April 19, 2013

The US tortured detainees

A recent report made it absolutely certain that the US tortured many detainees after 9/11. The report was made by the Constitution Project’s Task Force on Detainee Treatment. It's an independent, bipartisan, blue-ribbon panel charged with examining the federal government’s policies and actions related to the capture, detention and treatment of suspected terrorists during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. The project was undertaken with the belief that it was important to provide an account as authoritative and accurate as possible of how the United States treated, and continues to treat, people held in our custody as the nation mobilized to deal with a global terrorist threat.

Some of it's key findings are:
  • U.S. forces, in many instances, used interrogation techniques on detainees that constitute torture. American personnel conducted an even larger number of interrogations that involved “cruel, inhuman, or degrading” treatment. Both categories of actions violate U.S. laws and international treaties. Such conduct was directly counter to values of the Constitution and our nation.
  • The nation’s most senior officials, through some of their actions and failures to act in the months and years immediately following the September 11 attacks, bear ultimate esponsibility for allowing and contributing to the spread of illegal and improper interrogation techniques used by some U.S. personnel on detainees in several theaters. Responsibility also falls on other government officials and certain military leaders.
  • There is no firm or persuasive evidence that the widespread use of harsh interrogation techniques by U.S. forces produced significant information of value. There is substantial evidence that much of the information adduced from the use of such techniques was not useful or reliable.
But my main question remains: who will ever be held accountable for all of it?





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