Monday, April 27, 2009
Inside the Third Clownatorium
Dana Hunter points out this report in The New York Times:
The program began with Central Intelligence Agency leaders in the grip of an alluring idea: They could get tough in terrorist interrogations without risking legal trouble by adopting a set of methods used on Americans during military training. How could that be torture?There it is. If we do prosecute the architects of our torture program, we won't be putting the likes of Hitler, Himmler and Eichmanm on trial ... it'll be Larry, Moe and Curly.
In a series of high-level meetings in 2002, without a single dissent from cabinet members or lawmakers, the United States for the first time officially embraced the brutal methods of interrogation it had always condemned.
This extraordinary consensus was possible, an examination by The New York Times shows, largely because no one involved — not the top two C.I.A. officials who were pushing the program, not the senior aides to President George W. Bush, not the leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees — investigated the gruesome origins of the techniques they were approving with little debate. ...
The process was "a perfect storm of ignorance and enthusiasm," a former C.I.A. official said.
I don't know if that isn't more horrible.
On the positive side, what I've learned from all this is just how united the thoughtful people in both law enforcement and the military are that torture really isn't an effective way of getting useful information. If we can carry that thought through to the next time someone is tempted to use it, then maybe we'll have gained an important insight as a society, which is that not only is it wrong to torture people in your charge, but it's wrong for a very good reason.
I don't know if that isn't more horrible."
That's totally more horrible. And embarrassing. Talk about the banality of evil...