Posted by Brad @ 3:27 pm on August 25th 2009

The Torture Cheer

So, what did we do?

The highlights include: (1) mock executions; (2) threatened rape of family members; (3) threatened murder of children; (4) kicking and beating a detainee with a metal flashlight to death; (5) threatening naked hooded detainees with power drills; (6) blowing cigar smoke in detainees’ faces until they got sick; (7) waterboarding with massive volumes of water far beyond what OLC authorized (to make it “poignant”); (8) stress positions that nearly caused shoulder dislocations; (9) scraping detainees with stiff brushes; (10) choking a detainee with one’s bare hands until they nearly pass out; (11) subjecting detainees to extremely cold temperatures and water dousing; (12) “hard takedowns” (sometimes in diapers); and (13) beating detainees with butts of rifles (followed by kicking them).

And who did we do it to?

the Report notes that many of the detainees who were subjected to this treatment were so treated due to “assessments that were unsupported by credible intelligence” — meaning there was no real reason to think they had done anything wrong whatsoever. As has been known for quite some time, many of the people who were tortured by the United States were completely innocent — guilty of absolutely nothing.

And what did it get us?

Cheney’s public account of these documents have conflated the difference between information acquired from detainees, which the documents present, and information acquired from detainees through the enhanced interrogation program, which they don’t. […P]erhaps the blacked-out lines of the memos specifically claim and document that torture and only torture yielded this information. But what’s released within them does not remotely make that case.

What’s that spell?

We had representatives of the United States of America taking completely innocent men—literally just a nearly random assort of muslim men between the ages of 12 and 60—and beating them to death with flashlights and threatening to murder their children, and we have no idea if it was of absolutely any intelligence use whatsoever. This was authorized by the President, still defended by the former Vice President, has become a de facto plank of one of our two major parties, and has entirely corroded our culture to such an extent that whether it is alright to torture people is considered a polite difference of opinion.

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