- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 19, 2009



Lanny J. Davis is completely off the mark (“The Cheney dare: Indict him for complicity in torture,” Nation, Monday). Mr. Davis fails to recognize the enemy we are facing and the vagaries of the laws passed by Congress - for instance, the 1994 federal law against torture. This law is ambiguous in its definition of torture. Torture to one person is stress to another. For example, solitary confinement can be considered torture. Under the current law, no interrogator would press for information except through the most mundane techniques. This raises the question: Is there any time that calls for the use of torture? I would say yes.

Given that our enemies want to kill U.S. citizens by the thousands, we are forced to take every measure to ensure that such a catastrophe does not happen in the future. The 1994 law is a “feel-good” law. What would Mr. Davis say to members of his family if one or more of them were killed in a terrorist attack we knew was in the works did not know where it would occur? Would he say, “Sorry dear, but I sure feel good that we didn’t use torture to prevent it”?

Then there is possibility of a massive attack perhaps involving a nuclear weapon detonated in New York City, killing a million people. Would Mr. Davis say, “Sorry about that, but I sure feel good we didn’t use torture to stop it”? It may sound absurd, but it is a distinct possibility - something the American public must start to consider.

If Vice President Dick Cheney violated the 1994 law, all those who knew about it must be prosecuted as accessories to a crime. The law cannot be selectively applied, as Mr. Davis should know.



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