The Senate’s official report on the use of torture during the Bush Administration is out, and it’s hard to see how it could be worse.
The big news of this week has to be the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s release of the executive summary of a mammoth 6,700 page report detailing the CIA’s history of using torture against suspected terrorists from 2002 to 2005. It’s not pretty, and in many areas outlines a sort of “worst case scenario” of everything that could go wrong, in fact going wrong. Vox’s Max Fisher summed up the report’s most important findings in four sentences:
(1) CIA torture did not work.
(2) The CIA lied about what it was doing and whether it was working.
(3) The CIA did a terrible job running its torture program.
(4) The CIA also lied about the brutality of its methods.
There’s a lot more in the report as well, particularly a clear debunking of the claim that the use of torture was vital to the successful effort to kill Osama Bin Laden.
In addition, the report outlines the fact that the Bush Administration in general and President Bush in particular was very much in the dark about what was going on between 2002 and 2005. This is pretty interesting; after all if there was one policy subject that you’d think the Bush White House would be on top of it would be their counter-terrorism efforts. But as with Katrina, the Iraq War, and the bailouts, we get the picture again of a President very much out to lunch.
So where does the nation go from here? Unfortunately President Obama’s decision back in 2009 not to pursue any sort of investigation in these allegations either as a criminal matter or as a “truth and reconciliation” type of project probably precludes any sort of investigation now. And to make matters worse, torture is increasingly becoming a partisan issue with Democrats against it and Republicans for it. In fact this whole report was largely boycotted by Republicans on the Senate’s Intelligence Committee.
Which unfortunately means that when the Republicans get into the White House again, we could see torture return as national policy. Even if though it doesn’t work.
Like The Good Men Project On Facebook
Photo by Fibonacci Blue/Flickr