I have only just begun the latest New Yorker article on CIA black sites and torture, yet even the beginning is chilling. The article opens with the story of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, or K.S.M., who has allegedly confessed to the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Evidence suggests to a near certainty that K.S.M. did not commit the killing, and that he has admitted to an unbelievably high number of other crimes while being tortured by the CIA.
Much evidence suggests that torture more often leads to false confessions as opposed to actionable intelligence. The Bush Administration has pushed the bounds of humanity with its treatment of alleged terrorists, revamping old techniques gleaned from our past enemies. Torture clashes with the ideals of a free and open society and is a morally abhorrent act that should be condemned by any person of compassion or principle.
The next president of the United States has a responsibility to the American public to expose what exactly the Bush Administration has done in the dark nooks and crannies of the war on terror. Our credibility as a country and our reputation (or what remains of it) as decent human beings demands that we confront the acts that have been committed in our name and for the object of our security. If the next president fails to face these demons, whether out of a belief in their efficacy or as a political calculation, he or she will tacitly bless them, and they will weigh upon our country into the future.
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