America in the gutter

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I just saw "Zero Dark Thirty," about the intelligence gathering to locate and kill Osama bin Laden. The first part graphically shows the torture, including waterboarding, of al-Qaida detainees by CIA agents to gain information.

I was sickened that our nation so seemingly routinely engaged in such behavior — the very behavior we condemned Japanese soldiers for in World War II.

I am glad we found bin Laden, but our hands are bloody. We can't be self-righteous about the justice we meted out. Our means were not as pure as our ends.

Was torture necessary to find Osama? Maybe. Maybe not. Experts are divided.

Did the end justify the means? I'm not sure. If it prevented more 9/11s, probably.

I'm conflicted. We are not the exceptional city on the hill we think we are. We are in the gutter with all other nations.

Joe Sayers

Salt Lake City