By Jonathan Power
It is John McCain, a former Vietnam warrior and the Republican candidate for president when Barack Obama first won the presidency, who has conducted a long campaign against the US using torture. Last week when the US Senate’s study of the torture used during the Administration of George W. Bush was published he has been one of the very few voices of the right to welcome it.
When the allies won the Second World War the torture of the Nazi regime’s top military commanders was not allowed, even though the detained had plenty of information on who did what. Few argued that torture was necessary to elicit the information required in order to prosecute the Nazi leadership at the Nuremberg war crimes trial (although Churchill had argued earlier that they didn’t deserve a trial and they should be put against a wall and summarily shot).
It was conventional interrogation that produced the information needed.
In the Senate report – which runs to 6,000 pages there are any number of sadistic acts of torture recorded. And, says the report, no information elicited outclassed the same information squeezed from the same subjects by conventional interrogation. Indeed, FBI officials were long critical of the CIA’s brutal approach to interrogation.
America’s image abroad will never be the same. A country that has long trumpeted Read More »