US moral authority
sinks to a new low
Chief torture apologist “Darth” Cheney is full of crap about his role in the scandal.
There is only one good thing to say about the U.S. Senate’s report on torture: that it was made public.
Even the obscenely censored version released by the Senate Intelligence Committee contained enough to shame Americans in a world in which most torturers prefer to remain in the darkness where they carry out their heinous crimes.
If there had been any doubt that the U.S. had lost much of its moral authority after the 2003 invasion of Iraq based on demonstrably false premises, that doubt has now been erased.
The shining beacon on the hill beckons the world’s huddled masses no more. We mourn the loss.
The full text of the 565-page report can be found on the site of the
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
In her forward, Chairman Dianne Feinstein of California – previously a staunch defender of the intelligence community – is uncharacteristically blunt.
“The conditions of confinement [of prisoners] and the use of authorized and unauthorized interrogation and conditioning techniques were cruel, inhuman, and degrading,” she writes.
“I believe the evidence of this is overwhelming and incontrovertible.”
The report deserves an “X” rating for its shockingly adult content. But finding No. 20 unambiguously is the whopper:
“The CIA’s detention and interrogation program damaged the United States’ standing in the world …the program caused immeasurable damage to the United States’ public standing.”
The story in the Independent in the UK about reaction to the torture report from the world’s most totalitarian regimes.
The other findings have been widely reported. Most notable: torture did not work to prevent any attacks, and the CIA lied to everyone – including other government agencies – about almost everything it was doing.
Of all the thousands of pundits who have proffered their views since the report’s release, among the first and most eloquent was The Guardian in its editorial America’s shame and disgrace.
The subtitle summarized it completely:
“Torturing detainees after 9/11 was wrong in principle, ineffective in practice, and has damaged the credibility of democracy, the rule of law and the USA.”
The editorial went on to describe the report as “the full story of America’s shame and disgrace. It is one of the darkest episodes in the history of a nation that sees itself, not unreasonably in many respects and in some eras, as a beacon to the world.”
As if this was not sufficient condemnation, reaction from three of the world’s most totalitarian regimes was swift and predictable.
Among many others, it was reported in the UK’s Independent newspaper in the story China, Iran and North Korea take aim at US over shocking revelations
“China, North Korea and Iran – nations often accused of committing human rights abuses – have taken aim at the US over a damning report published yesterday, which revealed the CIA had used interrogation tactics amounting to torture in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.”
The entire world is now lumping the US with those three who are at the bottom of the heap when it comes to respect for human rights.
The only difference remains the candor of America when it comes to recognizing its mistakes. The very release of the report is the one bright spot in an otherwise dark and dismal chapter of our history.
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