Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Letter to the Trib and Other recent writings

As previously promised, there's more in the hopper for Reed's Ramblings, but it's not ready yet. Still percolating or whatever. while you wait for me to get off my duff and put something together 'round these parts. But that doesn't mean I haven't been writing anything. The Book continues and weekend writing sabbatical to Córdoba was very successful. Belu and I are about to take another, this time to Cariló.

I don't know who has been following the "debate" on torture in the US. Personally, I find it abhorrent that so many people are defending the practice, largely because they want to support Republicans who aren't even in office anymore. Either that or they're mind-numbingly naive. Anyway, I wrote a letter to the Chicago Tribune in response to this editorial. They decided to print it. Well, some of it anyway. You can find it here. I've already e-mailed some of you, but I repeat the urge to everyone to please write your local paper and federal reps. Here was entire letter I sent:
In your editorial, "Torture and Truth," you assert many questionable claims and quote people involved in this scandal as if they are unbiased experts without any note of their potential culpability. Ironic given the title of the column. Saying "this needs to be put in the rearview mirror, and soon" implies that we should just keep on walking as per Peggy Noonan's recent infamous statement. Quotes attributed to Dick Cheney, Michael Hayden, and Michael Mukasey are given without qualification, but you reference "policies that may or may not have crossed the line into the torture of suspects."

There is an obvious slant to this reporting in order to make the case that we have done nothing out of bounds. Yet this is in clear conflict with reality. The US government admits that many detainees have died in our custody, often in violent ways. Frankly, I'm disgusted with this type of reporting. By promoting the right wing desire to "move forward", you are complicit with the lawyers who drew up these opinions. A clear majority of Americans want prosecution or an investigation. They are right.

Finally, you say "cruel and brutal treatment [could] be routine for American interrogators, because it often yields valuable intelligence." Nearly all intelligence experts completely disagree with this statement. They say you end up with more faulty intelligence than anything else. I would be surprised if the Tribune Editorial Board didn't know this. How many American lives has the faulty "intelligence" used to justify the Iraq war saved? -4,274 and still climbing higher. And this version of journalism was complicit in that disaster as well.

On the internets, I haven't exactly been active, but there's plenty to peruse. Over at Fighting the Youth, Brad and I reviewed...
Slumdog Millionaire
The Wrestler

Then at Road Games:
A trip to an Argentine soccer match (kinda long, but fun!)
A Boca vs River overview (short and sweet)

...check ya soon, y'alls!

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