The declassification of yet another CIA report yesterday revealing some of the brutal tactics used against detainees in the wake of 9/11, including CIA interrogators threatening to make one detainee watch while they raped his mother, and threatening to kill another’s children, has sparked a series of moves by the Obama Administration to distance itself from the Bush Administration’s policies on the matter.
Largely those moves, however, have been superficial, including a narrow “investigation” into torture by CIA officials and a promise to get written “guarantees” from foreign nations that when they export them for interrogation they won’t suffer inhumane treatment. Lip-service to change, but nothing concrete.
But even the trivial revisions to the system have sparked a massive political battle in DC, with former Vice President Dick Cheney, the architect of much of the previous administration’s policies, called the moves irresponsible and insisted the harsh interrogations “saved lives.”
Though it seems unlikely that any CIA interrogators will ever be prosecuted under the probe – they are only looking into low ranking officials and then only to see if they went beyond orders, irrespective of if those orders broke the law – Cheney said the interrogators deserve “respect” for what they had done.
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