Americaca: The people speak
When Americans Torture and Kill (2 Letters)
To the Editor:
In "Is No One Accountable?" (column, March 28), Bob Herbert asks how far we've come since the Middle Ages, given the evidence of torture and abuse by United States military and intelligence personnel. As a species, we have not advanced at all; we are the same dangerous, sometimes violent animals that we were at the time of the Inquisition. But as a society, or a loosely bound collection of societies, we have advanced. One major area of advancement has been in our respect for individual human rights, and the extent to which that respect is reflected in our laws. But there will occasionally be times and places when the protections of the law are ignored or overridden, and in those times, the darker tendencies of our nature will be given expression. This would seem to be one of those times.
Michael H. Holmes, Gaithersburg, Md.
To the Editor:
Bob Herbert asks, "Is No One Accountable?" for the abuse, torture and murder of prisoners in United States custody in Afghanistan, Iraq and at Guantánamo. The short answer is no, nobody is accountable. The reason is that Congress is supposed to be the enforcement mechanism, and this Congress has shown time and again that it has neither the political will nor the ethical fortitude to stand up for the prisoners. Political considerations trump all, especially when those being murdered have no constituency. Compare this with the attention given the Terri Schiavo case; the hypocrisy is astounding. As a people we should be mortified at the quality of our representation.
John Farrish, North Las Vegas, Nev.