On Torture, And Just Doing What You’re Told

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Apart from the Snowden revelations, the just released CIA Torture Report is probably the most important disclosure of CIA and other abusive intelligence programs since the Church hearings. Like in the ’70’s, we now have US Senate disclosed confirmation of massive conduct of ‘evil ops’ and the cover-up of same by the government. The fact that the Senate summary is doubtless cleaned up (and overstates the CIA’s role, to make them a scapegoat to cover the entire establishment’s sins) should not be overlooked.

Only the 600 page cleaned-up summary has been released to the public, not the 6,000 pages of classified documents that remain closed. Yet the FOX News/Neocon central command crowd claims even that is too much transparency. And that network played the “9-11, 9-11, WoT, WoT” card hard yesterday, saying that framework justifies the rough treatment “of just a couple of bad people” (Cavuto). The words “most of the tortured detainees were known to be innocent” strangely never passed the lips of the torture apologists during their all-day discussion of the report. I wonder why?

Karen Kwiatkowski had the most trenchant comment Ive seen so far:

Newsflash: the state as an institution tortures as a matter of course, and will always do so. Torture isn’t about the guy who gets tortured, it’s about creating and fostering thousands and tens of thousands of state enablers who do what they are told, blindly and without presenting a significant moral challenge. Until people stop doing what they are told, stop honoring the false idea that politicians and institutions have official privacy or deserve confidentiality, and distrust of the state becomes the spirit of the land, we will have many more opportunities to see, hear about and perhaps participate in torture at the hands of the state.

 

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