“When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry…. These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek.
“If it hadn’t been for what we did—with respect to the…enhanced interrogation techniques for high-value detainees…—then we would have been attacked again. Those policies we put in place, in my opinion, were absolutely crucial to getting us through the last seven-plus years without a major-casualty attack on the US….”
—Former Vice President Dick Cheney, February 4, 2009
“I’m sure that the false information I was forced to invent in order to make the ill-treatment stop wasted a lot of their time and led to several false red-alerts being placed in the US,”
–Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a statement to the Red Cross.
Mark Danner in the New York Review of Books:
“Working through the forty-three pages of the International Committee of the Red Cross’s report, one finds a strikingly detailed account of horrors inflicted on fourteen “high-value detainees” over a period of weeks and months—horrors that Red Cross officials conclude, quite unequivocally, “constituted torture.” It is hard not to reflect how officials concerned about protecting the country arrived at this particular “alternative set of procedures,” and how they convinced themselves, with the help of attorneys in the White House and in the Department of Justice, that these “procedures” were legal.”
“Procedures” like waterboarding. The Khmer Rouge were especially fond of waterboarding, as were the Nazis, Pinochet’s goons at the Directorate of National Intelligence, and all the good students from the U.S Army’s School of the Americas. It seems the Bush-Cheney administration are in august company.
According to both President Obama and AG Eric Holder, if there has been wrongdoing, it must be prosecuted, and yet, we see no real determination to bring American torturers to justice. According to the Guardian:
“The methods of ill-treatment alleged to have been used, the report said, included waterboarding, standing naked with arms extended and chained above the head for periods of two or three days continuously, beatings by the use of a collar held around the detainees’ neck to bang heads and bodies against the wall, prolonged nudity for weeks or months and prolonged shackling.”
Medics were present to make sure the detainees could be kept alive for more torture:
“Medical personnel were also said to be present when prisoners were shackled in a “stress standing position”. The detainees were “monitored by health personnel who in some instances recommended stopping the method of ill-treatment, or recommended its continuation, but with adjustments”, according to the report.
“The Red Cross concluded: “The alleged participation of health personnel in the interrogation process and, either directly or indirectly, in the infliction of ill-treatment constituted a gross breach of medical ethics and, in some cases, amounted to participation in torture and/or cruel inhuman or degrading treatment.”
Not exactly in line with the Hippocratic oath’s “first do no harm” mantra, and most certainly actionable, should we, as a “civilized” country, have the balls to do it.