Allysa Peterson, 27, a Flagstaff, Ariz., native, served with C Company, 311th Military Intelligence BN, 101st Airborne. Peterson was an Arabic-speaking interrogator assigned to the prison at our air base in troubled Tal Afar in northwestern Iraq. According to official records, she died on Sept. 15, 2003, from a "non-hostile weapons discharge."
She committed suicide, it turns out, because she refused to torture.
This is quite a change from when I was a kid. In movies, news, and TV shows I knew we were the good guys because we didn't torture people, even bad people. I'm not gullible. I know we actually did torture. My step father talked about interrogation methods in Vietnam that Green Berets used. But the cultural norm was that good countries don't torture. Bad countries do torture. We are a good country.
But what are we now?