The Senate committee was supposed to believe that a cruelly tortured man had thanked his torturer for breaking his religious faith. It goes without saying that the Senate committee found, after scrutinizing over 6 million pages of documents, “no CIA records to support this testimony” (487 n. 2646).
During the same hearing, Sen. Nelson asked about Hayden’s plans, if he suspected al-Qa’ida was training people to resist such techniques. His answer is chilling.
DIRECTOR HAYDEN: “You recall the policy on which this is based, that we’re going to give him a burden that Allah says is too great for you to bear, so they can put the burden down.” (487)
The new report does not describe the many techniques of religiously-themed abuse that I compiled from ex-detainee memoirs and interviews in 2007-08, nor does it extend our knowledge from the 2009 report, which admitted techniques such as forced prostration before an idol shrine to generate “religious disgrace.”
But what Hayden’s comments do show is that using religion as a weapon in prolonged psychological warfare was an actual “policy” – not a result of agents gone rogue.
The goal was to create a burden so great that a person’s religious faith would be destroyed. Nothing could be further from our country’s founding principle.
Dear Torture Defender: If you oppose the HHS mandate on the basis of conscience and religious liberty yet support the state torturing somebody out of their religion, do recall your filthy hypocrisy, when the day comes that Caesar shows up to torture you, your wife and your child out of your religion.