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Letter: Torture is not acceptable

President Barack Obama, second from left, Vice President

President Barack Obama, second from left, Vice President Joe Biden, left, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, right, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, second right, and members of the national security team watch an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House in Washington. (May 1, 2011) Credit: AP

The article "Report: Torture didn't lead to bin Laden" [News, April 1] should be a Page 1 story that further fuels national debate and is fully addressed in an exhaustive committee process on Capitol Hill.

When the CIA, an element of the most powerful government on the planet, holds that torture is effective in extracting useful information from the recalcitrant, this finding serves to justify torture for every other nation in the world.

When many Americans hold that torture is acceptable in some contexts, this validates the torture of U.S. military personnel by our adversaries. As long as the United States collectively ascribes itself to these propositions, it morally abdicates its role as the "world's cop" and incites its enemies to practice torture on our sons and daughters.

There can be only one outcome that will maintain our country's position as a global influence in the 21st century: The United States must empathically announce tomorrow that all torture in all contexts is morally reprehensible and will be treated as a crime against humanity. There is no middle ground.

William Binnie, Lake Grove