Ask me no questions
and I'll tell you no lies
I believe in only one thing: liberty;
but I do not believe in liberty enough
to want to force it upon anyone
--H. L. Mencken
It is not those who can inflict the most,
but those that can suffer the most who will conquer
The concept of torture being used on a prisoner held by U.S. is so terrible that we collectively want to sideline it, and Ranger is no exception. Only a sicko or a non-professional would even consider using torture on a prisoner held by U.S. authorities, be they CIA, Department of Defense or Department of Justice.
The April 9 New York Review of Books includes extensive excerpts of the previously unavailable International Committee of the Red Cross's 2007 "secret report" stating the Bush administration's treatment of al-Qaeda captives "constituted torture" thereby violating international law (US Torture: Voices from the Black Sites.) [The report was obtained by Mark Danner, author of "Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror" who has finally published its findings in his book.]
ICRC officials were "granted access to the CIA's 'high-value' detainees after they were transferred in 2006 to the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The 14 detainees, who had been kept in isolation in CIA prisons overseas, gave remarkably uniform accounts of abuse that included beatings, sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures and, in some cases, waterboarding, or simulating drowning (Red Cross Described Torture at CIA Jails.)
While the report was shared with the CIA and top White House officials in 2007, the ICRC's guidelines "of neutrality in conflicts" prohibited its distribution. We are confused: Isn't that what the Red Cross does -- revealing instances of torture, in order to bar their continuation?
This strict neutrality is an idea that borders on collusion. It would have allowed the Nazis to continue running death camps in Europe. A moral position is not a violation of strict neutrality in any conflict.
If the ICRC exposes either side for illegal activities, this, too, is a definition of neutrality. One expects a moral position from the ICRC, as it was obvious elements of U.S. leadership had crossed to "the dark side".
"The CIA declined to comment. A U.S. official familiar with the report said, 'It is important to bear in mind that the report lays out claims made by the terrorists themselves.'"
Brilliant. The U.S. labels them "terrorists", holds them in secret prisons sans burden of proof or legal proceedings, ergo, they are unreliable witnesses. Yet. . . one-fourth of the 9-11 Commission Report was extracted from such prisoners in "coerced testimony." Their veracity does not seem to be a problem when the information is being used for the interrogator's benefit.
If you ask the CIA, they'll tell you there was no torture. That is because they are the Good Guys, and besides, we destroyed the tapes that proved otherwise (all hail Rosemary Woods.)
The sad fact of the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) is that U.S. agencies just get too cute for their own good. Someday America will be held accountable for these actions; one cannot hide behind words forever.
Words provide concealment, but they provide no useful cover when the steel is flying hot and straight.