December 9, 2014

The Senate Intelligence Committee released their torture report today and the Internet lit up like the Rockefeller Christmas tree. Some of the things we learned from the almost 600 page report is that the CIA lied to Congress about the results and methods of their enhanced torture program, torture was not effective, CIA management wasn't qualified to handle torture, CIA program was more brutal than they let on.

Many of us have repeatedly come out strong against the CIA and the Bush administration who authorized and implemented the torture program. As you'd expect, there was immediate push back from the same people who either took part in it, or were hired to apologize for it. The WSJ published an op-ed by former CIA Directors George J. Tenet, Porter J. Goss and Michael V. Hayden (a retired Air Force general), and former CIA Deputy Directors John E. McLaughlin, Albert M. Calland (a retired Navy vice admiral) and Stephen R. Kappes attacking the report and saying that Interrogations Saved Lives.

Nicole Wallace, the former communications chief for the Bush administration went ballistic on Howard Dean and prayed to God we do what it takes to protect America.

Fox News' Andrea Tantaros was so mad at the report that she went into a song and dance routine singing, 'We Are Awesome."

But the most ridiculous opinion came from Bill O'Reilly, who gave the Pope's blessing on torture when he called it "morally acceptable" to do so.

O'Reilly: 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 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.

This is as twisted as it gets. Reality doesn't matter. Torture doesn't work? Who cares, we have a right to do so because-American exceptionalism. Forget about the Geneva Conventions, forget about humanity, forget that Bush's pick for AG, Michael Mukasey called waterboarding "repugnant." Forget that America convicted a Japanese officer of a war crime.

In 1947, the U.S. charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for waterboarding a U.S. civilian. Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor."All of these trials elicited compelling descriptions of water torture from its victims, and resulted in severe punishment for its perpetrators," writes Evan Wallach in the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law.

Forget that as Jon Perr writes, it's not moral, but illegal.
Please continue on in the comments, I'm done for the night.

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