Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Art of the Understatement

For as much as I enjoy being loud and absurd (and if you knew me personally, you'd know what I mean), I truly appreciate the art of the understatement.  And as it turns out, the guy who built Gitmo definitely understands that art.  I really liked the last two sentences of this:
"I wanted to run it close to Geneva Convention rules," Lehnert said. "Our job was to take them out of the fight, and once we had done that, I felt we had a moral responsibility to take care of them."

However, another task force was put in charge of interrogating detainees, and there were disagreements over their treatment, Lehnert said.

"I think it is extraordinarily important how we treat prisoners," he said. "Obviously, there were other views."

"I came to the conclusion very soon that this probably wasn't the right way to go," said Lehnert, who served just 100 days at the base.
Obviously, there were other views.  And no, torture probably wasn't the right way to go.  But I don't know what to make of this statement:
"Probably before I left Guantanamo, I was of the opinion it needed to go away as soon as possible," he said.
Probably before he left Gitmo?  He's not sure of when he came to this conclusion?  I suspect this is the sort of speech mannerism one needs to develop to rise to the rank of general.  No sense in committing yourself if you think you're only probably right.

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