With all the attention on the Boston Marathon tragedy, and now the utter failure of the US Congress to lead on gun control in the aftermath of Newtown, let’s not let this one slip by unnoticed:
A nonpartisan, independent review of interrogation and detention programs in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks concludes that “it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture” and that the nation’s highest officials bore ultimate responsibility for it.
“The nation’s highest officials.” Let’s see, would that include former President Monkey Boy? I think so. Read on.
The sweeping, 577-page report says that while brutality has occurred in every American war, there never before had been “the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody.” The study, by an 11-member panel convened by the Constitution Project, a legal research and advocacy group, is to be released on Tuesday morning.
Aha! Monkey Boy and his band of Merry Men! Darth Cheney, Gondoleeza Rice, Ronald Dumsfeld. That lot.
The use of torture, the report concludes, has “no justification” and “damaged the standing of our nation, reduced our capacity to convey moral censure when necessary and potentially increased the danger to U.S. military personnel taken captive.” The task force found “no firm or persuasive evidence” that these interrogation methods produced valuable information that could not have been obtained by other means. While “a person subjected to torture might well divulge useful information,” much of the information obtained by force was not reliable, the report says.
Yes, but it’s fun. And of there’s one thing conservative, god-fearing, Commie-hating ‘Pubs know something about, it’s having fun.
Mr. Hutchinson, who served in the Bush administration as chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration and under secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said he “took convincing” on the torture issue. But after the panel’s nearly two years of research, he said he had no doubts about what the United States did.
“This has not been an easy inquiry for me, because I know many of the players,” Mr. Hutchinson said in an interview. He said he thought everyone involved in decisions, from Mr. Bush down, had acted in good faith, in a desperate effort to try to prevent more attacks.
We understand. They meant well. Unfortunately, they were a pack of moral imbeciles, incredibly stupid and callous, and too damn arrogant to listen to any voices but their own. This is who we elected, and who we elected appointed, then re-elected. So why does the world resent us and regard us as hypocrites? They meant well.
The panel found that the United States violated its international legal obligations by engineering “enforced disappearances” and secret detentions. It questions recidivism figures published by the Defense Intelligence Agency for Guantánamo detainees who have been released, saying they conflict with independent reviews.
It describes in detail the ethical compromise of government lawyers who offered “acrobatic” advice to justify brutal interrogations and medical professionals who helped direct and monitor them. And it reveals an internal debate at the International Committee of the Red Cross over whether the organization should speak publicly about American abuses; advocates of going public lost the fight, delaying public exposure for months, the report finds.
The highest levels of government, their lawyers, doctors, and a prestigious international non-profit corporation — this is the fruit of their labor inflicted on humanity. Aintcha proud?
Unaddressed by the report: the insults and abuse from these same parties toward anybody who questioned the activities and motives of the perpetrators, who labeled the opposition cowards, defeatists, haters of America.
A sordid chapter in American History, methinks. I wonder: when George W. Bush unveils his Presidential Library at SMU in the redneck heart of Texas next week, will any of the findings of this report be exhibited, or even mentioned? Somehow I rather doubt it.