Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 11:15 pm

Why does Brig. Gen. Patrick Finnegan hate America?

Filed under: I want my country back. — Lex @ 11:15 pm
Tags: , ,

From last week’s New Yorker:

Jane Mayer, in her review of Marc Thiessen’s “Courting Disaster,” offers a fine dissection of that book’s flaws (Books, March 29th). Torture is wrong under any circumstances. As General David H. Petraeus recently remarked (specifically referring to Abu Ghraib and to Guantánamo), such abusive techniques are “nonbiodegradable. . . . The enemy continues to beat you with them like a stick.” He’s right—the pictures from Abu Ghraib and the publicity surrounding Guantánamo, waterboarding, and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” have created far more terrorists than most people understand. For a country that professes to stand for the rule of law and individual rights, we look like the worst kind of hypocrites. Consider a war we fought in the past against a brutal enemy that tortured and killed prisoners, executed civilians, and engaged in a number of atrocities. Several American leaders argued that the only way to prevail was to engage in the same kind of tactics, because that was the only thing that the enemy understood or respected (sound familiar?). But other leaders believed that it was not enough to win; they also had to do it in a way that was consistent with the values of their society and the principles of their cause. That conflict was the Revolutionary War, and the leaders included George Washington and John Adams. If we mean what we say—if we really believe that we’re the good guys, and I hope we do—then this is the time to stand by those principles which our Founding Fathers professed and lived by. That’s what, I hope, makes us the leaders of the free world.

Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan
Dean of the Academic Board
The United States Military Academy at West Point

West Point, N.Y.

1 Comment

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