I knew when I wrote yesterday that someone would of course point out the flaw in what I was saying. I knew it was flawed when I wrote it, so, in the interest of fairness; here is an account of why the system is important as well. Please see the Link to the Conscience of the Colonel.
This article was brought to my attention by Mike Francis a writer for the Oregonian, a person who while I have not met him, has helped me with this process by occasionally providing me some feedback which has encouraged me some, and of course by highlighting what happens to Oregonians in the service of our nation.
Having read the article, I am impressed by Col Couch’s actions, also by his reservations. I honestly don’t know the answers here. I believe that nations do unspeakable things to individuals in extreme circumstances. While it isn't popular, I even believe that at times it is justified. That said, I don't think that a person who has been removed from the conflict, who poses no imminent danger either to those around him, or anyone else for that matter should be tortured in order to extricate confessions. The amount of time that a captured terrorist’s information is valid is fleeting at best. Information gained 2 years after a person has been taken from his homeland is suspect, and in fact yesterdays news.
People who engage in terrorism against nations attempt to play both sides of the fence. They are in a war for freedom when talking to their constituents. They are innocent civilians in unfortunate circumstances when captured. They are in fact prisoners of war with no nation to speak for them. They should not be released unless their danger to society is removed. How that is done is beyond me, how it is to be judged is also beyond me. Torture is bad; putting them on ice however, seems like the best of a group of poor options.
The fortunate thing about this is that people who are far smarter and more familiar with this problem have to deal with it daily. I hope that they make good decisions.