The so-called “debate” about whether torture helped to keep us safe is reemerging, as the former chief of CIA clandestine operations Jose Rodriguez is about to publish a book claiming that the use of “enhanced interrogation” practices including water-boarding saved lives.
“We made some al-Qaeda terrorists with American blood on their hands uncomfortable for a few days,” Rodriguez said in an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” that will air on Sunday, April 29. “I am very secure in what we did and am very confident that what we did saved American lives.”
One has to wonder how this Jose Rodriguez would feel about any members of any of the “alphabet soup”-named agencies using “enhanced interrogation techniques” on people he cares about to extract “actionable information”.
And that is just the point; torture is NOT about extracting actionable information. It is about getting someone to confess to a pre-ordained list of acts which are necessary for the torturers’ agendas, as we have known from the times of the Catholic Inquisition.
And when the US either tortures directly or outsources torture, it does the following:
1. It causes every public representative abroad to get jeered or worse, when they talk about the American love for freedom and basic human rights, because people understand that the US government practices those values in the breach, not in the observance of them.
2. It gives every foreign government which is hostile to the US carte blanche to torture any American civilian or military member. And to those who have family or friends in the military, please chew on that for a while.