The words “possible criminal actions” by CIA employees are used in the report.
The terms unethical and immoral are mentioned. The criminality of those who ordered these actions at the highest levels of government, however, is not acknowledged.
The actions directed against alleged jihadists are categorized as ineffective in the process of revealing intelligence. This in itself is a red herring. The objective of torture was not to reveal intelligence.
What of course is not acknowledged is that the alleged terrorists who were tortured were framed by the CIA.
Known and documented the Al Qaeda network is a creation of US intelligence.
The jihadists are “intelligence assets”.
Torture serves to perpetuate the legend that the evil terrorists are real and that the lives of Americans are threatened.
Torture is presented as “collateral damage.” Torture is an integral part of war propaganda which consists in demonizing the alleged terrorists.
And the Senate committee report ultimately upholds the legitimacy of the US intelligence apparatus, the US government, its military and intelligence agenda and its “humanitarian wars” waged in different parts of the World.
Guantanamo Camp (right)
The term “legally misguided” is mentioned but the fact that these actions were “illegal” and “criminal” is casually dismissed.
According to Senator Feinstein: “The CIA plays an incredibly important part in our nation’s security and has thousands of dedicated and talented employees.”
The actions documented by the Senate report were undertaken from 2001-2009, namely during the Bush administration, overlapping into the Obama presidency. This inevitably raises the issue of responsibility of the current US administration. There is no evidence that these practices were abandoned by the Obama presidency. In fact quite the opposite.
And the “Global War on Terrorism” prevails with new initiatives on the drawing board of the Pentagon.
The Role of 9/11
9/11 serves as a justification for the torture program in the same way as it served as a justification to wage war on Afghanistan and Iraq. According to Senator Feinstein:
“All of us have vivid memories of that Tuesday morning when terror struck New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
“Make no mistake, on September 11, 2001 war was declared on the United States.
“Terrorists struck our financial center. They struck our military center. And they tried to strike our political center and would have, had brave and courageous passengers not brought down the plane.
“We still vividly remember the mix of outrage and deep despair and sadness as we watched from Washington.
“Smoke rising from the Pentagon. The passenger plane lying in a Pennsylvania field. The sound of bodies striking canopies at ground level as innocents jumped to the ground below from the World Trade Center.
The tacit argument –which is contained in the Senate report– is that America was under attack. Evil folks are lurking. The security of the Homeland was at stake.
And these evil people knew things (namely intelligence) which were threatening our security. They were arrested by the CIA. And the CIA had a mandate “to go after the terrorists”.
Yet we all know by now that the 9/11 official narrative is a fabrication. The official 9/11 story is that Osama bin Laden was behind the 9/11 attacks. Lest we forget, bin Laden was hospitalized in a Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi on September 9, 2001.
9/11 was used as a pretext, a casus belli to wage an illegal war against Afghanistan. What we are dealing with is the criminalization of the US State apparatus.
Jihadists were not behind the 9/11 attacks. The evidence points to a conspiracy at the highest levels of the US government including the involvement of the intelligence apparatus.
We must ”learn from our mistakes”, says Senator Feinstein.
These decisions were from an administrative point of view “misguided”, according to the Senate Committee. It was all a “big mistake”, according to the Senate report.
The evidence contained in the report, nonetheless, points to criminal wrongdoing at the highest levels of government. Yet the political statements underlying the report as well as the media coverage constitute a whitewash.
The September 11, 2001 attacks provided the green light to wage a “Global War on Terrorism”. While the report acknowledges CIA brutality, it does not question the legitimacy of the “Global War on Terrorism”. The acts of torture were all for a good cause.
The truth is that the CIA is a criminal entity within the US State apparatus
Nobody is to be held responsible. The report is in essence a political whitewash. In substance what the report says is:
We are clean and moral people, it was an administrative error to torture the terrorists. But under the circumstances with our nation under attack, it is understandable that we acted in that way. Let us learn from our mistakes. It will never happen again. (paraphrase)
“But history will judge us by our commitment to a just society governed by law and the willingness to face an ugly truth and say ‘never again.’”
Never again? The ugly truth underlying the “Global War on Terrorism” has not acknowledged.
The fact that torture has been routinely applied since the establishment of the CIA under the Truman presidency, extensively applied in Latin America, Africa and South East Asia, is casually dismissed.
President Bush is not alone. What he did was to implement a policy which was already firmly entrenched in the intelligence community. Blaming Bush is a convenient scapegoat. it avoids opening up a can of worms.
Every single administration since the end of World War II has endorsed the practices of torture.
What distinguishes the Bush and Obama administrations in relation to the historical record of U.S. sponsored crimes and atrocities, is that the concentration camps, targeted assassinations and torture chambers are known to the public and are openly considered as legitimate forms of intervention, which sustain “the global war on terrorism” and support the spread of Western democracy.
The Criminalization of Justice: Will the Architects of Torture be Indicted for Crimes against Humanity?
Today’s legal system in America has all the essential features of an inquisitorial order, which supports torture and provides a green light to CIA atrocities.
The Senate report ultimately upholds clearly defined “guidelines” of the Department of Justice adopted in the immediate wake of 9/11. Torture is permitted “under certain circumstances”, according to an August 2002 Justice Department “legal opinion” which had been requested by the CIA:
“if a government employee were to torture a suspect in captivity, ‘he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the Al Qaeda terrorist network,’ said the memo, from the Justice Department’s office of legal counsel, written in response to a CIA request for legal guidance. It added that arguments centering on “necessity and self-defense could provide justifications that would eliminate any criminal liability” later. (See Washington Post, June 7, 2004).
What the above DoJ report confirms is that the CIA had received a green light to torture alleged “jihadists” inasmuch at contributes to preventing further attacks by Al Qaeda directed against the US. It follows that “interrogation methods” bordering on torture do not imply an unconstitutional infringement according to the U.S. Justice Department:
“Even if an interrogation method might arguably cross the line drawn in Section and application of the stature was not held to be an unconstitutional infringement of the President’s Commander in Chief authority, we believe that under current circumstances [the war on terrorism] certain justification defenses might be available that would potentially eliminate criminal liability.” (Complete pdf memorandum, Department of Justice, August 1, 2002: “Justice Dept. Memo Says Torture ‘May Be Justified’” Washington Post, June 13, 2004