The Truth About Torture
Intelligence officials claim that releasing the Senate’s torture report will cost American lives.
This is simply an attempt at CYA … no different from the NSA’s claim that revealing the extent of its mass surveillance would hurt national security.
Trying to Cover Up the Crime
American law – and top government officials – have said that the type of torture the U.S. engaged in is a crime.
People speaking out against releasing the torture report are simply trying to cover up the crime …
Matthew Alexander – a former top Air Force interrogator who led the team that tracked down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – notes that government officials knew they are vulnerable for war crime prosecution:
They have, from the beginning, been trying to prevent an investigation into war crimes.
Why Releasing the Torture Report Will SAVE American Lives
Releasing the Senate torture report will actually save American lives.
Specifically, a top American counter-terrorism expert – former Chairman of the Department of International Studies at the National War College, number 2 counter-terror official at the State Department, and author of numerous books on terrorism (Terry Arnold) – told Washington’s Blog that prosecuting those who created the American torture program will REDUCE attacks against the U.S. and American troops.
Arnold explains that terrorists already know all about the torture. So it’s the American people – not the terrorists – who will be shocked by what’s in the torture report.
But publishing the report will demonstrate that America is actually backing away from its previous torture policy … which will have a huge impact on reducing terrorism. (Similarly, Arnold says that closing Guantanamo and releasing the majority of detainees who American government officials say are completely innocent would help reduce terrorism).
Similarly, Darrel Vandeveld – former prosecutor in the Guantanamo military commissions, and current Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve – wrote:
Torture is a crime and the United States engaged in it. Those are two indisputable facts…
The process of self-examination and accountability has been, and remains, the only way to move forward and regain our moral and legal grounding…
We have a Department of Justice for a reason, and now it’s up to Attorney General Holder, the nation’s top law enforcement officer, to do his job and appoint an independent prosecutor to follow the evidence where it may lead…
It is critical that we hold accountable those who authorized, those who legally sanctioned and those who implemented the torture policies of one of the darkest periods in our nation’s history. What is at stake is nothing less than our democracy.
General Ricardo Sanchez, the former top coalition commander in Iraq, called for a Truth Commission so we might fully understand the failure of the military and civilian command to honor the pledge of our constitution.
Sanchez . . .stressed that the outcome must embrace a variety of solutions, including prosecution.
Sanchez stated, “When the president made the declaration that the Geneva Conventions no longer apply, we unleashed the hounds of hell and eliminated all the foundations for the training, ethics and structure we had built into our soldiers and our leaders for how to conduct these kinds of operations.”
Sanchez stated many problems could be traced to loyalties to individuals and political parties.
Former President Jimmy Carter is also calling for a truth commission with the possibility of prosecution:
“[I] like to see is a complete examination of what did happen, the identification of any perpetrators of crimes against our own laws or against international law,” said Carter. “And then after all that’s done, decide whether or not there should be any prosecutions.”
So – while the folks involved in the torture program are trying to stay out of jail – the reality is that releasing the report will save American lives.