Breaking News: The US Engaged in Torture

US Torture

A nonpartisan, independent review of the United States’ interrogation program in the years after 9/11 concludes what everyone who saw Zero Dark Thirty already knows: the US engaged in torture.

The 577-page report, put together by the advocacy group The Constitution Project and led by a former top Bush administration official, reveals that the former president and his top advisers knowingly ordered interrogation techniques that U.S. officials have previously referred to as torture.

The review is based on numerous interviews with former American and foreign officials, as well as former detainees, and focuses on the post-9/11 treatment of suspects at Guantánamo Bay, war-zone detention centres, and at CIA black sites.

The report confirms the widespread use of waterboarding and other practices such as slamming prisoners into walls, chaining them in uncomfortable positions for hours, stripping them of their clothing, conducting mock executions and keeping them awake for days on end. Or what the Bush administration called “enhanced interrogation tactics”.

I imagine it looked a little something like this:

Water Board Cat

Whether or not these methods amounted to torture is a matter that has been debated both in and out of government. But the report emphasizes that these techniques do meet the clinical definition of torture.

The report concludes that the United States’ use of torture has “no justification” and “damaged the standing of our nation, reduced our capacity to convey moral censure when necessary and potentially increased the danger to U.S. military personnel taken captive.”

Bush, meanwhile, is off in Texas enjoying his retirement hobby of painting self-portraits as well as hundreds of dog portraits. Bush says people are surprised by his love of painting and that “people are surprised I can even read.”

Via: The New York Times

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