It has shamed me that my country at the hands of the neocons has legalized things I was taught to believe were wrong. Torture is wrong. It's wrong and information obtained is, more often than not, unreliable. This amazing read in the New Yorker written by Jane Mayer is case in point. (Via Glenn Greenwald.)
Without more transparency, the value of the C.I.A.’s interrogation and detention program is impossible to evaluate. Setting aside the moral, ethical, and legal issues, even supporters, such as John Brennan, acknowledge that much of the information that coercion produces is unreliable. As he put it, “All these methods produced useful information, but there was also a lot that was bogus.
So what has been the purpose of the "enhanced interrogation techniques" employed by our government since 9/11? Has it been to root out Al Qaeda? How can that be when we purposefully ignored Al Qaeda's Hole-In-The-Wall, Afghanistan, in favor of attempting to create a shining the beacon of democracy in Iraq.
I'm trying to come to a purpose here. It's bothering me. Why has it been imperative that torture be employed? Why have laws and ideals been decimated for so few bits of knowledge? What was the reason? It's going to continue to bother me because there is no law separating me from others who know nothing of Al Qaeda.
I'd love to end this haphazard screed by tying up all my haphazard points, but I can't. It was just something I have been thinking about. Good news, though. President-Elect Obama says that he is closing Gitmo and ending the U.S. sanctioned practice of torture. I sincerely hope that he can and does.