Letters to the Editor

Robert L. Porreca: Lack of conscience for torturer

Regarding the Dec. 14 column “ Living with my transgressions”: Reading Eric Fair’s mea culpa about his days as an interrogator at the Abu Ghraib prison, I could not help but sense an undercurrent of misplaced pride in the angst he claims to feel and a failure to hold himself accountable.

While winding along a convoluted path about what his students and others might think, the unwritten suggestion throughout is that he was just following orders in the service of a country that he can’t be proud of. Nowhere is there the slightest hint that he had free will and could have refused to use interrogation methods that he knew were wrong.

A junior enlisted man exposed the activities at the prison at great risk to himself. Where was Fair’s conscience then? Instead of pointing his finger at this country, he should look in the mirror and feel ashamed of himself for two reasons.

First, for his weakness in not standing up for what he thought was right. Then for the odious act of blaming his behavior on his country.

His responsibility as a representative of this country was to maintain the high ideals and standards incorporated in military and civilian law and are a part of our national character. Fair should not be ashamed of his country, but his country may have grounds to be ashamed of him.

Robert L. Porreca