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Mailbag:

Torture, dishonor differ

June 25, 2008

Your editorial (“It’s not about the panties,” June 11) suggested I was making light of an FBI report describing interrogation techniques used at the terrorist detainee prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Your assessment couldn’t be farther from the truth. Since when is questioning the FBI’s criteria for conducting the interrogation of terrorists an act of frivolity? It’s dead serious, as were the points I made.

Placing women’s underwear on the heads of alleged terrorists, among other interrogation techniques, is not torture, and permitting the liberal left in this country to claim that it is undermines our efforts in the war against terrorism.

During the hearings, the panties example was not the only tactic I pointed out where the FBI was pompously wrong. However, it was the most absurd and deserved to be mentioned to underscore the dramatic difference between real torture and mere humiliation.

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My critics are the ones trying to ignore the gravity of the discussion taking place and continue to frame the issue as if the United States — not the captured terror suspects — were the criminal entity that desires to kill tens of thousands of innocent Americans.

I understand confronting such nonsense can be misconstrued by the same people who think enemy combatants deserve the same Constitutional rights as American citizens accused of a crime, but someone needs to step up and challenge propaganda campaigns such as this. It’s certainly not just about the panties, as your editorial suggested. It’s about protecting the American people.

Your editorial also mentioned my outspoken opposition to the manmade global warming theory.

As a senior member of the Science Committee, I’ve studied vast amounts of peer-reviewed evidence directly challenging that theory. More than 31,000 scientists, 9,000 of whom hold Ph.Ds, recently signed a petition rejecting the idea of manmade global warming. I would say that makes me far from the “final authority” on this issue.

Also, in a Letter to the Editor (“Rohrabacher’s proposal makes waves,” June 12) the writer accuses me of not supporting our local surfing beaches and opposing water testing in Huntington Beach.

Not only is that accusation factually inaccurate, it’s absurd. A few years ago, Orange County Health bureaucrats were demanding local beaches remain closed after an episode of water contamination.

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