Note: This is the opinion of the writer and not necessarily of the Kentucky New Era. Let the community know your opinion about this topic and others by submitting a "Letter to the editor."

Most of us do not want a reoccurrence of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, but we also want to live in a nation that is not made up of barbaric savages. In many college classrooms today, students are fed a strong message that we are a bunch of brutes who practice (and seem to enjoy) torturing our enemies.

If I have to cite the facts in this case, you are so hopelessly behind times that I would despair of holding a dialogue with you. On the other hand, we have quite a few people who want immediate and vigilante type action for anyone even suspected of harboring criticism of our interrogation methods.

Is our present concern about the harsh interrogation methods of the CIA energized by true humanitarianism or is it just a great opportunity to make Republicans look like brutes? I suppose it is some of both. Wherever it came from, it is a fit subject for discussion, but the timing is surely suspect.

It was not an especially humane thing to kill Osama bin Laden. I had a little twinge of regret that here was a man who had abandoned a life of ease and luxury to pursue a misguided ideal and ultimately give his life for what he seemed to believe in.

I will say without hesitation that I approved of his execution but with just a little of Hillary’s notion of respecting our enemies.

It is so easy to pontificate that it is wrong to kill, until someone threatens your wife, child or even yourself. It is even easier to envision polite interrogation if you are merely trying to find who stole the cigars or pilfered your lawn mower.

This is an opinion article and tepid opinions are almost no opinions at all. I believe that the motivation and the energy for this CIA exposure is slimy politics at its roots but still a matter in which we ought to show some concern.

The idea of waking up some morning and finding one of our big cities missing influences me greatly. Whatever the CIA has done wrong, we have not had a repeat of Sept. 11, and I doubt if that is because our enemies have decided it is wrong to kill thousands of people.

I grew up thinking that Republicans were greedy, self-serving aristocrats with very little concern for anyone except their elite contemporaries. I still lean a little in that direction, but this CIA thing is to me a purely Democratic move that seizes on an issue of much concern to humanitarians but not the real concern of the group that chose this time to further divide our country.

I would not advocate waterboarding for the Democratic committee that chose this time for an investigation of an issue that requires thoughtful and prayerful consideration, but I might advocate some itching powder for the underwear of the guys and gals who are pushing hard for hypocrite of the year awards.

When you know, as is most often the case with the CIA, that a suspect has inside information on terrorism, the terrorist has two choices. One is to confess and the other is to suffer the consequences.

In a very miniscule comparison, police at Oak Forest, Illinois, had an eyewitness who could identify one of five vandals who did great property damage to the high school.

The identified vandal struck a pose of belligerence until he was informed that he would be held fully responsible with all the legal fury the school and the law could muster if he did not identify his conspirators. He held out until he learned that we were not joking. When he named his conspirators, we let the five of them go with very minor punishment.

I was indoctrinated to give only name, rank and serial number in case of capture by the enemy in World War II, but terrorism is a different game. We cannot make war a civilized game, but we did respect certain rules of war in WWII, and so did our enemies.

This CIA controversy is a matter for some profoundly serious pondering and not a matter for politics and division.

Ever and always, I am aware that my opinions have grown out of life experiences that may have led me astray. Please bear that in mind as you read my essays.

TOBY HIGHTOWER is a retired educator and former Hopkinsville High School teacher. His email address is tobyhigh@frontier.com. Write to him at 222 S. 25th St., Apartment 434, Terre Haute, IN. 47803.

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