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Survey: Many Soldiers Approve of Torture

Posted on May 4, 2007

An Army survey of troops in Iraq has found some disturbing attitudes, and recommends shorter deployments for the mentally exhausted soldiers. Asked whether civilians should be treated with dignity and respect, less than half said yes and more than a third found torture acceptable.


A Pentagon official said the survey had looked under every rock and what was found was not always easy to look at.

The Pentagon survey found that less than half the troops in Iraq thought Iraqi civilians should be treated with dignity and respect.

More than a third believed that torture was acceptable if it helped save the life of a fellow soldier or if it helped get information about the insurgents.

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By SuGee, May 6, 2007 at 4:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is so sad.  Unfortunately, GWB is a serial killer.  Per PETA and also per his adolescent buddy, Mr. Throckmorton (as stated in an editorial in the NYTimes), he tortured small animals for fun and games as a child.  So whomever cooked up the idea for pre-emptively attacking Iraq; it probably sounded like a good idea to our current War Criminal in Chief.

Yes, we were all hurt by the 9/11/2001 attack in New York and Washington, D.C., but I think that 911 was an inside job.  At least, I’ve read enough information, like when an agent informed GWB at Crawford that an attack was pending and he was yelled at by the Pres. who was taking a month long vacation and didn’t want to be bothered with important facts for his job.

We know that this war is wrong, as I believe all wars are.  But that is part of human nature and GWB is a splendid example of our putridity.  Just so sad.  But it’s not just the executive branch, it’s the rest of our federal government.  I worked for county government for 12 years and I think that it just gets worse, the higher the level of government.  Can we fix it?  I don’t know, the way our educational system is, it will be really hard.

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By John Lowell, May 5, 2007 at 11:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Somewhere there in all those Ks I smell a pretty virulent Christian hater, rowdy. If he weren’t dead, I’d swear I was reading a kind of later day, atheistic version of Julius Streicher. And when you’re talking about communion wafers and the blood of Christ you’re talking about my faith, chief. I promise you, you won’t writedisrespectfully of those things in my sight ever again without drawing in every instance both a complaint and a description of just exactly what kind of pathology yours actually is. Why not go somewhere like China where your illness enjoys official support.

John Lowell

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By rowdy, May 5, 2007 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment


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By Charity, May 5, 2007 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

I believe the attitudes revealed in this survey of military members are shared in the U.S. population as a whole, and that it is not solely a reflection of the stress of war.  Violence as a form of entertainment has pretty deep roots in American society.  Constantly having to confront the actuality of violence on a daily basis for a prolonged period is another matter. The whole “Us vs. Them” mindset that is too common to Americans generally, and which has to be cultivated to allow for military action, seems to be more of a factor in indiscriminate violence than any religious influence.  I have been very shocked by the reactions of Americans of my same 1950’s vintage who seem to feel that the greatest possible violent reaction is a proper response to the least provocative circumstance.  And these are people in peaceful surroundings.  If we have turned the military in this terrible mess into junkyard dogs, do we also condemn them for biting?

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By Bill Blackolive, May 5, 2007 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Schizoid Nation has a last straw to clutch, which is that there is the 9/11 coverup….Might we just turn things around…US Policy is dishonest for a hundred years…two hundred…what might be decent…?

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By Hammo, May 5, 2007 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

It seems that some of our troops, like many people in our country and in many parts of the world, are now so concentrated on killing, destruction and “victory” that some are losing sight of human decency.

A warrior’s honor is important, and this is related to maintaining human decency as much as possible even in difficult circumstances. Take a look at:

“‘Strength – Honor – Compassion’ are words to live by in these times” (American Chronicle)

-  -  -

“American troops are cracking under horrors, deception and lies of Iraq war” (American Chronicle)

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By QuyTran, May 5, 2007 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

Now God tells Bush/Cheney go to HELL !

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By dale Headley, May 5, 2007 at 9:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Response to “Desertdude”:  An omnibenevolent GOD would not permit HIS soldiers to torture and abuse innocent Iraqis, would HE?  And, being omnipotent, GOD could stop soldiers from brutalizing innocent Iraqis, couldn’t HE?  Have you forgotten?  A wise GOD told George Bush to attack Iraq, didn’t HE?  That’s what our GOD fearing President said, anyway.  Why did GOD approve of Bush’s war?  Because of WMD, of course.  And WMD must be there, since you can’t fool an omniscient GOD, can you?. But who cares?  GOD surely approves of whatever AMERICAN soldiers do, because, as one general said, “Our GOD is greater than their god.”  And HE must be, since their false god was clearly unable to protect his followers.

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By Don Knutsen, May 5, 2007 at 9:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

re: When you remove God and teach no values in the home
and in school, what can you expect?

Removing God has nothing to do with the lack of morals exhibited by these soldiers. God has been mentioned often enough in this administration’s “crusade” against the supposed “War on Terror”...God is also mentioned quite enough in the discourse of the people killing our young men and women in Iraq. What is needed isn’t more religion, but more understanding, more truth. There’s a reason young are sent off to war. They are more in-experienced in life and much more pliable when being indoctrinated thru our military system. When you have an administration that seems to enjoy being the bully on the block this kind of behavior should be no surprise to anyone. These kids have had the lie that Iraq was involved in 9-11 and the vegence arising out of that lie was fostered by their commanders at every turn to the delite of Cheney, Rumsfeld and the sock puppet in the oval office.

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By James Yell, May 5, 2007 at 7:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is exactly why the Constitution is supposed to be followed and why war is not to be in the hands of the military. Our ancestors understood the danger of standing armies, professional armies. A mentality that allows soldiers to look on their victims as targets. Any one who has not seen the way convoy movement is done in Iraq, need to see the video of it.

People, this is the Iraqi peoples homes and families and they are what the military likes to call collateral damage, rather than the murder of innocent people in their own homes, in their own neighborhoods and in what passes for their own country. How would you feel if a foriegn army came here and proceeded in the same fashion?

Remember there isn’t one reason this administration gives for having invaded Iraq that was truthful. We should not be there. Yes, we have the right to invade a country that caused 9/11, but that was Saudi, that was even Pakistan, but it wasn’t ever Iraq.

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By Jack Williams, May 5, 2007 at 6:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pentagon official said!!!! What else would they say,

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By Pacrat, May 5, 2007 at 4:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

War dehumanizes everyone involved - soldiers, victims, citizens, and the families of the military that return. The only ones who are NOT affected are the politicians who start wars, and the generals who follow the instructions of the politicians, their bosses!

And when these troops get home? Battered spouses, battered kids, battered lives!

Thanks a lot - batter-makers!

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By John Lowell, May 5, 2007 at 12:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This survey gives new and disturbing meaning to the expression, “support our troops”. It is important to note, however, the soldiers and marines interviewed here simply reflect the tone that their leadership set on these questions from the outset of the Iraq aggression. Abu Griab happened because it was felt by the perpetrators that they were very much following the lead of higher ups, and the Congress later institutionalized these impressions by passing the MCA. And anyone listening to George Tenant shuck and jive his way through TV interviewer questions this week about the “extraordinary” interrogation techniques now practiced by CIA operatives with the President’s personal approval has to realize that the Regime has turned the public face of the United States into little more than that of some mid-20th century banana republic. To be sure, the attitudes reported above have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with our soldiers being overtaxed, rather they have to do with the debasement our country has endured at the hands of this Regime and its relentless pursuit of practices which seem bent on turning our military into a kind of Wehrmacht.

John Lowell

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By desertdude, May 5, 2007 at 12:22 am Link to this comment

When you remove God and teach no values in the home
and in school, what can you expect?

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By Jack Williams, May 5, 2007 at 12:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes, Many Soldiers Approve of Torture until they them selves suffer torture,then its cry to hight heaven about how barbaric the torturers are.

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By ShockandAwe, May 4, 2007 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment

Some soldiers, like my roommate (one of those insane Christian type) said he’d fire on the AMERICAN public.

But yeah, this is what I witness on an almost daily basis and why I think any policy of winning “hearts and minds” is a failure in advance.

The country collapsing into civil war? Bah. The average combat-arms soldier doesn’t care.

“More than a third believed that torture was acceptable if it helped save the life of a fellow soldier or if it helped get information about the insurgents.”

This just reiterates what I’ve been saying that our policy in Iraq really is (and has been for a while) self-preservation.

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By THOMAS BILLIS, May 4, 2007 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What a surprise we put these kids in hell and now that they have picked up devilish characteristics we are aghast.We have not taken good care of these kids and the price will be paid for years.I hope that George Bush lives a long life so he will see everyday the damage he did to these kids.Assuming he has a conscience.

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