June 4, 2007

"I tortured people"

Very interesting story from the WaPO about some of our torture policy:
"'I tortured people,' said Lagouranis, 37, who was a military intelligence specialist in Iraq from January 2004 until January 2005. 'You have to twist your mind up so much to justify doing that.'"

Tony Lagouranis has written a book about his experiences and (hat tip to Ubub) Tom McNamee, from the Chicago Sun Times has read it:
"I've read it, and here's my overall take on what went on:

Brave and decent American soldiers routinely rounded up Iraqis on the slimmest pretext. If a roadside bomb destroyed a Humvee, a hapless farmer in a nearby field might be dragged in for questioning. If some poor sap shared the surname of a suspected insurgent -- a name also perhaps shared by hundreds of Iraqis -- he might be dragged in for questioning.

And once a 'suspect' was detained, he easily could be held for weeks or months, long after Lagouranis or another interrogator had concluded he was guilty of absolutely nothing."
Once he returned home, Lagouranis tried to make sense of what he participated in during this war.

Lagouranis talked to an Army psychiatrist who offered him an escape hatch from his feelings of guilt.

He had done nothing "evil," she said. He had only done his job.

Lagouranis couldn't buy it.

"If you don't include torturing helpless prisoners in your definition of evil," he replied, "your definition of evil is meaningless."

1 comment:

P M Prescott said...

A man with a conscience. Dealing with his guilt will bring him back to being human. It's the ones who torture and don't feel bad about it. The ones who order it and feel no shame. The ones condone it and still consider themselve moral human beings. Those are the ones destroying our country and the good men being sent over there.