The Blade, May 12
The nomination of Gina Haspel to lead the CIA has yielded an important public benefit: Another reckoning with our government’s shameful practice of torture — and a renewed declaration that torture is a gross violation of American values.
Torture is also an ineffective way to extract information from a captured terrorist.
Ms. Haspel, a 33-year veteran of the agency, has spent much of her career in clandestine service. Critics have pointed to her role overseeing a CIA secret prison in Thailand in late 2002. Before she arrived, a high-value al-Qaida member was tortured extensively at the black site, by waterboarding and other methods. Waterboarding continued during her time in charge. Moreover, she was responsible for the destruction of videotapes of torture sessions.
The details of these incidents may never be fully known to the public.
Movies and TV shows exaggerate the idea that a committed jihadist will break under the pressure and reveal the secret plans for an imminent attack. And some CIA officials, such as Ms. Haspel’s former boss Jose Rodriguez, have contended that “enhanced interrogation techniques” yielded worthwhile information that “saved American lives.”
But the prevailing view among seasoned professionals and top military officers is best expressed by James Mattis, the former Marine general who serves as secretary of defense: “Give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers. … I do better with that than I do with torture.” It’s a folksy way to make a good point: Why should we shame and diminish ourselves as Americans for something that does not work?
Whether or not she becomes CIA director, Ms. Haspel’s record on torture has lastingly compromised her, just as the practice of torture has lastingly tainted the ideals of our great nation.
Sandusky Register, May 11
Once upon a time, Cedar Point was a destination for locals. Parents took their kids once a year. Most local teens had season passes, which cost a whopping $20. Visitors came from as far away as Willard or, even, Tiffin. Many ride operators and games tenders were a little worse for wear, ready to move on to the traveling carnival circuit during the off-season here.
In the early ’60s, CP owners decided to upgrade their image, expand their attractions and become a destination for people from all over. Taking a cue from California’s Disneyland, CP brought in transformation experts who recommended establishing a dress code and hospitality training for a largely teen or young adult workforce.
Through the years the park has grown, but its squeaky clean image has stayed the same. CP will continue to project a wholesome image in its workers, though what is an acceptable look has evolved with the times.
Take, for instance, the stand on body art, once the exclusive mark of sailors, hooligans and floozies (descriptions a reader used in a letter to the editor when tattoo parlors were springing up all over the area). We now have here as many body art emporiums as mattress stores.
Tattoos are the new norm for people ages 18-35 and beyond. Other popular looks are hair colors never found in nature, beards and multiple piercings.
Cedar Point hires hundreds of young people to help thousands of visitors have a great day at the park. To limit the workforce to those who comply to the norm of 1965 eliminates many fine hopefuls seeking seasonal work. Realizing that, the park has lightened up its accepted appearance guidelines. Beards, tattoos and piercings are no longer automatic red flags for job hopefuls. …
… Other businesses should follow CP’s lead and open hiring to those willing and able to do the needed tasks rather than those who comply to a cookie cutter “norm.”
Adapt and survive.