I am sick of reading about torture. I am not going to stop reading about it, because this is what my country did in my name. It makes me sick, but that is not a sufficient reason to “walk away” as Peggy Noonan recommends.
The New York Times yesterday:
The C.I.A. officers used waterboarding at least 83 times in August 2002 against Abu Zubaydah … A former C.I.A. officer, John Kiriakou, told ABC News and other news media organizations in 2007 that Abu Zubaydah had undergone waterboarding for only 35 seconds before agreeing to tell everything he knew. … The 2005 memo also says that the C.I.A. used waterboarding 183 times in March 2003 against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed …
On Saturday, the NYT reported that interrogators did not want to waterboard Abu Zubaydah. They told “headquarters” that he had already revealed all that he knew. Headquarters disagreed, and ordered the waterboarding. He revealed nothing further under torture.
Someone must be held accountable. It is not enough to say that torture will stop — especially while congressional committees continue to consider whether there might be some circumstances under which the order could be given again.
As the BBC reported yesterday, the UN special rapporteur on torture, Manfred Nowak, says that President Obama cannot simply decree that those who tortured will not be prosecuted. The US is bound under the UN Convention against Torture to prosecute those who torture.
Someone must be held accountable. Let’s start with the lawyers who weasel-worded the justifications for torture, the president and vice-president who approved it, and the headquarters that ordered it.