Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The Senate report on CIA torture reveals our American shame

I feel ashamed to be an American today. Today, the executive summary of the Senate report on the CIA torture of prisoners was released. I've only read articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post, not the report itself (which is over 500 pages long). What we did was dreadful and shameful, and we should not allow ourselves to do it again. Torturing even vile criminals is morally repugnant, as well as useless, as the Senate report shows.

Jeffrey Goldberg writes:
The next time a group of Islamist terrorists succeeds in killing large numbers of Americans—and such an attack should be expected—it is important for those who are in positions of power (very much including the writers and commentators who shape popular thinking) to keep in mind that the goal of the United States is to neutralize the threat, and not to seek retribution for the sake of retribution. It is a terrible idea, both morally and practically, to allow hatred to shape counterterrorism policy, but that, I think, explains in part what happened at the CIA. In an atmosphere of comprehensive rage and loathing, bad ideas rose to the surface, and found their champions.

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