I have written many times about the differences between the real Ronald Reagan and St. Ronald the Magnificent, the Reagan that exists only in the imagination of conservatives and Republicans. Another perfect example, as I’ve cited before, is the real Reagan’s view on torture. He helped push through the UN Convention Against Torture. From his signing statement on the ratification of that treaty:
“The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of [this] Convention. It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today.
The core provisions of the Convention establish a regime for international cooperation in the criminal prosecution of torturers relying on so-called ‘universal jurisdiction.’ Each State Party is required either to prosecute torturers who are found in its territory or to extradite them to other countries for prosecution.”
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
So those conservatives and Republicans blowing a gasket over the release of the torture report are doing so in the face of the man they continually call a hero and invoke as the One True Conservative. They throw a fit at even acknowledging that we tortured anyone, much less prosecuting those responsible for it as Reagan’s treaty demanded.