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Letters: CIA torture report is disturbing

A file photo of a man crossing the

A file photo of a man crossing the Central Intelligence Agency logo in the lobby of CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. on Aug. 14, 2008. Credit: Getty Images

Thanks to Newsday for its extensive coverage of the Senate's report on torture ["Senate probe of CIA finds: Brutality, deceit," News, Dec. 10].

Those of us who lived through the atrocities of World War II, the Nuremberg trials of Axis leadership for crimes against the peace and humanity, and the growth of the U.S. national security state are aware of CIA's principal role. It's to do things that the government wants done with plausible deniability. Harry Truman's creation of the CIA was the worst mistake of his presidency.

But illegal torture is not the only cost of the war on terrorism. Another has been the public's loss of belief in any official truths and, to borrow from Ronald Reagan's phrase, the end of our nation as a shining city on the hill and an example to others.

Another cost is our atrocious treatment of former Pvt. Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, and other patriotic whistle-blowers who risked their careers and lives to let us know about the corruption and criminality they learned of as government insiders.

If we don't wake up and become involved in what is being done in our name, things will only get worse.

Robert M. Goldberg, Jericho

When did torture of any type for any reason become acceptable? The ends justify the means? No.

I am waiting for a politician, preferably the president, to take the moral high ground and denounce all torture for all time. Every statement I've seen is disappointing. Have we moved back into the Middle Ages while I slept?

Joseph Costanzo, Lindenhurst

Your editorial "A dark chapter in U.S. history" [Dec. 10] is right on course with Sen. Dianne Feinstein's talking points: accusing the CIA of going over the human-rights line to gather information to protect U.S. citizens.

Feinstein and her fellow Democrats are, all of a sudden, trying to be the voice of morality and rights. Yet they are often the same voices supporting drone bombings that kill many innocent people. They also have no problem in siding with abortion rights advocates.

Daniel Twohig, Selden

Former Vice President Dick Cheney's comment, "I'd do it again in a minute. It absolutely did work," has the ring of a confession ["Cheney: 'I'd do it again,' News, Dec. 15].

He'd do anything he felt was right in spite of the rules. Whether or not it "worked," which seems to be a matter up for debate, is hardly the point. I keep hearing we're a nation of laws, and yet it seems increasingly obvious of late that someone somewhere is able to pick and choose who has to face the music and who waltzes off scot-free.

Steve Silverman, Massapequa