- - Monday, September 1, 2014


According to former CIA Director Mike Hayden, I’m part of a Democratic “campaign” to “shape” the truth about torture (“Democrats ‘shaping’ attack on CIA interrogation program,” Web, Aug. 25). In fact I’m a lifelong Republican, and as a retired general and former commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, I know firsthand that our ideals are assets in the fight against terrorism.

Our government made a terrible mistake when it tortured detainees after Sept. 11, 2001. and for the past decade I’ve worked with other retired generals and admirals, as well as politicians of both parties, to correct that mistake. Release of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report, which was adopted and approved for release in bi-partisan votes, will help ensure that our country learns from its mistakes. The “dark side” is no place for Americans.

Mr. Hayden takes refuge in the assertion that the torture program was authorized at the highest levels of government and cleared by Justice Department lawyers. But no amount of clever legal argument can change the fact that the CIA’s so-called “enhanced interrogation” program amounted to torture and harmed U.S. national security. The truth about torture cannot be “shaped.” Torture is, as President Reagan said, “an abhorrent practice.”


U.S. Marine Corps (retired)


Birmingham-Southern College

Birmingham, Ala.

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