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Senior Chief's statements an insult to men, women in uniform

| October 4, 2006 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to Senior Chief John Barone's letter of Sept. 27.

I have not been in combat; I have not experienced the horrors of war but I could not help picturing Jack Nicholson's character in "A Few Good Men" when I read this letter.

If I understand it correctly, Senior Chief Barone can correct me if I am wrong, what he is saying is since war is so horrendous all acts are morally equal? I have to take issue with that and I think some of the current members of our armed forces and those veterans who served honorably in the past might have some hesitation in agreeing with the Senior Chief.

I find his statements actually an insult to the men and women currently defending our country. To lump them together with the CIA "contractors" who routinely torture prisoners using techniques that where considered barbaric and heinous war crimes when used in Vietnam, Korea and by Japan during World War II is a slap in the face to the service men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To follow his logic, taking a suspected terrorist and utilizing a variety of techniques which are specifically outlawed by a convention to which the United States is a party is the same as killing an enemy who is attempting to kill you in a firefight.

Using this logic, why don't we just call it a day in Iraq and the last one out nuke the place? If all acts in war are morally indistinguishable, it would not be wrong.

If we are actually fighting to bring democracy to these countries and show them the future lies in living in a country with laws and rules of conduct which are unbreakable, using torture is not the way to achieve our goals. If we pluck people off the street in Iraq and use the methods we are currently using to get information, we might as well just turn the countries back to the Taliban and Saddam. When we lose the moral high ground we are so proud of and our history shows we have fought and died to defend, we become conquerors and hypocrites, not liberators.

R. Corey Foreman

St Louis, Mo.