Demand Better from Washington

Torture is illegal.

Torture is shameful.

Torture is immoral.

Torture doesn’t work.

Pick whichever one of those works for you.

The CIA lied about it to Congress and the Administration lied to the American people.

Many in the American right are freaking out because, when you get past the pretexts, they simply love torture. They think it shows strength and leadership, and that waterboarding or making a guy stand for hours in the cold on his broken legs is magically going to produce good information.

But if you need proof that the CIA’s torture program was not just illegal, but morally depraved, consider they even tortured the guy who “sang a like tweetie bird” on his own. We shoved hummus up guys’ asses for freedom. 20% of the detainees shouldn’t have been there. There was no meaningful oversight. As most people thought, sadistic federal retiree Dick Cheney’s name is all over the report.

The CIA’s torture program was worse than anyone thought, and produced nothing worthwhile. It was ended by President Obama in 2009.

What was revealed yesterday amount, frankly, to war crimes, and this – from the CIA – isn’t good enough:

As noted in CIA’s response to the study, we acknowledge that the detention and interrogation program had shortcomings and that the Agency made mistakes. The most serious problems occurred early on and stemmed from the fact that the Agency was unprepared and lacked the core competencies required to carry out an unprecedented, worldwide program of detaining and interrogating suspected al-Qa’ida and affiliated terrorists. In carrying out that program, we did not always live up to the high standards that we set for ourselves and that the American people expect of us. As an Agency, we have learned from these mistakes, which is why my predecessors and I have implemented various remedial measures over the years to address institutional deficiencies.

You want to argue that these detainees deserve it because they were murderers and terrorists? Some of them were, some of them weren’t. But if you’re comparing our behavior to that of our brutal mass murderer enemy, that’s a pretty low standard.

If you think that the American government’s moral and legal standards should be equal to that of al Qaeda or Daesh, what does that make us?


  • I would like to demand better from Washington, specifically from the Democrats. There are a host of programs and policies just as damning as torture, however that would require the Democrats to also put a pox on their own house. I question the motives of the Senate Democrats targeting an issue that targets Republicans without tarnishing themselves. I wish they would tackle drone warfare, domestic spying, indefinite detention, “sneak and peek”, etc., with as much fervor as they have shown toward torture. The repeal of the Patriot Act would be a good start.

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