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Torture isn't a left-right issue

To the editor: While the idea of complete transparency on torture is admirable, the real problem our country faces is how facts are now deconstructed and placed on one side of an opinion spectrum. ("The need for radical transparency on U.S. torture," Op-Ed, Dec. 18)

In 1945, our country prosecuted Japanese soldiers because they used waterboarding on Allied prisoners. This is a simple statement of historical fact.

The use of torture goes against every principle on which our country is based. Arguing otherwise is no different than advocating the overthrow of the government, seceding from the union or forcibly taking life, liberty or property from anyone: You may have the freedom of speech to advocate those positions, but if you actually try to do it, you are doing something illegal.

The desire to see our country never again use torture or to see those who set those policies into motion prosecuted for their crimes is not a product of partisanship, but simply one of respect for the law.

Lon Shapiro, Chatsworth

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To the editor: Having direct access to the full Senate Intelligence Committee report without the extractive interpretation of partisan agents sounds like a great idea, but who is going to read the thousands of pages that constitute the entire document?

Those who read the 500-plus-page summary of the report must be aware that the act of summarizing is often a subjective interpretation that involves ideology and background knowledge.

Keeping in mind that the summary provided by the Senate is not the full text should help us get a closer approximation of the truth. In pragmatic terms, that is the most that the average citizen will ever get.

Berta Graciano-Buchman, Beverly Hills

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