“Why is it now only a crime if our enemies do it to us? Will we regain the soul of America again and finally get past partisan grievances to retake the moral standing of our nation?” – L Rafferty
This past week’s news reports of the Senate report on the CIA Torture program were both distressing and enlightening. I was dismayed to not only read what the full extent of the CIA’s Torture program was, but also when I read pundits and former CIA officials claim that rectal rehydration was merely a medical procedure! I was further discouraged when commenters on this blog made claims that waterboarding and other torture tactics were either necessary or what the devils deserved.
Very few pundits or commenters seem to care if the so-called Enhanced Interrogation techniques were legal or ethical when the CIA resorted to them shortly after 9/11. This “debate” over the actions taken in our name by the CIA has gone from a report based on the CIA’s own words to denials that the techniques were torture, to claims that great intelligence value was gained using the torture and claims that it was a biased report written by Democrats.
When we were attacked on September 11, 2001, most of the world was supporting the United States in its hours of grief and anger. What happened after the attacks quickly turned the tide of world opinion against us and created new enemies. When the CIA delved into its historical “playbook” to devise black sites and brutal interrogation techniques, the result, in my opinion, was a loss of our ethical and legal bearings that are still out of whack today.
When our greatest generation fought enemies stronger and just as brutal as what we face today, our forces were held to a higher standard than the enemy we were fighting. The idea that America does not torture or mistreat its prisoners or enemies is not a new one. It dates back at least to when General George Washington decided that British regulars and paid mercenaries fighting for the British were not to be mistreated in our detention facilities. Continue reading