Letter: ‘No hijackers survived, so we couldn’t get to them …’

Flogging the truth

Senator Feinstein released that report [about the enhanced interrogation by the CIA], even though the Secretary of State tried to dissuade her from releasing it when she did. Some very senior retired military officers and former top CIA people have said the report could hamper our future intelligence efforts, endanger our operatives in the field and even cost lives.

We can thank all the agencies involved in keeping us safe since 9/11. We have had three failures, and missions have succeeded. The shoe bomber got his bomb aboard the plane. We are fortunate that it didn’t detonate. The underwear bomber got his bomb aboard the plane and we are fortunate that it did little damage. The Boston Marathon bombers achieved complete success.

The subject of the Geneva Convention was mentioned in a letter to you. The Geneva Convention resulted in an agreement by the countries that signed it, that they would conform to certain standards in the conduct of war. Specifically relating to military personnel captured in combat while wearing their country’s uniform.

If you were captured not wearing the uniform, you could be classed as a spy and would not have the protection of the Geneva Convention.

The hijackers had no uniforms; they did not represent a specific country. They walked aboard the planes in civilian attire, using tickets they had bought. When the planes were in the air, they attacked the crews. They didn’t even give them a chance to live. They killed them by cutting their throats with box cutters. They then took over the planes and flew them directly into buildings. The Twin Towers, the Pentagon and fortunately the passengers rebelled and caused the last plane to crash in Pennsylvania, before it could reach its target. No hijackers survived, so we couldn’t get to them. The people who planned and put the operation in effect, did survive. We did get some of them and thanks to the efforts of our interrogators, we did get some valuable information. Those people did not come under the protection of the Geneva Convention.

Charles G. Avery, U. S. Navy, Retired

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