The subject of the use of torture by the CIA continues to get debate, as it should. Of course, those who had a hand in it, don’t want them sullied by the use of the vile word “torture” and would rather euphemistically call it “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Our former Vice President who played a key role said he would do it again to keep Americans safe.
As mentioned in my last post, I have never been a fan of the use of torture, as you lose the moral ground very quickly. If our country is to lay claim to exceptionalism, it may want to listen to someone who was tortured, Senator John McCain, than someone who sanctioned the torturing. The argument for it is torturing gains the torturer more information than less onerous means, but that evidence does not seem to be borne out by the study or supported by war crimes experts. Plus, there is an element of CYA going on when you speak with someone who did the deed.
Yet, are we really safer? To me the answer is no, as we now have tens of thousands and multiple generations of terrorists that despise us, when back at the time of 9/11, al Qaeda numbered only 200 people. Yes, there were other terrorist groups, but suppose we took the higher road. We would have been safer as the numbers would likely be fewer who are out to harm us.
However, the last person we should listen to on these issues is the former Vice President. He said he would do it over again, but would also do the following again:
– would he help invent the story of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that led to the invasion of Iraq, where al Qaeda was not present,
– would he ignore the advice of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to go in with more troops to secure the country (this later became the surge after many years),
– would he send our troops into battle with inferior equipment that cost lives,
– would he rely on the counsel of less than trust worthy advisors in the Middle East, which was the subject of later scrutiny,
– would he send in too few speakers of the various languages as our advisors, so as to avoid smoke being blown at us when we asked questions,
– would he fire the Iraqi police force, who later abetted the efforts ISIS and could have been allies to squelch fighting?
4,000 Americans died over there, so far. Many more of our allies died. Even more Iraqis, Afghanis, and others died. My thesis if we are going to send our troops into harms way, then we better support them and we better have a good reason other than unfound WMDs. As to do otherwise is a disservice to our country, our troops and their families.
So, excuse me for not giving much credence to what you would do over again. Your track record is not very good on these issues. If I had the choice to do over again, I would vote for Al Gore for President. And, make no mistake, it is torture no matter what you call it.