Still not Torture? CIA Instructions for Breaking an Opponents Will

According to the CIA’s own step-by-step guidelines for “persuasion” of detainees, its interrogation techniques included slamming a prisoner’s head against a wall “20 or 30 times,” sleep deprivation for up to 180 hours, deprivation of toilet facilities, shackling in painful positions for long periods of time, locking in a wooden box for up to 18 hours, and waterboarding, not just once in a carefully monitored training situation, but scores of times in succession by “practitioners” who did not have to fear legal accountability for “overdoing” it. It is ludicrous to suggest that such techniques cannot be accurately described as torture. However, we can confidently expect the apologists for torture on the right to continue their denial of the obvious. They will be as cocksure as ever that all the prisoners we have seized and casually tortured had it coming, regardless of any legal protections or proof of their guilt. They will be as adamant as ever that international laws prohibiting torture can be ignored at will if they feel it necessary to protect our “security.” They will continue to shout “Liberty” at the top of their lungs, even as they dismiss the principles our founding fathers fought to vindicate with a wave of the hand. In fact, such people are a greater threat to our security than the enemies they claim to be fighting. In particular, they are a direct threat to our troops in the field, who our enemies will now feel perfectly justified in subjecting to such “enhanced interrogation techniques.” They blindly assume that the condoning of torture will never come back to haunt them, or to haunt their children. I have news for them. What goes around comes around.

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