We tortured people in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It wasn’t just “enhanced interrogation techniques,” according to a newly released CIA report.
We used sleep deprivation and we broke bones. We chained people to the floor and sexually humiliated them.
We kept them standing or in stress positions, yelled at them, stripped them, dragged them across floors and beat them. We kept them in secret sites that no one but the CIA knew about.
We did things that we prosecuted the Japanese for after World War II.
We are not the good guys anymore. We are the scary bad guys.
This is not the United States I was raised to believe in. Of course, much of that was a lie, since we secretly meddled in other countries for decades before 9/11. We created Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.
When our creations no longer suit our needs, we use whatever means — legal or illegal — to get rid of them. In this case, we tortured human beings.
What’s worse, the torture yielded no results. Information provided by someone who is being tortured is unreliable at best. People who are being tortured will say anything to make it stop. The most reliable and truthful information came from people who were questioned without harsh techniques.
The CIA lied to the White House, Congress and the Justice Department about its tactics.
Someone needs to go to jail for this. In fact, an entire group of people need to rot in jail for a very long time, including the psychologists the CIA hired to help develop the techniques used.
And even though the CIA lied, I think if Congress were doing its job, someone should have uncovered this mess.
We were living under an administration that said waterboarding was OK and that it yielded good information. Of course the people who wanted to torture would take that as a signal to go another step or two further.
We were “rendering” people with no trial to foreign countries and secret CIA prison sites to be interrogated by monsters of our own creation.
I am incredibly disappointed by President Obama’s reaction, which amounted to, “Oops.”
His carefully chosen words about these methods of interrogation being “inconsistent with our values as a nation” were cowardly and inappropriate. He should have been incensed, but he was disappointed.
This report should make all of us sick to our stomachs, but there already are people rushing to defend the CIA and its tactics.
If things like this are done in our name is it any wonder that we treat our own people with disdain?
If people mean nothing to us as a nation, then torture abroad and the murders of innocent, unarmed people at home become commonplace. Lives become meaningless and thus, disposable.
This is not the kind of society I want to live in. We need to work to change it. All of us.
I have to say, I’m not very proud to be an American today. Shame on us.