Prominent torture defender Marc Thiessen—if he once held any other post but that one, it has been lost to history—continues to swear that the torture of prisoners is paying dividends even to this day.
That link is to a Theissen column asserting that the killing of a man "believed to be al-Qaeda's top operational commander" by Pakistani forces this very week
could be attributed to the 2003 capture and torture of Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In doing so, Theissen paints a ticking time bomb scenario 11 years, nine-ish months long—an impressive genre entry.
While Sen. John McCain was (again, we note) giving an emotional speech condemning torture, one of his closest Republican allies was having none of it. Sen. Lindsey Graham released a statement condemning the release of the report.
The timing of the release is problematic given the growing threats we face. Terrorism is on the rise, and our enemies will seize upon this report at a critical time. Simply put, this is not the time to release the report.
I believe its release at this time is politically motivated. I have no doubts that it will create problems for our country and the men and women serving our nation around the globe.
As for those more intimately involved?
Fmr CIA director Tenet on #torturereport-"The [Senate Intel Committee leadership say the report will ensure this never happens again." 1/2
Fmr CIA dir Tenet on #torturereport: "My hope is that a report like this—biased, inaccurate, and destructive will never happen again." 2/2
And that is why America tortured prisoners, and that is why America will return to torturing prisoners again, most likely during the very next conservative-minded administration. The president said today that torturing prisoners was "contrary to our values
," but that is manifestly not true. By explicitly refusing to criminalize those actions we have made it an issue of ideological debate, not
an edict to be enforced by either national or international law.
As such, torture will become "our values" again the very moment someone in office decides to make it such. Look to the names above; one of them could very well sign the order, or write the memos justifying that order, or write the columns celebrating the order, or stifle the investigations into the next order. We were a nation that tortured prisoners. We are still a nation that will torture prisoners. We are, when it comes to holding ourselves to the same laws as other nations, exceptional.