Friday, December 12, 2014


A take on interrogation.  There is much news about enhanced interrogation and the Senate committee investigation has taken five years.  I am not familiar with torture but I have conducted a few interrogations.  Interrogation is the strong word for an interview.  Police officers do this all the time and during an interview it can rapidly change to a custodial interrogation.  When it becomes accusatory we are obligated to remind the person of their right to an attorney before they divulge information.

This has little to do with terrorist interrogation except for the fact of the psychology behind the questioning and what makes a terrorist submit to the truth.  In criminal work it is very simple the culprit is an opportunist or has low intelligence.  They calculate the benefit of  cooperation with what the police already know versus the consequences.  They have either been caught “red handed” or are escaping the inevitable.  Often because of their intelligence the police manipulate them into confession or collusion giving up information.

This really has little to do with a zealot ideologue willing to give their life for their cause.  This is why terrorist interrogators need to be specially trained and given latitude if information is to be gained.  I understand that in water-boarding the method is to ask a series of three questions, two of which the interrogator already knows the answer.  If the interrogatee does not answer the two correctly he is deprived of oxygen with a towel over their face being soaked with water.  Terrorists are declined on a board and have the sensation of drowning.  The terrorist is prepared by several days of sleep  deprivation, changes in diet and their usual atmosphere of stability.    The effects are dramatic and regardless of what anyone says it could be very effective.  The human body wards off further threats and adapts to what prevents the harm.  In this case the truth, and there is great fear of lies rooted in survival.  It can be associated with the “Stockholm  Syndrome” collaboration through hopelessness.  Long after water-boarding the interrogatee will tell the truth knowing it can be gained anyway.  This is deemed by some to be tortuous and most Marines would call it boot camp.  A system of disorientation.

This procedure is applied to many aspects of military training to prepare people for the possibility of capture by the enemy.  It does not have any lasting physical effects if applied correctly.  The mental aspects probably are lifelong, I really don’t care about a terrorist and a lifetime of therapy if it saves American lives.

To exacerbate the subject is to throw American lives under the bus, apparently the politicians do not care?  Nor are they interested in preventing further terrorism.  They will tout that the information gained is incorrect, my response would be the system was not applied correctly.  They will say the information can be gained in another manner, lots of luck.   Police can lie and deceive, playing good cop and bad cop and still usually it is not enough. We have to offer an incentive or disparity to gain confession.   If we are dealing with someone willing to give their life for the cause it is silly to believe we can convert them to our ideology.  It is very unintelligent to think otherwise and I would not stake the fate of thousands of Americans on a whim or theory. 

This has even gone further and it is not discussed.  Under this administration terrorism has been criminalized.  We take terrorists into custody and advise them of their right to an attorney.  This is true of foreign nationals taken into custody on foreign soil as I understand it.  Yet, we kill Americans on foreign soil using drone strikes without a trial verdict.  That is another opinion in the future, our media gives us many convoluted theories that are expressed without the benefit of knowledge or experience.

Peter Risatti


The Garner incident.  I’m weighing in and really have a hard time fathoming the bad luck  everyone concerned had.  Garner a thirty time loser with police seemed to work every angle he could to get arrested.  It is unfortunate that our society has people like this.
The cops, including the cop behind Garner, Pantelleo, were acting upon store owner complaints of Garner harassing customers and selling cigarettes illegally.   Excuse me if I simplify the incident.  Police answer the call and evaluate that Garner is not going to be arrested easily, for whatever reason they are reluctant to Taser.  They decide on a back-up of officers and what I saw on the video looks to be four competent police officers confronting a giant of a man.  Garner was not submitting to the arrest.  This is a fairly common scenario.  The exception is a suspect that weighs 350 pounds and is very capable of injuring anyone trying to apprehend him.

The only thing in common with the Ferguson event is a very large man, angry and capable of maiming any police officer within reach.  Garner does not appear to be aggressive, however he is not compliant.  This passiveness is not something taken as permanent and the situation can change in a fraction of a second.  The arrest is inevitable.  Police don’t just arbitrarily call for back-up.  Officers that respond are not happy with officers calling for an assistance without just cause.  In this case Garner’s size is enough to speculate the damage he could physically do.  I believe they were trying to apprehend him with as little physical harm as possible. That is why they chose the multiple officer arrest procedure.

Police, really desire to go home to their loved ones after a tour of duty.  A very rough physical confrontation with an adversary can change that.  It is nothing anyone looks forward to.   It is evident that Garner was surrounded and would be overcome and handcuffed.  I did not see any blows struck and it was mostly all about restraint.  I think any cop watching knew Garner was going to be grabbed by the neck by the officer behind him.  One officer approached from the front drawing Garner’s attention,  the officer behind grabs him for control.  Two other officers await until the struggle ensues, it is all about restraint.  At this point everything is very professional, taking him down, incapacitating,  hand-cuffing, and neutralizing the situation.

The physical contact begins and Garner is saying that he cannot breath, as a doctor said to me, “If he could not breath he would not be talking.”  Someone choking in a restaurant gurgles or gasps they do not recite two sentences.  Garner falls victim to other physical heart problems, asthma and overweight restrained breathing, compounded by physical exertion, anxiety of the event and chest pressure of being held down.  The autopsy revealed that Garner’s tracheal airway did not suffer damage, apparently indicating he was not strangled.  Pantalleo is the alleged cause of the death.  But, I have not heard anyone say that he was ordered by the police officer supervisor at the scene to not act in the manner that he did in effecting the arrest.  That would indicate to me that the supervisor approved of the conduct or would have testified at the Grand Jury that the police officers were acting contrary to instructions.

It is an unfortunate event, we need to be careful what we take away from it.   It is only racial in the eyes of a racist.  Angered physical contact between human beings, even in a sporting event like football has some traumatic consequences.  This is not a sporting event, but foreseeable with the medical problems and not submitting to arrest.  Unless there is information I am not privy to, I would agree with the grand jury.  There was not any specific intent or negligence just a very unfortunate event.

Peter Risatti


Immigration, in the news and being used to intimidate the unsuspecting. This subject has been beaten to a pulp but still requires defining. Recently there have been several articles in the Eagle expressing how we should welcome immigration.  We do, if it is through the selection process like so many of our ancestors accomplished.  Many, blow off the harm that illegal immigration creates.  It destabilizes our economy, the employment opportunity, our medical, educational and welfare programs.   Illegal is not just against the law it is erratic and cannot be controlled toward stabilization.  It is erratic because it cannot be rationed on the needs of the country.  Again, it is expressed that the country can absorb it.  The “Boomers” are moving into retirement at the rate of ten-thousand per day.  Living longer than ever before and will require resources that there is not an adequate supply of.  Social Security, Medicare, Senior Housing, etc. are under-funded now and unsustainable in the future.  The Boomers are on a direct collision course with amnesty and are destined to lose.  Our poor compete every day for low income housing with the illegal guests.

I have mentioned several times, the number of undocumented citizens that we have is greatly underestimated.  Not by a simple amount, when the true figures come in we will realize the dilemma before us.  We are missing the count by millions.  The closest evidence is the amount of Non English speaking residents versus the alleged amount of illegal residents.  If they are not able to speak English they are not citizens.  We hear of the harm caused by amnesty and still it is sought by many.  Amnesty is a very forgiving word.  It was granted under the Reagan Administration in the 80’s and has formed the night-mare we are living now.

This opinion will get the usual disagreement from people that will boast how immigration built this country.  They are not accounting for the shortcoming of every government program that includes our illegal guests.  They will exclaim they are needed for menial jobs that nobody else wants to do.  Well, I see many menial jobs in the Want Adds and still there are many illegal guests on our welfare rolls, this presents a conundrum.  Some of the people condemning illegal occupancy are the first to hire them, saving money.  Much of the money the guests make is sent Western Union back to their home country.  Observe the Price Chopper service desk on a Thursday or Friday night.  There thousands of dollars are being sent to foreign countries,  a fact of life.  The part that nauseates me is the fact that so much of the money sent is taxpayer subsidized.  They are here for opportunity, earning a wage or having it given to them. Their allegiance is to their family in their former country.  The baloney we hear about escaping political abuse is hogwash it is like most crime and tied to monetary opportunity.  Of course, there are some that are escaping persecution. If the situation was reversed, we were the ones living in the foreign country we would want family members to go where it is the most lucrative and share whatever bounty they achieve.  

Amnesty, is the slap in the face we give legal immigrants that have played by the book.  We are a nation of laws that protect the citizenry although this is not recognized by politicians seeking the immigrant vote.  The silent majority remains intact and I wonder how much harm they will endure before they get off their duff and stand accountable?

Before chirping how bigoted this opinion is, walk a mile in a senior citizen’s shoes and the prospects for their future.  Many have paid into a system they can only hope to benefit from.   The Obama Burger, get the large, the guy behind you pays for it, in this case the guy behind us is our grand children.

Peter Risatti


Our military participants and where they come from.  We are one of the luckiest nations on earth; our military is 100% voluntary.  Military veterans are less than 11.5% of the legal population.  Not everyone can qualify; just to be accepted is an accomplishment.   Once accepted and having served honorably the individual is a member of a special group.

Unless we are in close association with the military it is an unfamiliar culture.  However, awareness of American history can inspire military interest. The inspiration can lead to participation.  The interest can be personal needs, including patriotism, employment, education, or adventure. Planning a military career is an avenue to experience and education, the means to a specific goal.   If the enlistment is not compatible, it only needs to be endured for a minimal amount of time.  The many mistakes we can make in life there are few that offer a termination with honor after a few years.  Not boasting Army slogans,  “We really can be, all that we can be.”  We leave the military having gained knowledge of interacting with other Americans under exacting conditions.   The military experience is a lesson in social survival for Americans.

Our military has the greatest defense capability in the world, regarded as fierce and respected until the last few years of faltering. One set back in the last seventy years was the Vietnam War, initiated and administered politically.  We learned, or should have learned, it was a disastrous endeavor. The drastic military changes from the Nixon to Carter Administrations severely weakened our nation but the basic principles were still intact.  Under President Reagan our military recovered greatness, shedding some balance to the world powers.  Occasionally, someone none military, changes our military structure it is usually a detriment. It is often under the guise of modernization; the result is foolhardiness that sacrifices safety and American lives.

Our military is succumbing again to political domination; our military is under pressure constantly to maintain efficient standing with world respect.  I trust America will survive, many senior citizens are doubtful. Our fortitude is being tested in the most stressful atmosphere we have had to endure.  The patriotism that wells up in our chest when we look at the flag or hear our national anthem will be in our souls forever. The legacy continuing long after we have closed our eyes for eternity.  That patriotism cannot be taken from us. The soldiers stricken while carrying our flag know another will follow in their footsteps, taking up where they leave off.  We are Americans, with 238 years of freedom experience and a pencil-necked politician will not permanently diminish our freedom.  Our constitution protects our rights, strengthening our legacy. Interestingly, I do not know of an American Veteran who gave their life for socialism.  We use the soldier and their blood. If it is merely for political gain Americans need to speak out.

Insuring liberty means choosing our government carefully.  Political candidates should be vetted and nothing left to “That’s good enough.”  We need rational, well-planned leadership decisions of where our country is, where we want it to go and who will get us there.  We should demand responsibility from people elected to office.  We need to clean up our own political parties for good government.  Honesty should be a policy not an occurrence. Our government formulates our military; our military insures our freedom.

Our national safety is the issue.  Safe guards have to be maintained and functional.  Threatening events occur, it is irrational to think they will not occur in our lifetime, they have and they will.  Military life is not for everyone, but for those choosing the military we are grateful.  We have the option of not serving, we better damn sure hope someone else does.  We need to encourage and maintain a feasible and attractive lifestyle for the Americans that do.  Supporting our military will ensure our nation’s future.

Peter Risatti