April 18th, 2009
11:59 PM ET

Dear President Obama #89: This is torture

Reporter's Note: President Obama says it would be good to hear from Americans with ideas to help him out in the White House. In my experience, people who honestly ask for advice are usually so smart they don’t need it; and those who don’t ask, are too dim-witted to take it. That said, I answer the call with my continuing series of letters to Pennsylvania Avenue.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/16/torture.cia.immunity/art.cuffs.gi.jpg caption="Obama administration officials say nobody should be prosecuted for following Bush-era policy."]

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Well, while you’ve been off traipsing around the sunny south, I’ve been busy!

You ordered the release of all those so-called torture documents from the Justice Department, and as they say in Venezuela “Vaca santa!” Ok, maybe they don’t say it quite that way, but the computer tells me that is the literal translation of “holy cow” so I’m going with it.

I know you are terribly occupied dealing with questions about Cuba and picking the right forks at all those fancy dinners, but have you actually read these things? The details they offer about what we have been doing to some of the suspected terrorists we have grabbed are…how shall I put it? Well, they make me squirm for a lot of reasons.

There are the descriptions: Slapping people. Chaining them into standing positions so they can’t sleep. Locking them in cramped, dark spaces. Making them think they are drowning. This is tough stuff. I fully understand any American who says, “We don’t do those things,” and de facto, “That’s torture.”