A few weeks ago, the PBS program “Frontline” broadcast “Secrets, Politics and Turture”, which they describe as “The secret history of the CIA’s controversial ‘enhanced interrogation’ methods”. You can watch this program online, and you really should.
Why am I saying this to you? Because there was a small amount of publicity after it was shown, but there was no major outcry. I think the media is afraid to make a big story out of this. And even worse, many Americans do not want to admit that we violated international law, our constitution, every reasonable moral code, and deliberately tortured people.
What’s worse to me are the people who claim torture was necessary to obtain important information in the fight against terrorism, when there is no evidence to support that claim. In fact, the program provides strong evidence that our rush to use torture actually prevented us from obtaining important information.
Not only are they lying about the use of torture, the CIA illegally destroyed evidence of it. The CIA’s chief operations officer destroyed hundreds of hours of videotape even though they were ordered not to by Congress and the courts. A reporter for The New Yorker was told “if those videotapes had ever been seen, the reaction around the world would not have been survivable.”
This is a big deal, and it shouldn’t just go away in a puff of abject denial. If we do not take strong steps now, we will torture again. We are better than that as a country. We have to be.