"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Torture Report (Update)

Before I start, TPM has the executive summary of the report. I don't know if I'm going to read the whole thing -- from the bits and snippets I've seen, the activities it describes are disgusting to any civilized person, and I frankly don't know if I could handle it.

I really don't know what else to say, except to state categorically that torture is wrong, no matter what Bill O'Reilly says:
On a personal note, I know scores of Americans who lost loved ones on 9/11. I've watched their children grow up without mothers and fathers. If I were president, I would [have] authorized waterboarding and other severe interrogation methods of high ranking captured terrorists.

It is morally correct to protect innocent lives from barbarians.

We are a nation of laws, but we are in a brutal ongoing war. Americans need to be protected.

Never mind that torture is not very effective. Notice the bait-and-switch: yes, it's morally correct to protect the innocent (although in terms of this particular "brutal ongoing war," who are the innocents?), but you don't need to torture anyone -- much less other innocent people -- to do that. To conflate the two is duplicitous, to say the least. (And note this is coming from the very Catholic Bill O'Reilly, after the Church has unequivocally condemned torture as immoral.)

And lest you think he's alone in this, read this bit on the reaction of the terminally stupid Andrea Tantaros at Fox (where else?).

"The Bush administration did what the American public wanted, and that was do whatever it takes to keep us safe. These terror tactics have been stopped because as a country we decided we are better than this," she said. "It’s not about democracy now. No, no. It’s about politics."

If the Bush administration gave us what we wanted, that would be the first time in history that an administration has been that responsive to the people's wishes. And no, Ms. Tantaros, it's not about politics, it's about accountability, and making sure it doesn't happen again (although I have vanishingly small hope of that).

Digby and her fellows at Hullabaloo have a history of how we got there in a series of posts today, starting off with a telling comment about the reaction on Fox:
Notice they're not saying it wasn't torture anymore. They are mounting a full-throated defense of torture as a virtuous tactic.

And the CIA lied about it. Read points Four and Five of this report from TPM. It's even worse than that: here's a timeline of the whole thing, beginning in 2002, that shows a pattern of deception and obstruction on the part of the CIA.

Yeah, I know -- another link dump. Click through or don't, but if you want any sort of clear idea of what a mess we've gotten ourselves into, do it.

Update: I was looking for this story this morning and couldn't remember where I had seen it. It's Sen. Jay Rockefeller's remarks on the report. Read it.

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