…we fail big. The torture report has been released (also here, where Sully is live-blogging his reactions to the report, and bringing up some delightful highlights), and, yeah, we used the sort of tactics that twenty years ago we would have loudly, and rightly, condemned other nations for using. These include things like sexually violating suspects.
With the approval of the C.I.A.’s medical staff, some C.I.A. prisoners were subjected to medically unnecessary “rectal feeding” or “rectal hydration” — a technique that the C.I.A.’s chief of interrogations described as a way to exert “total control over the detainee.”
There were also victims with broken limbs who were forced to stand in “stress positions”. Those are positions that put particular stresses on…well, various limbs. If those limbs are already broken, it’s a pretty terrible experience.
Oh, and apparently we liked telling people they if they didn’t cooperate, we’d rape their mothers in front of them.
People were tortured to death, innocent people were tortured, and we didn’t even get any useful information about bin Laden out of all this.
If you support these tactics, then you are a fundamentally immoral person.
Let me be very blunt here. The United States government, working through the CIA (a now completely rogue agency who has lied to the White House and Congress), engaged in massive amounts of torture and then tried to cover it up. This torture was approved of by Dick Cheney at least, and probably by then-President Bush. This torture was a clear violation of United States law and international law.
The Department of Justice needs to, at this point, assign some special prosecutors. Even if (especially if), the current President, the CIA and Congress don’t want that to happen, it still should. Even if the American public doesn’t want it to happen, it still should. Bush, Cheney, and everyone involved needs to be brought to justice and, yes, if found guilty, even go to prison for what was done.
These people destroyed about 225 years of goodwill that we’d built up with the world. People could say we were arrogant and obnoxious, and they’d be right. They could say we were bullies, and they’d be right about that, too. They could say we’d be hypocrites, who toppled democracies we didn’t like in order to install dicatorships that we did like. They could say all of those things, and be absolutely, 100% correct.
But until Bush/Cheney and the CIA came along, they couldn’t say we tortured people. Now they can.
So what are we going to do about it?