Scottish voters reject independence from Britain
OpinionReaders React
Readers React

Real people -- not 'some folks' -- were tortured by the U.S.

Barack ObamaGeorge W. BushCentral Intelligence AgencySeptember 11, 2001 Attacks

To the editor: As any professor of communication can tell you, words not only reflect reality, they also frame it, put a context on it and re-create it. So it is with anger, as a progressive Democrat, that I read that President Obama noted "we tortured some folks." ("Obama: 'We tortured some folks,'" Aug. 1)

"Some folks." A minimizing phrase, a trivializing phrase, a rather cozy phrase that recalls small towns and earlier, gentler times.

Why didn't he tell it like it is? That George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the whole CIA gang tortured real flesh-and-blood people, real human beings.

We tortured people, not "some folks." We should remember.

Allen Levy, Culver City

The writer is an assistant professor of communication studies at Chapman University.


To the editor: To use the president's very unpresidential vernacular when discussing the interrogation methods used by courageous U.S. intelligence officers when questioning accused

Islamic terrorists in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, we should all remember, "They murdered some folks."

Keith Karpé, Aliso Viejo

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
Barack ObamaGeorge W. BushCentral Intelligence AgencySeptember 11, 2001 Attacks
  • Obama: 'We tortured some folks'
    Obama: 'We tortured some folks'

    In startlingly blunt phrasing, President Obama on Friday acknowledged the CIA’s use of brutal interrogation tactics in the years after the Sept. 11 attack, even as he defended the agency’s top spy, who is a veteran of the era.

  • What's LAUSD doing with ex-military weapons?
    What's LAUSD doing with ex-military weapons?

    To the editor: Los Angeles Unified school police will return three grenade launchers provided by the federal government but will keep the 61 semiautomatic M-16 rifles and a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle. ("L.A. schools police will return grenade launchers but keep...

  • A minimum-wage boost for L.A.: pro and con

    To the editor: The Times' desire that a minimum wage job be a steppingstone is laudable but echoes a perspective that is out of touch with reality and has helped keep the minimum wage from rising for far too long. ("A higher minimum wage makes sense for L.A., but it's no...

  • 'Rescue' groups take a homeless man's dogs

    To the editor: Gerrick Miller, a homeless man in Los Angeles with a dog he cherishes, finds himself with 11 puppies, problem enough for any dog owner for sure. ("Hounding a homeless man into giving up his dogs," Sept. 15)

  • The school board is the boss, like it or not

    To the editor: Over several decades in the Los Angeles Unified School District — serving as a teacher, principal and in several administrative assignments — I learned to appreciate the difficulty of the superintendent's job. ("Bickering between L.A. Unified leaders...

  • Soldiers are real people, not 'boots on the ground'

    To the editor: I don't know how many times we hear "boots on the ground" from our "leaders" and now from the media. This is a term they use to numb us or dumb us down as to the risks of war and loss of life. A few boots here and there, who cares? ("Caveats to...

  • Cyclists get more rights. What about their responsibilities?
    Cyclists get more rights. What about their responsibilities?

    To the editor: As a law-abiding driver and former cyclist, I will give bike riders their newly state-mandated three-foot buffer zone. ("3-foot buffer zones for cyclists to take effect across California," Sept. 15)

  • Rationalizing Israeli injustice against Palestinians

    To the editor: Yossi Klein Halevi acknowledges that "Israel's long-term survival depends on ending the occupation" and that "the Jews didn't come home to deny another people its sense of home." ("How do Israelis cope?," Op-Ed, Sept. 12)