Wednesday, April 22, 2009

“It worked!” Former CIA Director Hayden Says

The tempest continues over the releasing of info that Qaeda prisoners were tortured during their interrogations. But the justification being used now by Bush administration officials who eagerly pushed for the use of harsh interrogation techniques is nearly unbelievable. They are claiming that it’s easy today to second-guess their decisions to use torture to get information, but if a bomb or bio-weapon had killed thousands of lives, “where would the moral compass point today?” Huh? Are they saying that the Bush administration’s fear of a terrorist attack made it okay to use tactics that the US had formerly prosecuted as war crimes after World War II? The Bush administration CIA Director Michael Hayden insisted about the CIA torture program, “It worked.” And he added, “I have said to all who will listen that the agency did none of this out of enthusiasm...it did it out of duty. It did it with the best legal advice it had.” Oh please! The Nazis feared the Jews. Their program to annihilate the people they feared also worked. Chaining children to a bed to keep them from being a nuisance works. Forcing women to have their tubes tied or to have hysterectomies to keep them from getting pregnant works. Castrating boys to keep their voices from changing works. Using children as a labor force works. Polygamy works. Blackmail works. Suicide works. But the statement that “It worked” cannot justify a criminal act. There is no justification for using torture under any circumstances. And officials in the SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) program that trains soldiers in survival techniques, say torture actually is ineffective. It doesn’t work. It makes prisoners lie. It makes them concoct stories. It makes them psychotic. It makes them crazed. But it doesn’t make them divulge information. There does seem to be some untoward enthusiasms though, Michael Hayden’s claim notwithstanding. There seems to be a passion, an excitement, a titillation if you will, by these Bush administration supporters of torture that’s just a wee bit troubling, a tad disquieting. You don’t think they all belong to some kind of, um, club do you? Now there’s an investigation whose time may have come.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Your "it worked" examples are terrific. They work very well.