Shortly after it was known that prisoners in Guantanamo Bay were being tortured there was an uproar by the neoliberals. They claimed to be very upset by the fact that people were being tortures. As it turns out they were only unhappy that their man wasn’t in charge when the torture was occurring and shortly after Bush was replaced by Obama they faded into the background (sadly joining most of the anti-war movement).
Yesterday a report on the torture performed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was released and suddenly people care about torture again:
The summary of the report, compiled by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the CIA misled Americans about what it was doing.
The information the CIA collected this way failed to secure information that foiled any threats, the report said.
In a statement, the CIA insisted that the interrogations did help save lives.
“The intelligence gained from the programme was critical to our understanding of al-Qaeda and continues to inform our counterterrorism efforts to this day,” Director John Brennan said in a statement.
However, the CIA said it acknowledged that there were mistakes in the programme, especially early on when it was unprepared for the scale of the operation to detain and interrogate prisoners.
Welcome back everybody! Glad to have you with us again! Of course the reactions to this report have been very predictable. The neoliberals, who are again feigning outrage, keep reiterating that this happened under Bush’s watch. I guess the important take away from this report is that the old war criminal was in charge instead of the current war criminal (he’s probably too busy ordering the bombings of Middle Eastern children to bother overseeing torture operations).
The neocons have been equally predictable. Their main takeaway from the torture report is that it was totally cool because it was happening to Middle Easterners. They have also been busy trying to claim that the torture saved the lives of American soldiers even though no evidence exists supporting such a claim (and anybody who has studied interrogation techniques knows torture produces unreliable information because tortured people will tell you whatever they think you want to hear in the hopes you’ll stop inflicting pain).
I don’t care which war criminal was in charge at the time and I don’t care if acts of torture saved lives. Torture is unacceptable. Period. Not only does it produce unreliable information but it’s inhumane as Hell. The only thing torture is useful for is detecting people who should be removed from society. That is to say if somebody is willing to torture another human being they shouldn’t be in society.
Anyways this state crime, like all of its previous crimes, will likely be swept under the rug next week. Then it can go on to torture some other people and everybody can pretend to care for another week after a report is published by whatever party doesn’t hold the position of war-criminal-in-chief.