Let’s not kid ourselves. Our whole damnable foreign policy causes untold destruction, unrest, backlash, and death–particularly to people living far away from us, whose suffering we easily ignore or rationalize. Champions of U.S. foreign policy who show not the slightest remorse for the blood on their hands now warn us that releasing the CIA Torture Report will cause more violence. They’re not afraid more blood will be spilled and more livelihoods will be ruined. They care about shielding an evil policy they helped build from criticism. They care about their reputations. They speak, not for those in danger, but on behalf on a longstanding system of destructive power. Dick Cheney, for one, wants that system decorated, not criticized; reinforced, not dismantled. This isn’t just about a past policy of torture; it’s about the totality of American power on the world stage, now and in the future. It’s about living by the sword.
Below are screenshots from the now released report. We’re not the good guys. And it’s time to atone. What matters now is how we respond to the revelations of “rectal feeding,” threats to harm the children and family members of detainees, the torture of innocents, and the other disgraceful facts people in power wanted to keep secret. Do we hold those responsible for these crimes accountable? That would be a start, but justice demands much more. Torture occurred because of U.S. policy and the ideology used to justify that policy. To prevent future torture, the system itself must be reformed. I’m with Ryan Cooper: abolish the CIA. And then end the warfare state.