Monday, May 8, 2017

Choices and Consequences

Consequence: A Memoir - Eric Fair – (Picador)

The old saying goes something like; “life is full of choices.” What all too often gets left unsaid is the fact that most if not all of those choices come with some form of consequence attached to them. For me, that seems to be what I can boil Eric Fair’s book, Consequence: A Memoir, down to; while at times he certainly wrestles with the choices he made in his life, he seems to battle more with the regrets he has over the choices he and he alone made.

Fair’s story unfolds near the beginning of the Iraq war, but shifts to the public spotlight a few years later when he “goes public” with his regrets over the actions he took in his role as a contract interrogator, who plied his trade in garden spots of Iraq like Abu Ghraib prison and Fallujah. Fair went public with an article he authored in which he alluded to some of the interrogation techniques that were utilized in the pursuit information from those combatants being held in Iraq. Fair never quite had the testicular fortitude to throw himself into the things that he pointed out “others” had allegedly done.

This article and others that followed came at a point where I had stepped away from my broadcasting career and the hyper-consumption of news that went along with being a talk show host, so Fair’s story was new to me. While he believes that he and other contractors who worked with him, actively participated in torture, in my opinion I do not believe it rises anywhere near that level. Sleep deprivation, exposure to temperature extremes and stress positions, pale in comparison to what is wrought on folks in the hands of terrorists.

Life is indeed about the choices we make. Eric Fair made those choices, no gun held to his head, no dire circumstances, aside from what appear to be his own uncertainties about his own life, contributed to those choices. Like any normal person who becomes unhappy about the choices they make, Fair has glaring regrets and his way of dealing with those choices/regrets seems to be throwing others under the bus while feeling sorry for himself.

While Fair speaks regularly about his Christian upbringing and passing attempts made at the seminary, he seems hell bent on seeking forgiveness for his sins in this life time, rather than the forgiveness most Christians seek.

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