By way of excuse for what President Obama called “a tragic incident,” (and The UN called a ‘war crime’) US officials have claimed that the Taliban were fighting from within the Kabul hospital (which was destroyed by a US air strike yesterday killing at least 19 including 3 children) using aid workers as “a human shield.” However, this justification for the ‘collateral damage’ has been vehemently denied by Medecins Sans Frontier (MSF) who have issued a statement dismissing the US claims, “the gates of the hospital compound were closed all night so no one that is not staff, a patient or a caretaker was inside the hospital when the bombing happened…” but, the US strike has done one thing, as one local health official concluded, “this city is no longer for the living.”
In a statement, President Barack Obama offered condolences to the victims of what he called “the tragic incident” where as we detailed previously, the aid group MSF has said an air strike, probably carried out by U.S.-led coalition forces, killed 19 staff and patients on Saturday in a hospital it runs in Kunduz, leaving 37 wounded. The ‘reason’ offered by US officials, as Reuters reports,
The U.S. military said it conducted an air strike “in the vicinity” of the hospital, as it targeted Taliban insurgents who were directly firing on U.S. military personnel.
In Kabul, the Afghan Ministry of Defense said Taliban fighters had attacked the hospital and were using the building “as a human shield”.
But the medical aid group denied this.
“The gates of the hospital compound were closed all night so no one that is not staff, a patient or a caretaker was inside the hospital when the bombing happened,”Medecins Sans Frontieres said in a statement on Sunday. “In any case, bombing a fully functioning hospital can never be justified.”
Witnesses said patients were burned alive in the crowded hospital after the airstrike. Among the dead were three children being treated.
Frantic MSF staff telephoned military officials at NATO in Kabul and Washington after the attack, but bombs continued to rain down for nearly an hour, one official of the group said. The medical charity that was a lifeline for thousands in the city said it was pulling most of its staff out of the area because the hospital was no longer functioning. Some staff had gone to help treat the wounded at other hospitals, it added.
Taliban fighters in Kunduz were still holding out against Afghan troops, despite government claims to have taken control of the area.
The Afghan defense ministry on Sunday congratulated residents over the victory and military helicopters dropped 6,000 leaflets urging people to cooperate with the army.”If you see abandoned military vehicles or equipment anywhere turn them over to security forces,” the leaflets read.
A coalition military official in Kabul, who asked not to be named, said, “Our understanding is that the whole area is still contested.”
Corpses lie in the streets and people are too afraid to leave their homes, said one resident, Gulboddin. “You can hear the sound of gunfire all over the city,” said Gulboddin, who has only one name. “Some of the bodies are decomposing.
“Hospitals running out of medicine are struggling to treat growing numbers of patients, said public health official Sayed Mukhtar. “There is no electricity and hospital laboratories are not working,” he added. “This city is no longer for living.”
Kate Stegeman, the group’s communications manager, said some staff are working in other health facilities in the city, where troops have been battling Taliban insurgents.
“All critical patients have been referred to other health facilities and no MSF staff are working in our hospital,” she said, using the French abbreviation for the organization.
“Some of our medical staff have gone to work in two hospitals where some of the wounded have been taken,” she said.
* * *
The U.S. government promised a full investigation into the incident as the U.N. human rights chief said the bombing could amount to a war crime.
As Glenn Greenwald points out, “it’s impossible to fathom what the U.S. media would be saying and doing if Russia did something like this in Syria. By contrast, the reaction to this airstrike by their own government will be muted and filled with apologia, ironically quite similar to the widely vilified caricature of Jeb Bush’s comments about the Oregon shooting spree: stuff happens.”
On April 29th, 2008 I had a Saul on the Road to Damascus moment. I had flipped open theWashington Post and there, on the front page, was a color photo of a two year old Iraqi boy named Ali Hussein being pulled from the rubble of a house that had been destroyed by American missiles. The little boy was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and had on his feet flip-flops. His head was hanging back at an angle that told the viewer immediately that he was dead.
Four days later on May 3rd a letter by a Dunn Loring Virginia woman named Valerie Murphy was printed by the Post. Murphy complained that the Iraqi child victim photo should not have been run in the paper because it would “stir up opposition to the war and feed anti-US sentiment.” I suppose the newspaper thought it was being impartial in printing the woman’s letter, though I couldn’t help but remember that the neocon-dominated Post had generally been unwilling to cover anything antiwar, even ignoring a gathering of 300,000 protesters in Washington in 2005. Rereading the woman’s complaint and also a comment on a website suggesting that the photo of the dead little boy had been staged, I thought to myself, “What kind of monsters have we become.” And in truth we had become monsters. Bipartisan monsters wrapped in the American flag. Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once said that killing 500,000 Iraqi children through sanctions was “worth it.” She is now a respected elder statesman close to the Hillary Clinton campaign.
I had another epiphany last week when I saw the photo of the little Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach like a bit of flotsam. He was wearing a red t-shirt and black sneakers. I thought to myself that many Americans will shake their heads when looking at the photo before moving on, more concerned about Stephen Colbert’s debut on the Late Show and the start of the NFL season.
The little boy is one of hundreds of thousands of refugees trying to get to Europe. The world media is following the crisis by focusing primarily on the inability of unprepared local governments to deal with the numbers of migrants, asking why someone somewhere can’t just “do something.” This means that somehow, as a result, the vast human tragedy has been reduced to a statistic and, inevitably, a political football.
Overwhelmed by thousands of would-be travelers, Hungary suspended train service heading towards Western Europe while countries like Serbia and Macedonia deployed their military and police along their borders in a failed attempt to completely block refugees. Italy and Greece have been overwhelmed by migrants arriving by sea. Germany, to its credit, is intending to process up to 800,000 refugee and asylum applications, mostly from Syria, while Austria and Sweden have also indicated their willingness to accept many more. Immediate neighbors of the zone of conflict, notably Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan are hosting more than three million of those who are displaced, but the wealthy Arab Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia have done little or nothing to help.
Demands for a European unified strategy to deal with the problem are growing, to include sealing borders and declaring the seas off of preferred departure points in North Africa and Asia to be military zones where undocumented ships and travelers will be intercepted and turned back. One also has to suspect that the refugee crisis might be exploited by some European politicians to justify NATO “humanitarian” intervention of some sort in Syria, a move that would have to be supported by Washington. But while the bickering and maneuvering goes on, the death toll mounts. The recent discovery of 71 dead would-be migrants who suffocated in the back of a locked truck found in Austria, to include five children and a toddler, horrified the world. And that was before the dead three year old on the Turkish beach.
Many of the would-be migrants are young men looking for work in Europe, a traditional enterprise, but most of the new arrivals are families escaping the horrors of war in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Their plight has been described in the media in graphic terms, families arriving with nothing and expecting nothing, fleeing even worse conditions back at home.
The United States has taken in only a small number of the refugees and a usually voluble White House has been uncharacteristically quiet about the problem, possibly realizing that allowing in a lot of displaced foreigners at a time when there is an increasingly heated debate over immigration policy in general just might not be a good move, politically speaking. But it should perhaps be paying some attention to what caused the problem in the first place, a bit of introspection that is largely lacking both from the mainstream media and from politicians.
Indeed, I would assign to Washington most of the blame for what is happening right now. Since folks inside the beltway are particularly given to making judgements based on numerical data they might be interested in the toll exacted through America’s global war on terror. By one not unreasonable estimate, as many as four million Muslims have died or been killed as a result of the ongoing conflicts that Washington has either initiated or been party to since 2001.
There are, in addition, millions of displaced persons who have lost their homes and livelihoods, many of whom are among the human wave currently engulfing Europe. There are currently an estimated 2,590,000 refugees who have fled their homes from Afghanistan, 370,000 from Iraq, 3,880,000 million from Syria, and 1,100,000 from Somalia. The United Nations Refugee Agency is expecting at least 130,000 refugees from Yemen as fighting in that country accelerates. Between 600,000 and one million Libyans are living precariously in neighboring Tunisia.
The number of internally displaced within each country is roughly double the number of those who have actually fled and are seeking to resettle outside their homelands. Many of the latter have wound up in temporary camps run by the United Nations while others are paying criminals to transport them into Europe.
Significantly, the countries that have generated most of the refugees are all places where the United States has invaded, overthrown governments, supported insurgencies, or intervened in a civil war. The invasion of Iraq created a power vacuum that has empowered terrorism in the Arab heartland. Supporting rebels in Syria has piled Pelion on Ossa. Afghanistan continues to bleed 14 years after the United States arrived and decided to create a democracy. Libya, which was relatively stable when the U.S. and its allies intervened, is now in chaos, with its disorder spilling over into sub-Saharan Africa.
Everywhere people are fleeing the violence, which, among other benefits, has virtually obliterated the ancient Christian presence in the Middle East. Though I recognize that the refugee problem cannot be completely blamed on only one party, many of those millions would be alive and the refugees would for the most part be in their homes if it had not been for the catastrophic interventionist policies pursued by both Democratic and Republican administrations in the United States.
It is perhaps past time for Washington to begin to become accountable for what it does.The millions of people living rough or in tents, if they are lucky, need help and it is not satisfactory for the White House to continue with its silence, a posture that suggests that the refugees are somehow somebody else’s problem. They are, in fact, our problem. A modicum of honesty from President Barack Obama would be appreciated, perhaps an admission that things have not exactly worked out as planned by his administration and that of his predecessor. And money is needed. Washington throws billions of dollars to fight wars it doesn’t have to fight and to prop up feckless allies worldwide. For a change it might be refreshing to see tax money doing some good, working with the most affected states in the Middle East and Europe to resettle the homeless and making an honest effort to come to negotiated settlements to end the fighting in Syria and Yemen, both of which can only have unspeakably bad outcomes if they continue on their current trajectories.
Ironically, American hawks are exploiting the photo of the dead Syrian boy to blame the Europeans for the humanitarian crisis while also demanding an all-out effort to depose Bashar al-Assad. Last Friday’s Washington Post had a lead editorial headlined “Europe’s Abdication,” and also featured a Michael Gerson op-ed urging immediate regime change in Syria, blaming the crisis solely on Damascus. The editorial railed against European “racists” regarding the refugee plight. And it is not clear how Gerson, an evangelical neoconservative former speech writer for George W. Bush, can possibly believe that permitting Syria to fall to ISIS would benefit anyone.
We Americans are in something approaching complete denial about how truly horrible our nation’s recent impact on the rest of the world has been. We are universally hated, even by those who have their hands out to receive their Danegeld, and the world is undoubtedly shaking its head as it listens to the bile coming out of the mouths of our presidential candidates. Shakespeare observed that the “evil that men do lives after them,” but he had no experience of the United States. We choose to dissimulate regarding the bad choices we make followed up with lies to justify and mitigate our crimes. And still later the evil we do disappears down the memory hole. Literally.
In writing this piece I looked up Ali Hussein, the little Iraqi boy who was killed by the American bomb. He has been “disappeared” from Google, as well has the photo, presumably because his death did not meet community standards. He has likewise been eliminated from the Washington Post archive. The experience of Winston Smith in George Orwell’s 1984 immediately came to mind.
Do you remember when President Obama promised that we were 5 days away from fundamentally transforming America? Well, this is one campaign promise that Obama actually kept as as his words, today, should be ringing in the ears of every American who is awake the tyranny being perpetrated against the people and sacred institutions of the United States.
In fact, Obama has actually been very truthful with the American people. He promised fundamental transformation and his actions have proven him to be a man of his word.
As America races toward her date with destiny, there is yet another “fundamentally transforming” event coming her way and that event is known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Many of us in the Independent Media believe that some of the effects of the TPP will be felt before the coming war and martial law crackdown. However, after careful analysis, I am convinced that the brunt of the TPP will be felt after the America we know has been totally taken over in a post-war and post-economic collapse scenario. At the end of the day, it does not matter when the implementation of the TPP comes, because when it does, America will no longer be recognizable to anyone who has grown up in this once great country. And that day has arrived, the TPP is here and Obama is now free to proceed as he sees fit.
Fear Mongering or Fear-Based Facts?
“Oh Dave, there you go again, trying to scare people with your fear-mongering”. If I have a nickel for every time I heard this, I could have retired a long time ago. While the cognitive dissonance, normalcy bias of “hear no evil and see no evil” crowd minimized all the warnings about Obama, his allegiances, his questionable background and his mission which clearly was the take down of the United States, have now come to fruition. Is this self-vindication article? No. Is this article about “I told you so?” In part, but more importantly, this article is about assessing where we are at and what we can do about our present dilemma.
The TPP, for all intents and purposes, has been unilaterally and dictatorially passed. The only question is when these treason action, perpetrated by the corporate puppet residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, start to be be felts in our daily lives?
The following prophetic observation and narrative taken from a 2008 Sunday morning televised “Meet The Press’.From Sunday’s 07 Sept. 2008 11:48:04 EST, Televised “Meet the Press”. THEN Senator Obama was asked about his stance on the American Flag.General Bill Gann’ USAF (ret.) asked Obama to explain WHY he doesn’t follow protocol when the National Anthem is played.The General stated to Obama that according to the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171…During rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present (except those in uniform) are expected to stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Or, at the very least, “Stand and Face It”.Senator Obama replied :“As I’ve said about the flag pin, I don’t want to be perceived as taking sides.” “There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression…” “The anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all that sort of thing.”
Obama continued: “The National Anthem should be ‘swapped’ for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song ‘I’d Like To Teach the World To Sing’. If that were our anthem, then, I might salute it. In my opinion, we should consider reinventing our National Anthem as well as ‘redesign’ our Flag to better offer our enemies hope and love. It’s my intention, if elected, to disarm America to the level of acceptance to our Middle East Brethren. If we, as a Nation of warring people, conduct ourselves like the nations of Islam, where peace prevails – – – perhaps a state or period of mutual accord could exist between our governments ……”
When I Become President, I will seek a pact of agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity, and a freedom from disquieting oppressive thoughts. We as a Nation, have placed upon the nations ofIslam, an unfair injustice which is WHY my wife disrespects the Flag and she and I have attended several flag burning ceremonies in the past”. “Of course now, I have found myself about to become The President of the United States and I have put my hatred aside . I will use my power to bring CHANGE to this Nation, and offer the people a new path. My wife and I look forward to becoming our Country’s First black Family. Indeed, CHANGE is about to overwhelm the United States of America
The following is the “hope and change” this modern day version of Benedict Arnold has brought to our country.
Even a Democrat “gets it”!
The TPP Is About Transferring the American Economy to a Corporate, “Rollerball Movie” Style of Dictatorship
When something is secret and kept from you, it is usually very bad for you! As America races toward her date with destiny, there is yet another “fundamentally transforming” event coming her way and that event is known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a plot designed to hand over control of the world’s governments to private corporate interests and it is all being done in secret. Even Congress was not allowed to examine the TPP provisions.
Under the TPP, for example, GMO labels for US food would not be allowed. To make matters worse, there is an obscure portion of the TPP and other trade agreements which is so diabolical, so devastating, that the planet will eventually resemble the 1975 movie, Rollerball, in which a small number of corporations will rule the planet.
Following World War III, the United Nations, as a body, will be replaced with the United Corporations. At the end of the day, it does not matter when the implementation of the TPP comes, because when it does, America will no longer be recognizable. The reason that America will no longer be recognizable is because America will no longer exist because of a key provision contained in the TPP.
Within a few short years, following implementation of the TPP, which will surely grow from the 40% of the world’s population that it will soon control as it will eventually encompass 100% of the planet. The TPP eliminates all nation states as the ruling authority and it will be supplanted by corporate authority. This will be made possible because of an obscure provision of the TPP known as the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). ISDS is a key component of the TPP. Unfortunately, for the planet, ISDS principles are being negotiated as I write these words, outside of the TPP, in ongoing trade deals between the United States and the European Union. ISDS allows corporations to sue governments, for any government action (at any level, including local government level) which hinders a corporation’sfuture profits. Literally, Monsanto could provably be poisoning the entire population of a nation and the nation could do nothing which might result in the loss of profits to Monsanto. This also means that as a private citizen, if you organize a boycott against Monsanto, you could be sued in a foreign court for obstructing Monsanto profits.
If a corporation feels that a government has impeded its ability to maximize profits, a suit is filed, outside the country being sued, and the case will be heard by an arbitration panel of trade lawyers, in a jurisdiction totally of the corporation’s choosing. Under ISDS, the dispute panel may only consider the ‘free trade’ values of the case. No other factors may be considered when deciding the case. This means that these corporate panels must disregard values of public health, civil liberties, environmental protection, or the rights of workers (e.g. working conditions) or any other Constitutionally protected liberties.
Welcome to the feudal manner. You are no longer a citizen of the United States, you are a serf in corporate fiefdom.
Declaring War On the New World Order
Since yesterday’s notice that the TPP is our new reality, I have been deluged with questions about the options that the people have left. My answer to the question is another question. What do nations do when they are out of options and their survival is at stake? Answer: They declare war and I am declaring war upon the NWO forces that have brought us the newest set of indentured servitude policies designed for the masses. I am not advocating for violence. I am advocating for the response that the NWO cannot control, namely noncompliance.
The people’s present quandary is summed up in this one email I received yesterday.
Concerning your statement on not shopping with businesses, such as Wal-Mart, Kmart, etc. Marts, how do you determine which businesses to support or not? I do not mind traveling further if I could determine who provides the types of products they have and not support the NWO types. I am not tied to brands either.
Fort Drum, New York 13602
I Declare War On the Globalists and the TPP
In response to Mr. Jones email, the following is a partial list of corporations who are involved in the TPP, I will publish a more comprehensive list at a later time.
In the meantime, do not shop in stores owned by multi-national corporations. Get as much of money out of the bank. Buy gold and silver. Shop at local stores only. Trade and Barter in lieu of making purchases. Empty your bank accounts and buy needed resources. Grow your own food. Learn to gain access to local water supplies. Learn how to can food. In short, get out of the corporate system. We can collapse the TPP from the inside. Do what some of you did as kids, quit playing their game and take your ball home. Throw out your television. Read books, stop going to the movies. Collapse their system from the inside-out.
These corporations should never enjoy the pleasure of your company:
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
National Farmers Union
Levi Strauss & Co.
Johnson & Johnson
Avon Products, Inc.
American Sheep Industry Association, Inc.
Recording Industry Association of America
Every level of local government (e.g. National Governors Association, Nation League of Cities, etc) -Vote out all incumbents!
17 March 2015 (RT)* — President Barack Obama traced the origins of Islamic State militants back to the presidency of George W. Bush and the invasion of Iraq back in 2003, arguing that its growth was an “unintended consequence” of the war.
**Photo: President George W. Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the Oval Office of the White House Monday, November 10, 2008. Author: White House photo by Eric Draper
In an interview with Vice News, President Obama said the rise of Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS/ISIL) can be directly linked to America’s excursion into Iraq under Bush.
“Two things: One is, ISIL is a direct outgrowth of Al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion,”Obama said in an interview with VICE News. “Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.”
Obama stated that he is “confident” a coalition consisting of 60 nations “will slowly push back ISIL out of Iraq,” but added that the challenge of stopping extremism won’t stop unless there is a political solution to the internal strife affecting so many countries in the Middle East.
“What I’m worried about” he said, “is even if ISIL is defeated, the underlying problem of disaffected Sunnis around the world – but particularly in some of these areas including Libya, including Yemen – where a young man who’s growing up has no education, has no prospects for the future, is looking around and the one way he can get validation, power, respect, is if he’s a fighter.”
“That’s a problem we’re going to have, generally. And we can’t keep on thinking about counterterrorism and security as entirely separate from diplomacy, development, education.”
The president dismissed concerns that the US spends too much on foreign aid, noting that just over one percent of the federal budget goes to other nations. He argued that “we should be thinking about making investments” overseas that will prevent America from sending troops to engage in military operations.
Obama’s comments regarding ISIS mark the first time he has framed the extremist group’s existence as a consequence of American foreign policy decisions. The president’s opponents have often argued that his withdrawal of US troops from Iraq in 2011 left space for groups like ISIS to grow.
At the same time, the Shia-dominated central government of Iraq failed to effectively bring the country’s Sunni minority into the governing process, leaving ISIS with a disaffected ethnic group more willing to join its cause.
When reports of Al-Qaeda-linked militants causing violence in Iraq first burst onto the scene, Obama also characterized the group as a “JV team,” or a small-time operation.
“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama told the New Yorker in early 2014.
“I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”
Since the day President Obama took office, he has failed to bring to justice anyone responsible for the torture of terrorism suspects — an official government program conceived and carried out in the years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
He did allow his Justice Department to investigate the C.I.A.’s destruction of videotapes of torture sessions and those who may have gone beyond the torture techniques authorized by President George W. Bush. But the investigation did not lead to any charges being filed, or even any accounting of why they were not filed.
Mr. Obama has said multiple times that “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards,” as though the two were incompatible. They are not. The nation cannot move forward in any meaningful way without coming to terms, legally and morally, with the abhorrent acts that were authorized, given a false patina of legality, and committed by American men and women from the highest levels of government on down.
Americans have known about many of these acts for years, but the 524-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report erases any lingering doubt about their depravity and illegality: In addition to new revelations of sadistic tactics like “rectal feeding,” scores of detainees were waterboarded, hung by their wrists, confined in coffins, sleep-deprived, threatened with death or brutally beaten. In November 2002, one detainee who was chained to a concrete floor died of “suspected hypothermia.”
These are, simply, crimes. They are prohibited by federal law, which definestorture as the intentional infliction of “severe physical or mental pain or suffering.” They are also banned by the Convention Against Torture, the international treaty that the United States ratified in 1994 and that requires prosecution of any acts of torture.
So it is no wonder that today’s blinkered apologists are desperate to call these acts anything but torture, which they clearly were. As the report reveals, these claims fail for a simple reason: C.I.A. officials admitted at the time that what they intended to do was illegal.
In July 2002, C.I.A. lawyers told the Justice Department that the agency needed to use “more aggressive methods” of interrogation that would “otherwise be prohibited by the torture statute.” They asked the department to promise not to prosecute those who used these methods. When the department refused, they shopped around for the answer they wanted. They got it from the ideologically driven lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel, who wrote memos fabricating a legal foundation for the methods. Government officials now rely on the memos as proof that they sought and received legal clearance for their actions. But the report changes the game: We now know that this reliance was not made in good faith.
No amount of legal pretzel logic can justify the behavior detailed in the report. Indeed, it is impossible to read it and conclude that no one can be held accountable. At the very least, Mr. Obama needs to authorize a full and independent criminal investigation.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch are to give Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. a letter Monday calling for appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate what appears increasingly to be “a vast criminal conspiracy, under color of law, to commit torture and other serious crimes.”
The question everyone will want answered, of course, is: Who should be held accountable? That will depend on what an investigation finds, and as hard as it is to imagine Mr. Obama having the political courage to order a new investigation, it is harder to imagine a criminal probe of the actions of a former president.
But any credible investigation should include former Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; the former C.I.A. director George Tenet; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who drafted what became known as the torture memos. There are many more names that could be considered, including Jose Rodriguez Jr., the C.I.A. official who ordered the destruction of the videotapes; the psychologists who devised the torture regimen; and the C.I.A. employees who carried out that regimen.
One would expect Republicans who have gone hoarse braying about Mr. Obama’s executive overreach to be the first to demand accountability, but with one notable exception, Senator John McCain, they have either fallen silent or activelydefended the indefensible. They cannot even point to any results: Contrary to repeated claims by the C.I.A., the report concluded that “at no time” did any of these techniques yield intelligence that averted a terror attack. And at least 26 detainees were later determined to have been “wrongfully held.”
Starting a criminal investigation is not about payback; it is about ensuring that this never happens again and regaining the moral credibility to rebuke torture by other governments. Because of the Senate’s report, we now know the distance officials in the executive branch went to rationalize, and conceal, the crimes they wanted to commit. The question is whether the nation will stand by and allow the perpetrators of torture to have perpetual immunity for their actions.