea Parties are filled with people who care more about money than about torture.

          Not that it matters, but yes, I have attended a “tea party,” which is how I know that. Ass.

  8. Klaaatu Nebulan says:

    Gee, Jim, you gonna cry?

  9. Klaaatu Nebulan says:

    “Tea Parties are filled with people who care more about money than about torture.”

    The party seemed to be filled with people who are against Totalitarianism more than anything; the arrogant and reckless indebtedness the government is creating of late was just a tipping point.

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