I defy anyone to read the report of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation”techniques and not be sickened: beatings, sleep deprivation, simulated drowning, stress positions and what looks very much like sexual assault. In anybody’s book this was torture, plain and simple.
Clearly, there was a huge amount of pressure on the CIA to get results after the events of 9/11 but the use of torture should never have been an option.
Torture is wrong and immoral. It degrades the torturer as well as the tortured. It is also illegal under several international agreements such as the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
It is also counterproductive because of the huge propaganda weapon it hands our enemies. Abuses like those at Abu Ghraib have acted as a recruiting sergeant for terrorist groups.
These points were well known but trumped by the argument that torture was necessary to get information.
But the report even knocks this argument on the head. No intelligence was received from torture that wasn’t available by other means. In some cases incorrect information was received.
This shouldn't be a surprise. Torture victims’only thought is to get the torture to stop so they will say whatever they think the torturer wants to hear - whether it’s true or not. More than 400 soldiers were deployed to protect Heathrow in 2003 as a result of false information provided by a prisoner who had been tortured.
Immoral, illegal, counterproductive and of no intelligence value.
We must never allow fears of terrorism to be used to justify torture again.