The U.S. Senate’s torture report is out, and that was a good day for America. But it underlined once again that America “lost its way”during those dark years after 9/11, as Eric Lichtau wrote in his book Bush’s Law – The Remaking of American Justice.
“This is not how Americans should behave. Ever,” says today’s main editorial in the Washington Post.
So, to talk about whether these “enhanced interrogation techniques” worked or not is completely irrelevant.
“Torture is wrong, whether or not it has ever ‘worked,'” the Post adds. Exactly.
“Only fools” discuss whether illegal actions “work,” wrote Slate Magazine’s legal commentator Dahlia Lithwick some time ago. Exactly, again.
But, as Lithwick also wrote, they “got away with it:” Cheney, Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, CIA Director George Tenet and his staff member Jose Rodriguez, who destroyed video tapes of the torture sessions.
Now, what? Probably nothing, unfortunately.
Congress, controlled by the Republicans after the new year, will not touch this. And President Obama, who started out so well and in his first weeks as president in 2009 shut down CIA’s secret prisons, prohibited the “enhanced interrogation techniques,” and he promised to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, also said no to all investigations, no prosecutions and no indictments, no truth and reconciliation commission like in South Africa after apartheid, no to a commission report like the one after 9/11. Nothing.
Was he wishing it would all go away? It hasn’t. The prison in Guantanamo Bay is still open and now the torture debate is back with a vengeance.
It was a “horrible decision” by Obama to close the books on this chapter of of our history, writes the New York Times today, describing the whole report as a “portrait of depravity that is hard to comprehend and even harder to stomach.” And, it “raises again, with renewed power, the question of why no one has ever been held accountable for these crimes.”
Exactly, yet again.