22 March 2008

"This country does not torture people"

I thought maybe posting the fury driven email to friends and family about Alyssa Peterson’s suicide would settle my nerves a bit, but I am still angry. Several things keep coming back to me. Reports of secret torture, and the records of which, have been conveniently destroyed. A suicide, and manner of death, that was kept from the victim’s family and the world. The DOD was forced to provide the truth three years later, because Kevin Elston did not believe them. He filed a Freedom Of Information Act request in 2005. (You can read Kevin’s KNAU report of 2006, here.)

All suicides most certainly involve psychopathology of some sort. It is just a matter of degree. Some are impulsive and violent, others extremely thoughtful, methodical, and careful. What throws a monkey wrench into the equation for me, are cases like the self-immolation by Buddhist monks in Cambodia, and that of Alyssa R. Peterson, who switched her M-4 Carbine to “burst”, and stuck the muzzle under her chin. (She caught two rounds, and probably died instantly.)

“…documents also refer to a suicide note found on her body, revealing that she found it ironic that suicide prevention training had taught her how to commit suicide. [Kevin Elston] has now filed another FOIA request for a copy of the actual note.”

In the unlikely event that the DOD would release the remainder of Alyssa’s suicide note and further expose facts about torture practices, (heretofore kept secret), we may never know precisely why she took her own life. Regardless, it’s not much of a stretch to believe that maybe her death could have been prevented. Maybe.
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