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My Turn: Report on torture must be made public

The long-awaited report of findings related to the U.S. use of detainee torture was recently released. The 500-page report, prepared by the Constitution Project’s bipartisan Task Force on Detainee Treatment, raises serious concerns about the treatment of post-9/11 detainees by the U.S. government. The report describes how the decisions to use certain interrogation techniques were made and how they were implemented. This report raises deeply moral issues and demands a moral response.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has completed its own thorough investigation, this time accessing classified documents. This larger report – 6,000 pages long and approved in a bipartisan vote on Dec. 13, 2012 – will now go before the Senate (likely in September) for a vote on whether to release this report to the American public. Making these documents public is critically essential if Americans are to truly understand our use of interrogation techniques and if we are to determine whether these techniques rise to the level of torture. The Senate Intelligence Committee took more than three years to conduct the investigation leading to this report, and the public should have an opportunity to review the information and learn the nature of the practices used in interrogation. There is hope that the information it brings to light will serve as a catalyst for us to take steps that never allow our government to use torture to interrogate prisoners.

The New Hampshire Council of Churches, an ecumenical organization representing Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christian traditions throughout the state stands with hundreds of other diverse, faith-based communities in every state calling for the release of this Senate Intelligence Report. Only then can there be widespread understanding of the facts, facts that can arouse our public conscience for change and in advocating for behavior and standards of government conduct that align with our common belief and core value in the supreme value of all human life.

(Rev. Linda Lea Snyder is interim executive director of the New Hampshire Council of Churches.)

Legacy Comments19

Itsa, watch your Fox network, listen to your Beck and Limburger and read the hate filled right wing blogs filled with racial slurs and then tell me Obama hatred isn't racial. Bush wasn't just inept, he had a Svengali really running the country.

Bruce , carpe diem also has another Latin meaning. It means enjoy the day without worrying about tomorrow. That meaning describes Democrats very well. Pass this law because it is a good idea today, do not worry about the effects it will have down the road.

I had learned many years ago in Latin class that, "carpe diem" meant "seize the day". It was a long time ago so maybe the meaning has changed. Seize does not mean enjoy. I personally have always felt Republicans, the new ones they have now, live only for the day. That is why they use up all the world's resources as fast as they can and don't believe in climate change, saving the endangered species, so many things. I personally have never met a liberal that owned a Hummer or even felt the need for one. Most of the huge cars parked in Concord reserved for Rep spaces that have Republican signs on them are gas guzzlers. Just my own observation, I am sure ya all have exceptions to the rule.

Alas, you're misreading my post, which apparently means you never got the joke ( though I know itsa got it). When you have to explain a joke...aargh... but here goes: the play on words is 'Carp Per Diem', instead of 'Carpe Diem'. 'To carp' means to complain excessively, and I used it to refer to 4 of the regulars on this site, who seem to have little to say but disparaging words about virtually any and every topic under the sun. They shall remain nameless here, but I think most regular readers should be able to figure who they are. As for 'Carpe Diem', I prefer its traditional meaning, as this Wikipedia entry makes clear:"In Horace, the phrase is part of the longer Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero – "Seize the Day, putting as little trust as possible in the next (day)[/future]", and the ode says that the future is unforeseen, and that one should not leave to chance future happenings but rather one should do all one can today to make one's future better. This phrase is usually understood against Horace's Epicurean background. It is important to note that the "Carpe diem" phrase is often misinterpreted and misused in contemporary popular culture. However, it's not about ignoring one's future, but rather not trusting that everything is going to fall into place for you someday and doing those things today." BTW: the traditional meaning is how the phrase was intended to be understood in the Robin Williams' film, "Dead Poets Society".

My fault I was only reacting to the comments not the original post. You are too smart for me Bruce. Alas I remember how the country all pulled together on 9/11/01. Seems such a long time ago. We liberals were upset about Bush being made President by the Supreme Court only nine months before, but when our country was attacked we were all Americans. Of course this was before the tea party and the black president so we don't pull together anymore no matter what the reason.

Aren't we all, it is not just Bruce. Yes the country pulled together on 9/11 and most progressives even supported going into Iraq, as did Democrat leaders. Bush was not "made president" by the Supreme Court and progressives seem to forget that Democrats tried to suppress the military vote that year and that almost all major news organizations agree that Gore would have lost anyway. The Tea Party is simply a loosely organized group people who want limited government.....and polticians to not be dictators. It is not about a "black" president, no one cares about his skin color. We do, however. care about his competentcy and his ability to lead, neither of which Obama possesses.

Rev. Synder, In addition, please take your message to those who torture in other countries. its much worse over there.

I thought we held ourselves to a higher standard. That's what "American exceptionalism" is supposed to be about, or is it just a way to excuse and to justify things we'd decry in others? And that "its much worse over there" comment ignores the extent to which events in both the Middle East and Africa are today often the consequence of things done by western colonial powers (including the U.S.) during the past century.

Bruce, I know bashing the US while ignoring heinous activities, pollution and policies in the rest of the world is a favorite soc/left hobby. We are not the root cause of the mideast troubles. Had a role? yes -just like several other countries. Look at how Russia instigated trouble in the Balkans and Afghanistan - nary a word about them. How many other countries have invested fortunes in schools, hospitals, water projects and more in the Mideast. Pretty short list. But its "safe" to bash the US-only with the soc/left because in many other countries such rhetoric would get you squashed like a roach. Glad you have a right speak but need to remember how special and rare that right is and make an occasional positive suggestion.

T - I'm not following you. Are you saying that because we have the right to speak our minds we need to be careful about what we say, lest we offend those who think our actions are beyond reproach? I have to wonder what is wrong with Bruce pointing out where we may not have met our ideals. I think that your comment is helpful because you are pointing out that there are different standards against which actions may be measured - one is what we aspire to, and the other is the norm. Bruce is saying that we often fall short of our aspirations, but you are saying that even though we may not be living up to our goals, we are doing better than others. I think you both are saying the same things, if you strip away the nonsense about who is on the left and who is not. Why not put away the partisan nonsense and work toward common goals? I think you are almost there . . .

I'm sorry you seem to equate asking for an honest examination of our nation's use of torture during the "war on terror" with "bashing the US". Somehow I think we can take it. And as for making the "occasional positive suggestion", you should direct that request to the merry band of pranksters in the Carp Per Diem brigade.

What/who is the Carpe Diem brigade?

Pub, (the "reply to"-button under your post in not accessible). In out system (unlike some others) aggressive intel gathering has a PR cost and would not be used unless necessary. Do we think politicians and b-crats do not know this? Unfortunately 2 presidents gutted our human intel programs, decades in the making and we have been consistently blind-sided since. Intel saves lives! Lives of our people and others. Intel prevents events like 9-11. We do not have neat clean mind-reading intel gathering capability (yet) and the conflicts we are involved in are horrible & ugly at the street level. How many lives should be lost so some politician or cleric here can claim a personal success?

What/who is the Carpe Diem brigade...that is the insulting name Mr Currie has given conservatives who comment here on their own time. He wrongly believes otherwise, but, to my knowledge, the only people that have been "paid" to comment here are state workers and teachers who do so while at work. Of course, that fact goes unmentioned by Mr Currie.

Comment directed to GWTW below: "Carpe Diem" shouldn't be 'insulting'; 'Carp Per Diem'--maybe, but if the shoe fits.... And as for some on here being paid to post, well, I think the jury's still out on that one. This from Alternet: "For his film (Astro)Turf Wars, Taki Oldham secretly recorded a training session organized by a rightwing libertarian group called American Majority. The trainer, Austin James, was instructing Tea Party members on how to “manipulate the medium”. This is what he told them: “Here’s what I do. I get on Amazon; I type in “Liberal Books”. I go through and I say “one star, one star, one star”. The flipside is you go to a conservative/ libertarian whatever, go to their products and give them five stars. … This is where your kids get information: Rotten Tomatoes, Flixster. These are places where you can rate movies. So when you type in “Movies on Healthcare”, I don’t want Michael Moore’s to come up, so I always give it bad ratings. I spend about 30 minutes a day, just click, click, click, click. … If there’s a place to comment, a place to rate, a place to share information, you have to do it. That’s how you control the online dialogue and give our ideas a fighting chance.” Over 75% of the funding for American Majority, which hosted this training session, comes from the Sam Adams Alliance. In 2008, the year in which American Majority was founded, 88% of the alliance’s money came from a single donation, of $3.7m(13). A group which trains rightwing libertarians to distort online democratic processes, in other words, was set up with funding from a person or company with a very large wallet."

reply to Bruce is insulting Bruce, because as I have pointed out numerous times, the shoe does not fit, and the jury is not out. The facts are, and notice I said facts, the only people "paid" to comment at the Monitor have been far left state workers who read and comment while at work and NOT on their breaks. I am not paid by anyone to comment here, and do so on my own time. Any claims by you to the contrary, are false. Its just that simple.

Final response to GWTW on this thread: You studiously avoid mention of the main reason for my sobriquet--the content of the posts from the Carpers, amounting to little more than a consistent mean-spiritness. Based on that consistent tone, not to mention the endless repetition of half-truths, and an unwillingness or inability to engage in genuine dialog with other posters, it led me to ask whether some posters aren't simply acting as trolls--whether paid or unpaid. But none of that matters to you. Instead, you're insulted that I suggested posters on here are being paid to post. You claim (presumably speaking for the other Carpers?) that the only people ever paid to post here were state workers. But as for "facts" on that claim, how do you know that state workers who may have commented on this site were not on their breaks? Even relying on a time stamp is not always reliable. But then, since all state workers are, by definition (yours), "far left", it's a no-brainer, right? But it's comforting to know that you are "not paid by anyone"...and do so on your own time. I wonder if all the other Carps Per Diem can say the same?

final response to Mr Currie... you ask: "how do you know that state workers who may have commented on this site were not on their breaks?"...because, Mr. Currie, at least one state worker admitted he wasn't. Fact. You said "But then, since all state workers are, by definition (yours), "far left", it's a no-brainer, right?" I never said that, you did. Fact. Is this the "endless repetition of half-truths" you accuse other of, Mr Currie???

Baloney. Liberal revisionist, 'blame America first' propaganda. Cause and effect in the case of the Middle East is a cop out and an ideolgical slant to make an argument.

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