Thursday, December 11, 2014

Right wing torture

I said yesterday that it seemed to me that the American Right was not sure how strongly to respond to the Senate Report on CIA torture.  It now seems though that they have decided to push hard the CIA's line that it was all worth it and got heaps of benefit from it, and that this is all politic-ing by Democrats.

There are truly revolting Fox News clips  around, and I see that the Wall Street Journal is prominent in the "Go, CIA!" defence.

The Obama response - to sit in the middle at least on the issue of whether it was effective or not - seems measured and appropriate.

Despite the CIA's claimed justification, I just can't see the public accepting that the methods used, now that they are fully detailed, were acceptable in any context.  It also shines the strongest light ever on the genuinely Orwellian use of language in the phrase "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques."   The thing is, when you read a list of them described dispassionately, such as here, people might think "well, used judiciously, I can live with that."   (And who doubts that this is how the CIA sold it to politicians in briefings.)   But when you read the details of how they were actually applied - a prisoner freezing to death on the floor, being forced to stand with broken bones, rectal "feeding" that caused injury - well, that it puts the theory into ugly reality. It's no longer just the matter of "is waterboarding torture?", which was the main way the public perceived the issue 10 years ago (remember Hitchens writing about that?); it is much, much more.

1 comment:

Not Trampis said...

torture never works, the prisoners only tell you what they think you want to hear.