I just finished reading Tom Brokaw’s book, “The Greatest Generation,” about Americans (my father among them) who bravely and honorably defeated our enemies in World War II.

One of my dad’s best friends was a front-line interrogator of captured Nazi officers during the bloody campaign after D-Day. Those enemy combatants, with fresh American blood on their hands, were treated humanely under the rules of the Geneva Conventions; none was tortured. A great deal of useful information was obtained from those prisoners. Many were sent to prison camps, some here in the state of Maine, where they were given decent treatment.

What a contrast to the brutal tactics of the CIA following 9/11, as detailed in the recently released Senate report. Is al-Qaida that much more of a threat to America than Germany and Japan during WWII, to justify torturing prisoners? (And it was torture — one person died during interrogations.)

Was the attack on the World Trade Center worse than the attack on Pearl Harbor? Are bombings of civilian markets more horrifying than Dachau or Auschwitz?

I can’t believe that the dialogue in the media about torture revolves around the question of how “effective” it was, as if any level of “effectiveness” can justify it. Shame on President George Bush for authorizing such tactics and shame on Joseph Reisert and M.D. Harmon for defending them in recent commentaries in this paper. It seems they object to the release of this information by the Senate Intelligence Committee. I believe Americans have the right to know what is being done in our name and with our taxpayer dollars.

Eventually, I believe we will win against the likes of al-Qaida and ISIS, but not with waterboarding, tanks or bombs. We will prevail, as our fathers did, because we are better than they are.

David Preston

China Village

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.